WSU Grad Students and PNNL: A Winning Combination

Over the years, doctoral candidates have interned at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, conducting research in areas ranging from energy to national security to fundamental science. Some students have even co-authored scientific papers and presented at conferences before completing their doctorate.

But now, the Department of Energy lab and Washington State University are upping the ante with a formalized program that enhances the benefits to both institutions.

Twelve doctoral candidates have been selected to participate in the PNNL-WSU Distinguished Graduate Research Program that will put them to work in the lab to gain valuable and relevant research experience. The benefit to PNNL goes far beyond an extra pair of hands in the lab.

"These doctoral students are not only bright, they will come with new questions and ideas that will enhance the culture of creativity and innovation at the Lab," said Malin Young, deputy director for science and technology at PNNL. "We have dozens of researchers who are excited to host and mentor WSU graduate students in these areas of vital national importance."

WSU graduate students may pursue research related to clean energy, chemistry, environmental sustainability, national security and biotechnology — or other areas of PNNL's broad range of capabilities.

PNNL will provide the students' stipends and benefits. The participants are selected by both the lab and WSU, and it's anticipated the program will be an incentive to attract the best and brightest doctoral candidates. The graduate students will spend approximately two years at PNNL after completing their coursework at any of the WSU campuses.

"Engaging graduate students with the talented energy, environment, national security and fundamental science researchers at our institutions will increase the scientific and research capacity in our region," said Chris Keane, vice president for research at WSU.

The program adds to the long-standing partnership between the two institutions, which includes joint research programs and joint faculty appointments.

The first group of students is comprised of 12 current doctoral candidates who will begin work at PNNL this year. A new group of doctoral students is expected each year. This year's participants are:

  • Jenny Voss, Chemical Engineering
  • Nadia Panossian, Mechanical Engineering
  • Ernesto Martinez-Baez, Chemistry
  • Priyanka Ghosh, Computer Science
  • Christina Louie, Chemical Engineering
  • Justine Missik, Engineering Science
  • Xu Liu, Computer Science
  • Stephen Taylor, Soil Science
  • Trent Graham, Chemical Engineering
  • Isaac Johnson, Material Science & Engineering
  • Austin Winkelman, Chemistry
  • Anthony Kyzysko, Chemistry

Learn more on the PNNL-WSU Distinguished Graduate Research Program website.

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,400 staff and has an annual budget of nearly $1 billion. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.