A welcoming host for DUNE

Wilson Hall at Fermilab. Credit: Fermilab

Fermilab has decades of experience hosting large collaboration meetings, international conferences and  dozens of visiting scientists from around the world. But LBNF/DUNE is a new level of “big,” and Fermilab wants to ensure a proper welcome for the more-than-1000 neutrino physicists from around the world that will conduct great science both onsite and 800 miles away at the Sanford Underground Research Facility.  A working group, formed last fall by the lab’s directorate, is examining the range of amenities and services that the host must be ready to provide.

Chris Mossey, who serves as both LBNF Project Director and Fermilab Deputy Lab Director for LBNF, and Tim Meyer, Fermilab’s Chief Operating Officer, chair this Host Lab Working Group.  The group holds monthly meetings to coordinate progress while also tasking multiple subgroups to analyze situations and make policy or resource recommendations.

“We are aiming to understand and be prepared meet the collaboration’s and project’s expectations,” said Meyer. “There are issues of all kinds to address — international, legal, finance, training, partnerships and agreements, facilities, accommodations… the list goes on.  As the host lab, we want to make everything clear and straightforward for the scientists, engineers, and technicians who arrive so that they can be productive and effective – and have a good experience.”

About 15 people, including scientists both at Fermilab and remote, project team members, subject matter experts, and facility leadership make up the core group, with another 30 or 40 people in the subgroups.

“This is a complex, multi-dimensional issue with many aspects that we have to get right in order that we get the best science from DUNE,” said Steve Brice, head of Fermilab’s Neutrino Division and a DUNE collaborator.

“We just haven’t done anything before on the scale of the LBNF/DUNE,” said Meyer. “There will be many new faces, and we want to be warm and welcoming to everybody. The little things that you do to make people feel at home can make a big difference.”