The University of Chicago News Office
Feb. 9, 2006 Press Contact: Steve Koppes
(773) 702-8366

URA and the University of Chicago announce partnership for the management of Fermilab

Additional contact:

Ezra Heitowit, URA

Related Citations:
“U.S. seeks bids on managing Fermilab, Argonne”
[chicago sun-times]
Feb. 10, 2006

“University of Chicago partners with research consortium on Fermilab bid”
[chicago tribune]
Feb. 10, 2006

Universities Research Association, Inc. (URA) and the University of Chicago have jointly announced today the formation of their partnership to bid for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) contract to manage the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), home of the Tevatron, the world’s highest energy particle accelerator.

“The partnership of URA and the University of Chicago will create a robust new organization to be proposed to DOE for the management and operation of Fermilab beginning in January 2007,” observed URA President Fred Bernthal. “This partnership will not only enhance the management of Fermilab, it will facilitate synergies between Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab in frontier research in particle physics, astrophysics and high-performance computing, as well as in launching major new programs such as the proposed International Linear Collider and the Rare Isotope Accelerator.”

"URA has successfully managed the creation and operation of Fermilab for the Department of Energy and has compiled an impressive record of accomplishments at the Laboratory,” said Don Randel, President of The University of Chicago. “Our partnership will combine URA’s strength in broad national and international institutional representation with the University’s depth of expertise and infrastructure for the management of large academic, medical, and research enterprises, including Argonne. The University also brings to the partnership its strong ties to the Chicago region and the State of Illinois.”

For their proposal to DOE for the management of Fermilab, the partners will establish a new nonprofit Limited Liability Company (LLC). The partners will also engage the other leading research universities in the region - Illinois Institute of Technology, Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Fermilab is a one of the world’s leading centers for scientific research in elementary particle physics and astrophysics. The Laboratory has a staff of about 2,000 employees on a 6,800-acre site near Batavia, Illinois, about 30 miles west of Chicago. Some 3,000 scientists from 260 universities and laboratories in 37 states and 31 countries collaborate in Fermilab’s experiments to explore the fundamental nature of matter, energy, space and time, as well as the origin, evolution, and destiny of the Universe.

URA, a nonprofit consortium of 90 leading research-oriented universities, was founded in 1965 at the behest of President Lyndon Johnson's Science Advisory Committee and the National Academy of Sciences for the management and operation of research facilities in the national interest. Since 1967, URA has been the prime contractor to DOE for the creation and operation of Fermilab. Mindful of Fermilab’s large and diverse academic user base, URA has successfully provided direct participation of talent from around the country and the world to assist in the management and oversight of the Laboratory. During its nearly 40 year tenure as managing contractor, URA has guided Fermilab on a path to its present status as a preeminent center of scientific excellence.

The University of Chicago, a URA member university and one of the nation’s top research universities, has a long and distinguished record in the management and operation of major scientific research facilities. Since 1946, the University has been the prime contractor to DOE for management of Argonne National Laboratory. Argonne, one of DOE’s largest science and engineering research centers, is located in Illinois’ DuPage County, about 20 miles southeast of Fermilab. University of Chicago faculty and graduate students have been heavily involved in Fermilab research programs since the early days of the Laboratory, helping design and build the first detector for proton-antiproton collisions (CDF), leading major experiments, and initiating the astrophysics program and the Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory. Eight Fermilab scientists currently have joint appointments at the University of Chicago and teach and supervise graduate students.

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Last modified at 11:27 AM CST on Friday, February 10, 2006.

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