Lawrence to retire from Battelle, return to Tri-Cities

By Annette Cary, Herald staff writerAugust 20, 2010 

Mike Lawrence, an influential leader at Hanford and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, plans to return to the Tri-Cities and retire.

Since April 2009 he has been serving as managing director of the United Kingdom National Nuclear Laboratory. The lab, which has a staff of 750 people supporting cleanup of nuclear waste and nuclear energy, is run by a consortium that includes Battelle.

Lawrence plans to retire from Battelle at the end of this year.

He used his "open and effective leadership style of engaging staff, customers and stakeholders as partners" to help transform the National Nuclear Laboratory, said a statement from the chairmen of England's lab and the partnership that ran the lab.

Lawrence said in an e-mail that he eventually plans to do some part-time nuclear-related work and community work after he and his wife resettle in West Richland, but he's in no hurry.

He's planning to enjoy his retirement, spending time with his grandchildren, riding the weekly ski bus to Mission Ridge with the Fun, Fit and Over Fifty group and writing letters to the editor, he said.

Among Lawrence's highest-profile jobs was serving as the Department of Energy's manager for the Hanford nuclear reservation from 1984-90.

He was one of the prime architects of the Tri-Party Agreement, which set deadlines for cleaning up Hanford waste and contamination, and he is credited with leading Hanford's turnaround from plutonium production to environmental cleanup at DOE.

He also served as a nuclear policy counselor for the U.S. State Department in Vienna, Austria, from 1991-95.

He joined Battelle at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland in July 2000 after working for British Nuclear Fuels. Among his responsibilities at the DOE lab starting in 2004 was serving as deputy laboratory director for campus development.

He oversaw work to replace old buildings and laboratories on Hanford land with modern facilities on the Battelle campus. He also worked with Washington State University Tri-Cities on the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory.

From late 2006 until taking over leadership of the United Kingdom project, he worked on strategic projects for Battelle and PNNL, including the bid to manage the U.K. lab.

-- Annette Cary: 582-1533;; more Hanford news at

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