Joel Butler's Home Page

Contact Information
Email (work related) or
Email (non work related)
Mailing address Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Wilson Hall, MS 205
Box 500,
Batavia, IL 60510
Office Address Fermilab, Wilson Hall 11 th Floor, West Side
CERN, Building 42-2-033
Phone (+1)630-651-4619 (US mobile); (+1) 630-840-3148 (US office)
+41 75 411 4981 (CERN mobile)
SKYPE joel_butler
FAX 630-840-2194

Brief Biography:

Joel Butler, senior research scientist (Scientist 3), at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, has worked on the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva Switzerland since 2005. In 2005-2007, he led the US effort to complete the forward pixel detector (FPIX). He then became manager of the US CMS Operations Program, which is funded by the US DOE and NSF and consists of the approximately 50 US institutes on CMS with more than 450 Ph.D. physicists and over 200 graduate students. During his tenure from 2007 through 2014, CMS, with major contributions from its US groups, completed the installation and commissioning of the CMS detector, began data taking at 7 and 8 TeV center-of-mass energy, commissioned and operated its very large computational grid, and took and analyzed record amounts of data. The crowning achievement of this period was the discovery of the Higgs boson, announced in July of 2012. In addition, Joel served as CMS Deputy Upgrade Coordinator from 2008-2012 and superintended the writing of the Phase 1 Techncial Proposal that described the upgrade path that will enable CMS to sustain collision rates that the LHC now expects to achieve through 2024 and that go well beyond CMS' initial design. Also in this period, the US conducted a successful R&D effort for the Phase 1 Upgrade and earned Critical Decision 1 and 2 for the project from the US DOE and comparable approval from the NSF. In 2014 and 2015, Joel helped coordinate the Computing, Software and Analysis Challenge (CSA14) in preparation for the new data run which has just started at 13 TeV and served as one of the editor/writers of the Phase 2 Techncial Proposal and associated Scope Document that defined the upgrade that will be needed for CMS to operate efficiently with even higher collision rates now envisioned from 2026-2036.

Before joining CMS, Joel held many leadership and management positions in the Fermilab administration and in the Fermilab scientific program. He earned his bachleors degree in Physics from Harvard in 1969 and his Ph.D. in Experimental Particle Physics in 1975. After post-docs at MIT and University of Illinois, he joined Fermilab to develop a new wideband photon/electron beam and a new photproduction experiment to study charm particle properties with it. The photon beam was completed successfully in 1985 and two experiments, E687 of which he was co-spokesperson, and E831/FOCUS took data preiodically from 1988-1997 and produced many excellent results on charmed particle spectroscopy and decays. In addition to designing the photon beam and managing its construction, during this period he managed external beam operations, electrical support, and beam instrumentation and control systems. He actively contributed to detector work on particle identification, tracking, and triggering. Having worked on early computing clusters for E687, Joel became one of the founders of the Fermilab Computing Division, serving as Associate head, Deputy head, and eventually Division head (from 1994-1998). From 1998-2000, he participated in the MONARC (Models of Networked Analysis at Regional Centres for LHC Analysis) Project, where he led the Architectural Working group that wrote down the original "tiered" computing model for the LHC exeriments. He then led the successful effort to secure funding for the US CMS Computing Project. In the period from 1995-2005, Joel served as co-spokesperson (with Sheldon Stone of Syracuse University) of the BTeV Experiment, a dedicated B physics experiment for the Fermilab Tevatron. After passing all technical and scientific reviews, BTeV was terminated by the Office of Science in favor of a change of direction in the US program. During this period, Joel served as an Associate Head of the Fermilab Particle Physics Division and an Assistant head in the Accelerator Division.

Joel has served on many particle physics review committeees. He was a member of the High Energy Advisory Panel (HEPAP) Subpanel on the Future of High Energy Physics in 1994 that had to redefine the US program after the termiantion of the Superconducting Supercollider by the US Congress and a similar committee for the NSF. He served on HEPAP itself from 2003-2005 and onthe NSF Special Emphasis Panel on High Energy Physics from 1994-1998, on the BELLE/KEK International Advisory Committee and the CLEO/CESR Program Advisory Committee. Among the projects and experiments he has reviewed are ICECUBE, LIGO, DUSEL (chair), RSVP, GLAST (now FermiLAT), SNAP/JDEM, and the NSF Deep Underground Panel(chair). He chaired the SLAC computer advisory commmittee from 1993-1999 and has served on reviews of Jefferson Lab anbd Brookhaven lab. He has been a member of the visiting committee for the Laborratory of Nuclear Science at MIT as well as on the review committee for the MIT Physics Department. He has been involved in many workshops including the Snowmass 2013 Community Study and the DOE Intensity Frontier Workshop in 2013. Most recently, he has been a member of the NSF P5 Implementation Subcommittee.

Most of Joel's physics research efforts have gone into heavy flavor, i.e. bottom and charm, physics, focused on spectroscopy and rare decays. A recent accomplishment was the editing/co-authoring of a paper that appeared in Nature presenting combined CMS and LHCb observation and branching fraction measurements of the rare decay Bs to dimuons. He is also a SUSY conference talk reviewer and have served on 15 CMS analysis review committees, chairing 8, in B Physics, Heavy Ion Physics, Forward Physics, and detector upgrades.

Page maintained by J. Butler

Last Revised: December 30, 2015
title: Joel Butler's Home Page