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Home > Press > PNNL veteran named new director of Microproducts Breakthrough Institute

PNNL veteran named new director of Microproducts Breakthrough Institute

Corvallis, OR | Posted on November 2, 2006

An Oregon institute that accelerates the discovery and commercialization of micro channel chemical, biological and physical systems has named a veteran researcher from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., as its new director.

Landis Kannberg, a program manager in PNNL’s Process Science and Engineering Resources Division, will assume the leadership role this month and will head the Microproducts Breakthrough Institute, a collaboration of Oregon State University and PNNL. The MBI is a partner in and shares space with Oregon's first signature research center, the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute, or ONAMI.

Both the MBI and ONAMI are headquartered in a building located on Hewlett-Packard Company’s Corvallis campus. Partners within the ONAMI collaboration include PNNL, OSU, the University of Oregon and Portland State University. Kannberg’s position with the MBI is supported predominantly by ONAMI, through OSU, and by PNNL.

Kannberg takes the reigns of the MBI as OSU mechanical engineering professor Kevin Drost reduces his role in anticipation of retirement. Kannberg and Drost have served as co-directors of the MBI since the institute’s inception in 2002. Kannberg also will hold a courtesy faculty position in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at OSU.

To date the MBI has collaborated on more than $10 million in research and development, including development of a technology used in a heat-activated, portable cooling unit and a micro-scale blood filter that is enabling development of a portable kidney dialysis device.

“It’s been a pleasure to have served as co-director with Kevin over the past four years,” said Kannberg of Drost, “and we will benefit from his continued insights as we move forward. His contributions in the microproducts field have benefited Oregon and the Pacific Northwest in both business development and in scientific achievement.”

Drost says he values his time as co-director. “At the MBI, we work in a world measured in microns, but our business opportunities can be as big as the universe. I know the Institute is in capable hands.”

Ron Adams, dean of engineering at OSU, said the MBI is an example of how a public university and a government research laboratory can team up to expedite new technologies that impact the economic landscape. “The MBI brings OSU professors and students alongside PNNL experts who all work together to fast-track technologies to market, spinning off new companies and products, creating new jobs, and helping develop top engineering talent for this region. Landis will continue to do great things at the MBI in his new role.”

Rod Quinn, PNNL Associate Laboratory Director, predicts continued growth of MBI under Kannberg’s leadership. “Landis brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this assignment,” said Quinn. “Over the past few years he has developed outstanding relationships with our Oregon State partners. We look forward to the future growth in our partnership through this alliance."

Kannberg notes the goals of the MBI are three-fold. First, to become a nationally- and internationally-reputed center for microtechnologies. Second, to accelerate the commercialization of Microtechnologies -- particularly for chemical and energy systems. Finally, to increase the research and development in microtechnology by collaborative teams from academia, a national laboratory and industry.

Most recently at PNNL, Kannberg served as a program manager in the Process Science and Engineering Resources Division within PNNL’s Environmental Technology Directorate. He plans to relocate to Corvallis in November.

Kannberg earned a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Oregon State University in 1977, a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Gonzaga University in 1972 and was named a member of the OSU Academy of Mechanical Engineers in 2003. He has been with PNNL for over 30 years.


About PNNL:
PNNL is a DOE Office of Science laboratory that solves complex problems in energy, national security, the environment and life sciences by advancing the understanding of physics, chemistry, biology and computation. PNNL employs 4,200 staff, has a $725 million annual budget, and has been managed by Ohio-based Battelle since the lab's inception in 1965.

About OSU College of Engineering:
With the nation’s 22nd highest undergraduate enrollment, the OSU College of Engineering is the largest engineering program in Oregon. In the past six years, the college has more than doubled its research expenditures to $27.5 million, emphasizing collaborative research that solves global problems, spins out new companies, creates jobs and produces opportunity for students through hands-on learning.

Geoff Harvey
PNNL Media Relations
(509) 372-6083

Robert D. "Skip" Rung
President and Executive Director
Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute

Gregg Kleiner
OSU College of Engineering
(541) 737-9684

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