PULLMAN, Wash. — Students and faculty working in the area of environmental
biotechnology at Washington State University are getting a boost from Battelle Memorial
Institute and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland.
Eric Leber, manager of the laboratory’s college and university relations department,
presented the final $50,000 of a $250,000 gift for the Battelle Distinguished Professorship in
Bioprocessing and Microbiology to Dean of Sciences Leon Radziemski during the college’s
annual recognition event in April. The professorship resides in the colleges of engineering and
sciences and awaits matching funding from the state of Washington matching grant program.
The gift was initially pledged by Battelle in 1995. At that time, an additional $250,000 was given
by the Department of Energy to strengthen instruction and research in bioprocessing and
The gift also funded the Bill Wiley Distinguished Environmental Microbiology Seminar
Series, which focused on environmental microbiology and waste minimization. The series
honored the late William R. Wiley, former director of PNNL, WSU alumnus and member of the
Board of Regents, and molecular biologist who envisioned that a bio-tech focus could greatly
improve economic development of the Columbia Basin region. Other Battelle/DOE funds have
supported graduate students’ stipends, meetings, specialized short courses, research equipment,
internships and fellowships, and other enhancements to bioprocessing education at WSU.
Leber also presented a $15,000 check for the On-Line Learning Environment, a
multidisciplinary, multimedia system that provides teaching, learning and collaborative research
options, and a commitment to support a new course about the Hanford area. Partners in the OLE
project are WSU (Pullman and Tri-Cities), the University of Idaho, Columbia Basin College,
Heritage College and PNNL.