PULLMAN, Wash. — James Petersen, Battelle Distinguished Professor of Bioprocessing in the Washington State University Department of Chemical Engineering and associate dean for Research and Graduate Programs in the College of Engineering and Architecture, has been named the vice provost for research at WSU. Petersen had been serving in the position on an interim basis since July 2002.

“I am very pleased that Jim has agreed to serve as vice provost for research,” said Provost Robert Bates. “In a very short time, as interim vice provost, he has measurably advanced the research agenda for the university through strong support for research faculty, and the creation of new opportunities and development of a number of new programs that will support individual and collaborative research. His strong support for research, demonstrated success in generating external support from a variety of federal agencies, as well as his commitment to building collaborative research and graduate education programs, makes him an ideal individual to advance the mission of the research office.”

Petersen came to WSU in 1979 and was appointed director of the National Science Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training Program, Center for Multiphase Environmental Research, in 1996. He has been serving as associate dean for Research and Graduate Programs since August 2000.

Petersen also served as the interim executive director of the Inland Northwest Research Alliance, a consortium of regional universities established to address environmental research and other scientific issues in cooperation with the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory from December 1999 – June 2001.

One of WSU’s leading researchers, Petersen’s work has focused on developing bioremediation models to control environmental contamination. The National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Washington Technology Center and other federal agencies have funded his research.

A 1976 graduate of Montana State University, Petersen earned his doctorate in chemical engineering from Iowa State University in 1979.