Director’s corner

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone This week we bid farewell to the Tevatron Collider, an accelerator whose far-reaching legacy spans particle physics, accelerator science and industry. The shut down will take place starting at 2 p.m. on Friday, and I invite all Fermilab staff and users onsite and at their home institutions to watch a live broadcast of the shutdown activities from Ramsey auditorium or online. It’s fitting that, in the same week that we shut down the Tevatron, our laboratory…

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone With the close of the fiscal year approaching, it is important for us to understand any significant trends in our safety performance. Looking at the numbers is the only way to discern trends. Whenever we do that, however, we run the risk of taking our attention off of what is really important: our people and the customs that sustain a strong safety culture. The first important statistic is that we are reporting well, from the minor…

Budgets, budgets…

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone Over the past week, we completed three full days of presentations on what we call the budget uploads for FY12. These detailed budget presentations tell us how all the divisions, sections and centers fit our budget guidelines for the coming fiscal year. The process is an iterative one where, at the end of the day, the planned work has to correspond to the budget and staffing levels in the multiple budget lines we receive. We prepared…

End of summer

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone Yesterday we celebrated Labor Day and the end of summer. Celebrating labor is easy – we have done a prodigious amount of it in the last few months, and we see nothing but a huge amount ahead of us. It has been a good but arduous summer, with a series of Tevatron problems associated with storms and with a number of difficulties with the NuMI neutrino targets. The Tevatron is back up to snuff with more…

CAS peer review

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone Starting today, and for the next two and a half days, the Contractor Assurance Peer Review will take place at Fermilab. Throughout the history of the laboratory, first URA and then FRA have had many processes in place to make sure that the requirements and expectations of the contract with DOE were met. As laboratory and FRA managers have prepared for this review, we have articulated these processes and integrated them into a Contractor Assurance System…

Fermilab scientists met with Srikumar Banerjee, the secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy, and directors of Indian national laboratories in the Commission Room of the DAE. The Lepton Photon Symposium (LP2011) taking place in in Mumbai, India, is the principal international meeting in particle physics this year. It is the 25th Lepton Photon symposium in a series of conferences that alternate yearly with the International High Energy Physics (ICHEP) meetings. It is taking place at the Tata Institute for…

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone It is a special time in particle physics with many results from all areas of our field. There are many results from Fermilab, and we’re beginning to see the early data from the LHC. Hints on the Higgs that come from the LHC will be checked quickly, since the doubling time for the LHC data is only a couple of months – if that much. Many new results from the LHC were presented at the European…

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone We are approaching the end of the fiscal year. All machines have run well, despite many difficult weather-related issues this summer. The heat and humidity have been extreme, limiting our ability to cool many components. The thunderstorms brought additional problems. A large power failure about a week ago brought the complex down hard. It took a large effort to bring accelerators and detectors back up to full production. The Tevatron has already produced more than 2.2…

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone The agreement to raise the debt ceiling has removed a specter that hung not only over the laboratory, but over all our lives. It has been difficult over the last weeks to take our minds off the struggles in the capital over reducing the federal deficit. Many of the old timers in Washington have suggested that these weeks have been the most difficult and polarized ever. We studied many financial “what if” scenarios for the laboratory,…

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone A number of important events occurred last week. On Monday, the Honorable Chaka Fattah visited the laboratory, accompanied by Bill Brinkman and DOE staff. Rep. Fattah is a senior member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. A devoted public servant, Rep. Fattah has represented Pennsylvania in Washington since 1983. His visit gave us an opportunity to tour the laboratory, showing him some of the experiments and facilities. We also had a lively discussion about our plans…