First cohort chosen for PNNL-WSU graduate research

WSU and PNNL leadership with graduate students.

By Alyssa Patrick, Office of Research

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have selected the first group of students for the PNNL-WSU Distinguished Graduate Research Program.

The program adds a new dimension to WSU and PNNL’s long partnership, which includes joint faculty appointments and research projects. The program is available to students who have been accepted into a WSU graduate program and are primarily pursuing research related to clean energy, smart manufacturing, sustainability, national security or biotechnology. Learn more at

“Engaging graduate students with the talented energy, environment, national security and fundamental science researchers at our institutions will increase the scientific and research capacity in our region,” said Chris Keane, vice president for research at WSU.

The first cohort was selected from students nominated by WSU faculty and PNNL researchers. Here are the students and the Ph.D. programs they are pursuing:

• Jenny Voss, chemical engineering
• Nadia Panossian, mechanical engineering
• Ernesto Martinez-Baez, chemistry
• Priyanka Ghosh, computer science
• Christina Louie, chemical engineering
• Justine Missik, engineering science
• Xu Liu, computer science
• Stephen Taylor, soil science
• Trent Graham, chemical engineering
• Isaac Johnson, material science and engineering
• Austin Winkelman, chemical engineering
• Anthony Krzysko, chemistry

The students will complete their coursework at WSU and collaborate with nationally recognized PNNL scientists on their thesis projects. Students receive a stipend and benefits and will be guided in their research by a graduate committee.

“The Distinguished Graduate Research Program will deepen the partnership between PNNL and WSU while at the same time introducing students to research opportunities at the national laboratories,” said Malin Young, PNNL deputy director for science and technology. “Our scientists and engineers look forward to collaborating with colleagues at WSU to provide these students with a valuable educational experience that will lay a strong foundation for their future research careers.”

The first cohort will start this fall. A new cohort will be selected every year. Students who apply to graduate school at WSU can indicate they are interested in the research program. Once accepted to WSU, students will be recommended by a faculty member or PNNL researcher.

“Interdisciplinary and interinstitutional research is a driver of innovation in higher education,“ said Bill Andrefsky, dean of the WSU Graduate School. “WSU is proud to partner with a world class national laboratory to train the top researchers of tomorrow.”


News media contacts:
Alyssa Patrick, WSU Office of Research communications, 206-219-2427,
Susan Bauer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory media relations, 509-372-6083,