Suresh Baskaran, director of research partnerships at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), has been elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences (WSAS) board of directors.
Baskaran was one of four directors that WSAS members elected in June to serve three-year terms. The terms begin Sept. 16, the same day as the 14th Annual Members’ Meeting.
Elected to the academy in 2016, Baskaran has been serving on the WSAS membership committee, where he is chair of the engineering and technology section committee. Baskaran joins PNNL’s Ruby Leung and PNNL retirees Don Baer (secretary), Allison Campbell (treasurer), and Ronald Thom (past president) on the board.
WSAS was established in 2006 to provide scientific and engineering assessments to inform public policymaking and to increase the impact of research in Washington. The academy has been increasingly involved in projects addressing important issues for the state. The WSAS board is responsible for the governance of the academy in support of its evolving mission to serve science in Washington.
Baskaran is responsible for PNNL’s strategic partnerships with academic institutions. He has worked with research organizations across PNNL to launch and grow five joint institutes between PNNL and universities in Washington and Oregon in critical areas for the state, region, and the nation. These institutes have advanced science and technology related to the electric grid, bioproducts, nuclear science and technology, materials science, and precision medicine. He streamlined national lab-university joint appointment processes and significantly expanded appointments with the University of Washington and Washington State University.
He also helped establish and grow collaborative graduate programs between PNNL and northwest research universities. Before this role, Baskaran was the chief science and technology officer for energy and environment, and the manager for energy efficiency, transportation, and renewable energy research programs at PNNL. Baskaran’s research has focused on new materials for automotive, microelectronic, and energy applications.
Baskaran earned his bachelor’s in metallurgy from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, his master’s in materials engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, and his doctorate in ceramic engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.