Director’s Corner

Solidarity

Pier Oddone It is impossible to write a column this week on anything other than the grave tragedy that has occurred in Japan. Our hearts and prayers go to all our friends and colleagues in Japan in these difficult hours. Our high-energy physics community is tightly knit. Over the years we’ve made many friends in the Japanese physics community as we have worked together on very challenging projects. Last year we celebrated a remarkable 30 years of collaboration across a…

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone As part of the DOE budget process, last week we presented the program of the laboratory to the Office of High Energy Physics (OHEP) under three budget scenarios for the fiscal years 2011 through 2015. The guidance for these scenarios came from OHEP. The lowest scenario was one in which the program was cut by 5 percent in FY2012 relative to the FY2010 enacted level and stayed flat, without inflation adjustments, through FY2015. The middle scenario…

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone As I head to Washington to present our budget to DOE for the 2013 fiscal year, I want to let you know that Fermilab would not immediately be affected by a government shutdown, and to set the record straight regarding impacts on staff of proposed budget cuts. As you know, the federal government is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution that expires this Friday, March 4. If Congress does not either pass a budget for this…

Support

The Honorable Richard Durbin visited Argonne National Laboratory on Monday, Feb. 28. Photo: Courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory During the last week we have had two important visits by our legislators. Last week the Honorable Randy Hultgren visited the laboratory and spent an hour with senior managers hearing about our contributions to science and our plans for the future. We appreciated his visit very much in this season of great uncertainty. Representative Hultgren explained his support and enthusiasm for the…

Edit

CERN physicist Leszek Ropelewski, left, shows a collection of detectors to Fermilab Director Pier Oddone, center, and CERN Director-General Rolf Heuer, right, in an EDIT laboratory. Photo: courtesy of CERN. When I visited CERN two weeks ago Rolf Heuer and I had the opportunity to get a guided tour of the particle detector school EDIT, “Excellence in Detectors and Instrumentation Technologies”. This was quite a remarkable event and is described in yesterday’s issue of Fermilab Today. We are planning to…

Budgets

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone We live with a great deal of tension waiting for the resolution of various budgets. February is the month when everything piles up: actions by Congress on the budget for the current fiscal year, FY11; the FY12 budget that the President proposed yesterday to Congress; and preparations for the FY13 budget that DOE has started developing. We’ll start with the FY13 budget. We have received guidance from DOE on the scenarios that we should use to…

Shared vision

ICFA writing group: Barbara Warmbein, DESY; Judy Jackson, Fermilab; Rika Takahashi, KEK; Pier Oddone, Fermilab; Sachio Komamiya, U of Tokyo; James Gillies, CERN; Joachim Mnich, DESY; and Tim Meyer, TRIUMF. Last July, at the meeting of the International Committee of Future Accelerators that I missed because of my daughter’s wedding, I was elected to chair a committee to produce a document with a shared global vision for particle physics. The document should be easily accessible to policy makers, funding agencies…

FALC

Members of FALC, the informal group for communication among principal particle physics funding agencies worldwide, at a meeting in January. FALC has been a useful informal avenue for communication among the principal funding agencies that support particle physics in the world. Starting last year, the Director of KEK, Atsuto Suzuki, and I were added to this group in order to have one laboratory director from each of the three major regions, the Americas, Europe and Asia. Up to that point,…

Organization

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone Organization charts convey a lot of information about the structure of institutions and how they function. The charts evolve as institutions advance and circumstances change. Our last major revision of how we display our organization was for the contract competition in 2006. When we look at that organization chart five years later we realize that several areas need tidying up. At the top level today there are four major sectors in our laboratory: particle physics, accelerators,…

Fermilab Director Pier Oddone President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s quote that “Plans are nothing; planning is everything” is right on target for particle physics. Our circumstances change quickly in response to new physics observations, budget changes in the middle of the fiscal year or unexpected agency decisions such as the recent failure to secure interim funding for DUSEL. Reacting quickly and adjusting our plans to re-optimize our program is a necessity. We want to elevate our game in this regard, and…