December 10, 2004  


Pier Oddone to Become New Fermilab Director

By Nina Adelman Stolar

Officials of Universities Research Association, the consortium that operates Fermilab, recently announced the appointment of Piermaria Oddone as Fermilab’s next director. Currently the deputy director of LBNL, Oddone looks forward to the opportunity to serve as FNAL’s director.

Pier Oddone (Photo courtesy of Fermilab)

High energy physics has remained Oddone’s first scientific love, and in talking about the move to Fermilab he stressed his desire to contribute to this field at a pivotal point in history. He sees his time overseeing all scientific programs at LBNL as a real advantage.

"We are living in a time of remarkable opportunity for particle physics," Oddone said. "The next few years will bring a revolution in our understanding of the universe. As one of the world’s great physics laboratories, FNAL will make vital contributions to the discoveries ahead. I am excited and honored to lead this unique laboratory during such an extraordinary era."

Oddone will succeed Michael Witherell on July 1, 2005. Witherell, FNAL director since 1999, will become vice chancellor for research at UC Santa Barbara. Witherell praised Oddone’s appointment as his successor.

"I am very pleased that Pier Oddone has agreed to be the next FNAL director," Witherell said. "I have had the pleasure of knowing him as a friend and colleague for many years. Pier is a superb physicist who has years of experience managing science at another great laboratory. He understands that the advance of particle physics in the U.S. and in the world depends on strong leadership from FNAL. This is a terrific choice. I look forward to working closely with him during the months ahead to ensure a smooth transition."

Oddone and SLAC

By Nina Adelman Stolar

For the invention of the Asymmetric B Factory, Oddone was recently awarded the 2005 W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in experimental particle physics by the American Physical Society.

Oddone has been an active member of the SLAC user community. He was the Scientific Coordinator of the Positron Electron Project (PEP) until 1982, and a member of the Time Projection Chamber collaboration at PEP. Oddone was also one of the founding members of the BABAR collaboration at PEP-II.

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"Pier Oddone is an exceptional choice to lead Fermilab as we enter a truly new and exciting era of particle physics," said SLAC Director Jonathan Dorfan. "Pier and I have been friends, colleagues and collaborators for more than 20 years and I can attest to his outstanding scientific qualifications and his consummate skill as a manager. I look forward to continuing and strengthening our strong partnership with FNAL under Pier’s leadership." Dorfan added, "at the same time, I want to thank Michael Witherell, as outgoing Director, for his enormous contributions to U.S. particle physics and to wish him and Beth a successful return to UC Santa Barbara. "

Oddone was born in Peru and speaks fluent Spanish and Italian. He graduated from MIT and received a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University. Following a post-doctoral fellowship at Cal Tech, Oddone moved to Berkeley, where he worked on experiments at FNAL, LBNL and SLAC. Oddone was director of the Physics Division at Berkeley Lab from 1987-91 and has been deputy director of LBNL since 1989.

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Last update Thursday December 09, 2004 by Emily Ball