DOE Office of Science Director Berhe visits Fermilab

Following a visit to Sanford Underground Research Facility, Lead, South Dakota, where she learned about the LBNF/DUNE project, Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, the new director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, came to Fermilab on Friday, July 8, as part of her two-leg lab tour. During her visit, Berhe received a nearly complete introduction to all that Fermilab offers, highlighted by meeting scientists, engineers, students and interns and seeing the lab’s leading-edge science and research facilities.

Scientist Karie Badgley (left) showed Office of Science Director Asmeret Berhe the superconducting wire used to make magnets for the Mu2e experiment, as Mike Lamm and Lia Merminga looked on. Photo: Tom Nicol, Fermilab

Fermilab Director Lia Merminga welcomed Behre to the lab, along with Roger Snyder, acting DOE Fermilab Site Office manager; Juan de Pablo, executive vice president for science, innovation, national laboratories and global initiative, the University of Chicago; and John Mester, executive director of the Universities Research Association.

Engineer Tiffany Price (left) gave Adam Kinney, DOE Office of Science; Director Berhe and others a tour of the test facility for PIP-II particle accelerator components. Photo: Tom Nicol, Fermilab

Then came the campus tour, starting with PIP-II and the Superconducting Radio Frequency and Cryomodule Test Facilities, where a team of researchers presented the accelerator project and Fermilab’s world-leading capabilities in superconducting RF technology and in integrated testing of SRF components. At the time, Behre was also presented with an overview of Fermilab’s immersive ASPIRE Fellowship Program.

Asmeret Berhe, director of the DOE Office of Science (center), meets with early-career scientists at the SQMS Center at Fermilab. Photo: Tom Nicol, Fermilab

Next, scientists provided Behre with overviews and tours of Fermilab’s accelerator technology and R&D capabilities, the High Lumi Accelerator Upgrade Project, the SQMS Center and its role in the national quantum initiative, and the Mu2e program. After a working lunch with the DOE Early Career Award recipients and others representing Fermilab’s equality, diversity and inclusion as well as outreach initiatives, the tour continued with an overview of the Quantum Network.

Physicist Anadi Canepa (left), head of the CMS department at Fermilab, provides an overview of the contributions that US scientists make to the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Photo: Tom Nicol, Fermilab

Visits to the Muon g-2 experiment, high-power targetry experiment for LBNF/DUNE, Short-Baseline Near Detector and PIP-II Cryogenic Plant Building followed. The afternoon rounded out with overviews of Fermilab robotics, microelectronics and AI development, and the CMS Experiment and the LPC Program. Behre’s visit concluded with a discussion about Fermilab infrastructure as well as ongoing projects.

During her visit, Berhe (right) spoke with Farah Fahim, engineer and deputy head of quantum science at Fermilab. They discussed the work on microelectronics that is going on at the lab. Photo: Tom Nicol, Fermilab

“It was a wonderful visit,” said Merminga. “Dr. Behre received a comprehensive overview of Fermilab’s plans and capabilities, and I was so pleased we showcased what the lab has to offer in terms of science, technology and above all our amazing talent.”