Dr. Virden is the Associate Laboratory Director for the Energy and Environment Directorate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He leads a team of approximately 1,100 staff in delivering science and technology solutions for energy and environmental challenges. In fiscal year 2011, EED’s research sales to government and industry clients totaled $253 million. Dr. Virden joined PNNL in 1991 as a researcher. During his two decades at the Laboratory, he has served in many key roles within PNNL, including technical group manager, program manager, deputy associate laboratory director, director of business operations, and director of energy market sectors.
Prior to his current role, he was EED’s Chief Science and Technology Officer, managing the directorate’s science and technology capabilities to ensure they impact energy and environment challenges. As part of Dr. Virden’s involvement in the strategic direction and growth of PNNL energy programs, he has helped shape national and international public/private technology partnerships to accelerate technology deployment. In 2009 he was assigned to DOE Headquarters to assist in development of U.S.-China technical research priorities. In 1994 he served on a two-year assignment in Flint, Mich., working with the United States Council for Automotive Research, where he initiated and developed multiple government/industry advanced vehicle technology development projects.
Dr. Virden served as co-chair for the DOE 21st Century Truck Partnership National Laboratory Council, working with industry and research institutions to create national technology goals and research partnerships to reduce heavy duty truck emissions and increase vehicle efficiency. Dr. Virden has received R&D 100 and Federal Laboratory Consortium awards, a Discover Award with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he contributed to a Financial Times Global Automotive Award. He also serves on the University of Michigan Energy Institute’s external advisory committee.