Suresh Baskaran is director of research partnerships at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington. Baskaran received his B.Tech. in metallurgy from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India; his M.S. in materials engineering from Virginia Tech; and his Ph.D. in ceramic engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Following brief stints in industry (Ferro Corporation, 1988–1991) and academia (University of Michigan, 1991–1993), he joined PNNL as a senior research scientist.
Baskaran’s research on ceramic materials has covered a range of automotive, microelectronic, and energy applications: solid oxide fuel cells, spark plug materials, automotive sensors, low dielectric constant films for microelectronics, catalysts for emissions control, protective coatings on plastics, damage tolerant structural ceramics, and additive fabrication of ceramics. Baskaran’s research is reflected in 50 technical papers and 10 U.S. patents, as well as a spark plug materials technology that was transferred to industry and put into full-scale production. He received an R&D 100 Award and is an elected member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences. Baskaran has held a series of research management roles at PNNL, including manager for the materials structure and performance technical group, manager for energy efficiency, transportation and renewable energy programs, and chief science and technology officer for energy and environment. Baskaran first became a member of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS) in the early 1980s and is affiliated with the Engineering Ceramics Division.
In his current role, Baskaran is responsible for PNNL’s institutional research partnerships with academic institutions; he has helped expand opportunities at the national laboratory for university faculty and graduate students and worked with ACerS in outreach to students.