October 27, 2022
Staff Accomplishment

Fall Pathways to Excellence Event Celebrates PNNL Staff Achievements

Recognition highlights scientific and engineering accomplishments, operational strength, and STEM outreach

PNNL sign

Fall Pathways to Excellence Event Celebrates PNNL Staff Achievements

(Photo by Andrea Starr | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

On September 7, 2022, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s (PNNL’s) fall Pathway to Excellence award ceremony celebrated nearly 50 staff who received Laboratory Director’s Awards for their contributions to science, engineering, operations, and STEM education.

Among the Lab Director's Science and Engineering Achievement Award winners, three researchers received the Ronald L. Brodzinski Award for Early Career Exceptional Achievement.

  • Chemist Jordan Corbey was recognized for her work advancing characterization techniques for actinide-containing compounds.
  • Systems Engineer Gokul Iyer was recognized for pioneering modeling work on interactions between the energy, water, land, and socioeconomic sectors, and for advancing research on deep decarbonization.
  • Materials Scientist Steven Spurgeon was recognized for leadership in artificial intelligence-driven material discovery and design.

Physicist Jim De Yoreo received the Laboratory Director's Award for Individual Lifetime Achievement in Science and Technology for his contributions to advancing materials synthesis and characterization, particularly in crystal growth, self-assembly, and in situ imaging.

Materials Scientist Jie Xiao was honored with the Laboratory Director’s Award for Exceptional Scientific Achievement for her work integrating material science and electrochemistry for emerging electrochemical energy storage.

Mechanical Engineer Scott Whalen was recognized with the Laboratory Director’s Award for Exceptional Engineering Achievement for the development, growth, and industry adoption of Shear Assisted Processing and Extrusion (ShAPETM) for solid phase processing.

The Enhanced Geothermal Systems Collaboration team of Jeff BurghardtTim C. JohnsonHunter KnoxChris Strickland, and Mark White received the Laboratory Director’s Award for Exceptional Team Achievement in Science and Engineering for answering a DOE Grand Challenge and reaching two milestones in the distribution of knowledge throughout the geoscience’s community.

Four researchers were awarded the Laboratory Director's Award for Outstanding Contributions to STEM Education to inspire the next generation of the future STEM workforce.

  • Materials Scientist Leo Fifield was recognized for his STEM Teaching and Mentoring.
  • Biologist John Vavrinec was recognized for his STEM Community Engagement and Outreach.
  • Cybersecurity Analyst Lisa Campbell and Cyber Security Engineer Penny McKenzie were recognized for their STEM Thought Leadership and Innovation.

An additional 33 staff members were also honored with Lab Director’s Awards for Operational Excellence for their outstanding contributions to enabling transformational science and engineering at PNNL.

  • Communications Specialist Melanie Johnston received the Laboratory Director’s Awards for Institutional Achievement in Management and Operations.
  • Operations Specialist Dan Nelson was awarded the Laboratory Director’s Award for Outstanding Support for Science and Engineering Technical Achievement.
  • Assistant General Counsel Steve Cooke earned the Laboratory Director’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Operational Excellence.
  • A team of national security staff was also awarded the Laboratory Director’s Award for Outstanding Support for Programmatic Mission Achievement. Team members include Deanna Alegria, Wendy Asmund, Kerry Bass, Eric Baumann, Brandon Black, Randy Dykes, Casey Emery, Samantha Ernst, Erika Frederick, Kevin Heaton, Katie Henderson, Katie Holton, Beverly Jennings, Rolando Lara, Andrea Luther, Cory Miller, Paula Miller, Ivan Mugisha, Kyle Olivier, Alyssa Owens, Leandra Peterson, Tristan Pope, Kayla Remington, Kenneth Short, Megan Smith, Gene Stott, Juanita Tabuyo-Gallegos, Susan Turner, Gabriel Valencia, and Joanie Walker.