Berkeley Lab Media Advisory
Contact: Lynn Yarris, (510) 486-5375, [email protected] November 19, 2004

BERKELEY, CA Piermaria Oddone, deputy director for scientific programs at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), has been named to be the next director of DOE's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). The appointment is effective July 1, 2005. Oddone, 60, will be the fifth director of Fermilab, succeeding Michael Witherell who has been Fermilab's director since 1999. Oddone, an award-winning high-energy physicist most noted for his invention of the B Factory, an asymmetric particle collider, has been affiliated with Berkeley Lab for more than 30 years and served as deputy director since 1989.

IMAGE: Pier Oddone giving a presentation
Berkeley Lab Deputy Director Pier Oddone recently won the 2005 Panofsky prize in experimental physics for his invention of the Asymmetric B Factory. Now, he has been named to be the next director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, one of the world's premier experimental physics facilities.

"I congratulate Pier on this splendid opportunity to lead Fermilab," said Berkeley Lab Director Steve Chu. "Pier has distinguished himself throughout the country for his excellent scientific judgment and leadership skills. He is also a person of warmth and humanity. I am delighted for both him and Fermilab, and I am sure he will be an excellent Fermi lab Director. I'm sorry that Berkeley Lab and I personally won't continue to have the benefit of his wisdom and energy. However, while I regret that Pier will be leaving us, his appointment speaks well for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and its ability to nurture the future leader of a very distinguished national laboratory."

Former Berkeley Lab director Charles Shank, who appointed Oddone to the deputy director position, also had praise for the Fermilab announcement. "Berkeley Lab owes a great debt to Pier for all he has done," Shank said. "His hands can be found on virtually every success this lab has had during the last decade and a half. I am thrilled for Fermilab and the field of particle physics to have a person of such distinction leading the country's premier high energy physics laboratory."

Located in Batavia, Illinois, about 45 miles west of Chicago, Fermilab has a staff of about 2,200 and an annual budget in excess of $300 million. It is home to the Tevatron, a four miles in circumference particle accelerator that is the world's reigning champion for producing high-energy particle collisions. Fermilab is operated by the Universities Research Association, Inc., a consortium of 90 research universities that has operated the laboratory since its founding in 1967.

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

A press release issued by Fermilab about this appointment can be viewed at