New head of Office for National Laboratory Partnerships appointed

Closeup of Jonathan Male.
Jonathan Male

Washington State University’s Office of Research has appointed Jonathan Male as the assistant vice chancellor for research and director of the systemwide Office for National Laboratory Partnerships. He assumed the new role on Feb. 27.

Male will develop and support systemwide programs in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories, other federally funded research and development centers, and similar major national and international research centers, publicly or privately funded. He will also oversee the development of strategic partnership areas between Washington State University and the partnering institution, including energy innovation, national security, and earth and biological systems. Male will also work with WSU’s Office of Research Advancement and Partnerships to advance WSU research in various areas of science, technology, and engineering.

“I am excited to welcome Jonathan Male to the Office of Research and the Office of National Laboratory Partnerships. Jonathan’s career experience fits well with our plans to grow WSU collaborations with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and other partners,” said Christopher Keane, vice president for research at WSU and vice chancellor for research at WSU Pullman.

WSU and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have strengthened their partnership over the past five years by combining their scientific, research, and academic capabilities to drive innovation and address science, technology, and engineering problems with high social impact. The partnership has resulted in three WSU-PNNL Joint Institutes, the WSU-PNNL Joint Appointment Program, and the Distinguished Graduate Research Program (DGRP).

Male previously held a variety of research and management positions at PNNL from 2006–13, including lab relationship manager for Bioenergy, management and operational detail with the Office of Biomass Program, and scientist with projects in aftertreatment catalysts, scintillators, and renewable chemicals. He rejoined PNNL in the Energy Processes and Materials Division in May 2020, and in December 2020 became an adjunct faculty in the Biology Systems Engineering Department at WSU. In June 2021, Male became the co-director of the WSU-PNNL Bioproducts Institute. In the interim, 2013–20, Male served as the director of the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the Department of Energy (DOE) for over six years.

“I am excited to bring my knowledge and experience from federal agencies and the national laboratories to WSU to continue to strengthen existing relationships while looking for opportunities to build new partnerships and collaborations,” said Male. “The Office of National Laboratory Partnerships, along with PNNL and other national laboratories, will strive to add value through the partnership while bringing together capabilities that benefit the state of Washington and beyond.”

He has more than 20 years of research experience in catalysts, inorganic materials, greenhouse gas emissions reduction technologies, and the production of chemicals and fuels. He has numerous publications, patents, and presentations in these fields. Male received his Bachelor of Science in applied chemistry from the University of Greenwich, England, and a doctorate in organometallic chemistry at Simon Fraser University in Canada.

Male will serve in the role following Michael Wolcott, Regents Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at WSU, stepping down to focus his time as the director of ASCENT, the FAA Center of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels and the Environment, which is co-lead by WSU and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Under Wolcott’s leadership, WSU’s collaboration with PNNL and other laboratories has grown significantly in scope, visibility, and impact.

“Mike has been, and will continue to be, a great leader, colleague, and collaborator for all of us in the Office of Research,” said Keane. “The Office of Research looks forward to working with Mike in the future on research in sustainable aviation, the founding of the new Institute for Northwest Energy Futures, and other topics.”

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