By Tushna Commissariat
Fermilab’s director, Pier Oddone (right, image courtesy Fermilab) announced yesterday that he is retiring, after heading one of the world’s biggest particle physics laboratories for eight years. Oddone will continue in his role as director until July 2013, which ought to give a committee appointed by the Fermi Research Alliance (FRA) board of directors, who manage the lab, plenty of time to find a suitable successor. Oddone joined Fermilab as its fifth director in 2005, after a long stint at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he also served as lab director for a time.
His time at Fermilab has been a busy and fruitful one, with many successes for the lab’s Tevatron collider, from contributions towards finding the Higgs boson to neutrino experiments, as well as research at the cosmic frontier.
“During Pier’s eight years as director, Fermilab has made remarkable contributions to the world’s understanding of particle physics,” says Robert Zimmer, chairman of the FRA board. “Pier’s leadership has ensured that Fermilab remains the centrepiece of particle physics research in the US, and that the laboratory’s facilities and resources are focused on ground-breaking discoveries.”
“Working with Fermilab’s employees and users from across the country and around the world is a wonderful experience. It has been an honour to partner with you over the past seven years to achieve significant milestones in the performance of our accelerators and detectors and in our contributions to the Large Hadron Collider,” says Oddone in an online message to Fermilab’s staff through their newsletter.
In September last year, the Tevatron accelerator was shut down. To find out more about life at Fermilab and the rather nomadic careers of particle physicists who worked there, tune in to the podcast put together by my colleague Margaret Harris, following visits to Fermilab and CERN. You can listen to the podcast here, or download it via this link.