Jud Virden has been named associate laboratory director for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Energy and Environment Directorate.
A 20-year PNNL veteran with experience creating energy research partnerships with U.S. industry, Virden will lead a staff of 1,100 and oversee a business volume of more than $200 million annually.
The group is working to increase the nation's energy capacity and reducing dependence on imported oil. Areas of research include energy efficiency, biomass conversion, vehicle technology and advanced manufacturing.
Virden was selected after a review that included internal and external candidates, said Mike Kluse, PNNL's director. Virden has proven experience leading a complex technical organization, previous industry and Department of Energy experience, relationships in the market and visionary leadership, he said.
Virden joined the laboratory in 1991 and spent the past 10 months serving as the directorate's interim director. Prior to that, he was the directorate's chief science and technology officer.
Virden has received R&D 100 and Federal Laboratory Consortium awards for non-thermal plasma technology and a Discover Award with Massachusetts Institute of Technology for fuel reformation technologies.