Gert Patello is Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Environmental and Molecular Science Laboratory (EMSL) and group leader for the EMSL Management and Operations group. Dr. Patello received her PhD in Ceramics from Alfred University under the direction of Associate Professor Gary Fischman.   

Since joining the PNNL in 1993, Dr. Patello has worked as a research scientist, project manager, line manager, sector manager, project management office director, and presently as EMSL’s COO. Prior to this role, Dr. Patello managed PNNL’s Isotope Program as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science Isotope program providing leadership and strategic direction in alignment with the DOE Isotope program’s mission. Dr. Patello has led or participated in strategic planning efforts related to PNNL’s Radiochemical Processing Laboratory, the Reinventing Chemical Catalysis Laboratory Objective, and the Marine and Coastal Research Laboratory. She is a current member of the Fusion Energy Science Advisory Committee, which provides independent advice to the Director of the Office of Science on complex scientific and technological issues that arise in the fusion energy sciences program.  


  • PhD in Ceramics, Alfred University.  

  • BS in Ceramic Engineering, Alfred University 

  • Certified Project Management Professional 

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Fusion Energy Science Advisory Committee, DOE

  • Project Management Institute

Awards and Recognitions

  • 20 PNNL Outstanding Performance Awards, PNNL (1999 – 2020) 

  • PS&E Award for Strategic Business Development for Nuclear Fuel Cell Project with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (2004) 

  • Nominee, Woman of Achievement, PNNL (2000, 2001)