Fermilab appointed new chief engineer to usher in the next era of physics research

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory announced Mayling Wong-Squires has been appointed as the next chief engineer at the nation’s leading particle physics and accelerator laboratory. Wong-Squires came to Fermilab 25 years ago as a mechanical engineer with a focus on design engineering. She currently serves as the head of the lab’s Accelerator Directorate’s Mechanical Support Department.

Mayling Wong-Squires has been named the next chief engineer at Fermilab. Photo: Ryan Postel, Fermilab

“Mayling has impressed me with the depth of her experience, ranging from operational support to planning and building of projects, such as LBNF, PIP-II, Mu2e and MAGIS, as well as with her thoughtfulness and strong leadership,” said Fermilab Director Lia Merminga upon the announcement. “She is deeply dedicated to Fermilab and will lead us into the next era of research as we complete projects such as DUNE.”

Wong-Squires will advise the lab’s leadership on engineering-related issues, identify ways for engineers to connect throughout the lab and physics community, and lead Engineers Week activities each February when the lab’s engineers meet and celebrate their accomplishments.

As Wong-Squires begins her new role, she will meet with Fermilab engineers, line management and project leaders to discuss best practices and areas of improvement, with an emphasis on recruiting the lab’s future engineering workforce, talent retention, co-op engineering and succession-planning.

“During the past few years, even through a pandemic, the engineering community has grown and changed, along with the rest of the lab,” said Wong-Squires. “How are engineers contributing to the science at Fermilab? I look forward to learning from members of the engineering community about their work, then finding ways to share this. My hope is to elevate awareness of the depth and breadth of engineering contributions. Not only can the engineering community take a sense of pride of their work, they can also share this as a way to attract new engineering talent to the lab.”

A principal engineer at Fermilab, Wong-Squires also leads the Accelerator Directorate’s robotics initiative. A mechanical engineer by training, for the past two and a half decades, she has worked on the various design, manufacturing and installation of mechanical systems related to the detectors and accelerator components for projects, including CDF, FAST and Mu2e.

Wong-Squires succeeds previous Chief Engineer Chris Mossey, who, assisted by Deputy Chief Engineer Paul Czarapata, provided a strong foundation in the engineering systems and served as advocate for the engineering community at Fermilab.

Fermilab is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.