Nuclear Science and Technology Institute

Our Nation needs sustained scientific and technological innovation to prevent the use of illicit nuclear materials, resolve issues in nuclear waste management, and advance next-generation nuclear energy. The WSU-PNNL Nuclear Science and Technology Institute leverages the unique capabilities of both institutions to help the United States maintain leadership in nuclear science, thereby keeping the country secure through innovations in science and technology and develop a highly competitive regional and national workforce.

The Institute achieves its mission through collaborative research and education programs carried out in shared facilities on the WSU and PNNL campuses in Washington state. The Institute expands on current WSU-PNNL collaborations in nuclear science and technology, including the Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments and Materials (IDREAM) center, the PNNL-WSU Distinguished Graduate Research Program, and numerous joint appointments between the two organizations.

The Institute is building a sustainable pipeline of nuclear science and technology experts to enable nuclear nonproliferation, support Hanford Site waste cleanup, develop novel radiation-resilient materials for industry, enhance research capacity in the state to meet the needs of federal and industry sponsors, and grow the region’s reputation and prominence in nuclear science.

The Institute will increase the number of WSU graduate students who have the opportunity to work with PNNL staff and be mentored in a broader diversity of methods and techniques. WSU students can complete their coursework in Pullman and perform part of their research working towards their doctorate thesis using facilities at both PNNL and WSU.


Jim Boncella
Professor, Department of Chemistry
Washington State University

Neil Henson
Scientist, Chemistry of Nuclear Materials Group
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Governance Board

  • Christopher Keane – Vice President for Research, WSU
  • Todd Butler – Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, WSU
  • Courtney Meehan – Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, WSU
  • Tony Peurrung – Deputy Director of Science and Technology, PNNL
  • Deborah Gracio – Associate Laboratory Director, National Security Directorate, PNNL
  • Sandra Haynes – Chancellor, WSU Tri-Cities
  • Mary Rezac – Dean, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, WSU
  • Bob Runkle – Director, Signature Science & Technology Division, PNNL
  • Chris Deeney – Chief Science and Technology Officer, National Security Directorate, PNNL
  • Sue Clark – Chief Science and Technology Officer, Energy & Environment Directorate, PNNL