Chief Science and Technology Officer, Battelle Fellow
Energy and Environment Directorate
Chief Science and Technology Officer, Battelle Fellow
Energy and Environment Directorate

Sue B. Clark is the Chief Science and Technology Officer and a Battelle Fellow in the Energy and Environment Directorate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She is jointly appointed at PNNL and at Washington State University, where she is a Regents Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. In this joint appointment, she leads a research effort focused on the chemistry and chemical engineering of processing nuclear materials.

Dr. Clark is an internationally renowned environmental radiochemist who has published more than 120 peer-reviewed papers focused on actinides in the environment, chemistry of high-level radioactive waste systems, and radioanalytical chemistry. At WSU, she developed the radiochemistry program in the Chemistry Department. She joined PNNL in January 2015 to lead multiple nuclear science initiatives. Since becoming CSTO in September 2017, she also is responsible for stewarding institutional investments in energy and environment research and development.

Her current research areas include chemistry of radioactive waste systems, environmental chemistry, actinide separations, and radioanalytical chemistry. Her research support includes grants and contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science and National Nuclear Security Administration.

She joined PNNL as a joint appointee in January 2015. She began her academic career at WSU in the Chemistry Department in 1996 as an Assistant Professor, and served as Department Chair (Aug. 2005 - Dec. 2007). She also served as Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the WSU Tri-Cities campus from Jan. 2008 - Aug. 2008, and Interim Dean of the College of Sciences (WSU system-wide) from July - Dec. 2010. Previously, she held an appointment to the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, appointed by President Barack Obama (2011-2014).

Professor Clark is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Chemical Society (ACS). She was honored by ACS with the 2020 Glenn T. Seaborg Award for Nuclear Chemistry and is the 2012 recipient of ACS's Garvan-Olin Medal. She is also an elected member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences and serves on its board of directors. She served as an elected member of the Governing Board for the U.S. Council for Chemical Research from 2009 to 2011. She also served on the National Academy's Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board from 2004 to 2009, and was a member of many of the study committees established by the Board. She served on the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee for the U.S. DOE (2003 - 2011), and has served as a consultant to Battelle Memorial Institute and the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers.

She holds a BS degree in Chemistry from Lander College (Greenwood, SC) and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Chemistry from Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL). Prior to joining Washington State University, she was an Assistant Research Ecologist at the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (1992-1996), and Senior Scientist at Westinghouse Savannah River Company's Savannah River Technology Center (1989-1992).

Research Interests

  • Chemical engineering of processing nuclear materials
  • Actinide separations
  • Radioanalytical chemistry

Education and Credentials

  • Bachelor's Degree, Chemistry, Lander College
  • Master's Degree, Inorganic/Radiochemistry, The Florida State University
  • Doctorate, Inorganic/Radiochemistry, The Florida State University

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, which advises Congress and the DOE Secretary on the technical issues associated with the management of the nation’s high-level radioactive waste and DOE-owned spent nuclear fuel (Appointed by President Obama, served 2011-2014)
  • U.S. Council for Chemical Research, board member (2009-2011)
  • National Research Council's Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board (2005-2009)
  • National Research Council's Board of Radioactive Waste Management (2004-2005); also served on associated study committees
  • DOE Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (2003-2011)
  • Fellow, American Chemical Society (2010)
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Elected member and board member, Washington State Academy of Sciences; chair-elect, Membership Committee

Awards and Recognitions

  • American Chemical Society, Glenn T. Seaborg Award for Nuclear Chemistry (2020)
  • American Chemical Society, Garvan-Olin Medal for her research activities and advocacy for advancing women chemists (2012)
  • Fink Distinguished Lecturer, Georgia Institute of Technology's Department of Chemistry (2008)
  • Westinghouse Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, WSU (2002-2008)

PNNL Publications

  • Lines AM, GL Nelson, AJ Casella, JM Bello, SB Clark, and SA Bryan. 2018. "Multivariate Analysis To Quantify Species in the Presence of Direct Interferents: Micro-Raman Analysis of HNO3 in Microfluidic Devices." Analytical Chemistry 90(4):2548-2554.  doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.7b03833
  • Peterson RA, EC Buck, J Chun, RC Daniel, DL Herting, ES Ilton, GJ Lumetta, and SB Clark. 2018. "Review of the Scientific Understanding of Radioactive Waste at the U.S. DOE Hanford Site." Environmental Science & Technology 52(2):381-396.  doi:10.1021/acs.est.7b04077
  • Zhang X, W Cui, K Page, CI Pearce, ME Bowden, TR Graham, Z Shen, P Li, Z Wang, SN Kerisit, AT N'Diaye, SB Clark, and KM Rosso. 2018. "Size and Morphology Controlled Synthesis of Boehmite Nanoplates and Crystal Growth Mechanisms." Crystal Growth & Design 18(6):3596-3606.  doi:10.1021/acs.cgd.8b00394
  • Hu JZ, X Zhang, NR Jaegers, C Wan, TR Graham, MY Hu, CI Pearce, AR Felmy, SB Clark, and KM Rosso. 2017. "Transitions in Al Coordination During Gibbsite Crystallization Using High-Field 27Al and 23Na MAS NMR Spectroscopy." Journal of Physical Chemistry C 121(49):27555-27565.  doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.7b10424
  • Morrison SS, SB Clark, TA Eggemeyer, EC Finn, CC Hines, MD King, LA Metz, SM Morley, M Snow, DE Wall, and BN Seiner. 2017. "Activation Product Analysis in a Mixed Sample Containing Both Fission and Neutron Activation Products." Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 314(3):2501-2506.  doi:10.1007/s10967-017-5563-9
  • Morrison SS, CL Beck, JM Bowen, TA Eggemeyer, CC Hines, M Liezers, LA Metz, SM Morley, KR Restis, M Snow, DE Wall, SB Clark, and BN Seiner. 2017. "Determination of tungsten in geochemical reference material basalt Columbia River 2 by radiochemical neutron activation analysis and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry." Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 311(1):749-754.  doi:10.1007/s10967-016-5065-1
  • Snow M, SS Morrison, SB Clark, J Olson, and M Watrous. 2017. "237Np Analytical Method using 239Np Tracers and Application to a Contaminated Nuclear Disposal Facility." Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 172:89-95.  doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2017.02.018
  • Zhang X, X Zhang, TR Graham, CI Pearce, BL Mehdi, AT N'Diaye, SN Kerisit, ND Browning, SB Clark, and KM Rosso. 2017. "Fast Synthesis of Gibbsite Nanoplates and Process Optimization using Box-Behnken Experimental Design." Crystal Growth & Design 17(12):6801-6808.  doi:10.1021/acs.cgd.7b01400
  • Clark SB, MV Buchanan, and B Wilmarth. 2016. Basic Research Needs for Environmental Management. PNNL-25166, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Lines AM, Z Wang, SB Clark, and SA Bryan. 2016. "Electrochemistry and Spectroelectrochemistry of Luminescent Europium complexes." Electroanalysis 28(9):2109-2117.  doi:10.1002/elan.201600034
  • McDonald LW, JA Campbell, T Vercouter, and SB Clark. 2016. "Characterization of Actinides Complexed to Nuclear Fuel Constituents using ESI-MS." Analytical Chemistry 88:2614-2621.  doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.5b03352
  • McDonald LW, IV, JA Campbell, and SB Clark. 2014. "Failure of ESI Spectra to Represent Metal-Complex Solution Composition: A Study of Lanthanide-Carboxylate Complexes." Analytical Chemistry 86(2):1023-1029.  doi:10.1021/ac401751r
  • Samuels AC, CA Boele, KT Bennett, SB Clark, N Wall, and AE Clark. 2014. "Integrated Computational and Experimental Protocol for Understanding Rh(III) Speciation in Hydrochloric and Nitric Acid Solutions." Inorganic Chemistry 53(23):12315-12322.  doi:10.1021/ic501408r
  • Douglas M, SB Clark, JI Friese, BW Arey, EC Buck, and BD Hanson. 2005. "Neptunium(V) Partitioning to Uranium(VI) Oxide and Peroxide Solids." Environmental Science and Technology 39(11):4117-4124.