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Gert Patello
Chief Operations Officer

Dr. Gert Patello is EMSL’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) and group leader for the EMSL Management and Operations  group. Patello received her PhD in Ceramics from Alfred University under the direction of Associate Professor Gary Fischman. 

Since joining the PNNL in 1993, she has worked as a research scientist, project manager, line manager, sector manager, project management office director, and presently as EMSL’s COO. Prior to becoming EMSL COO Patello managed PNNL’s Isotope Program as part of the DOE’s Office of Science Isotope program providing leadership and strategic direction in alignment with the DOE Isotope program’s mission. She has led or participated in strategic planning efforts related to PNNL’s Radiochemical Processing Laboratory, the Reinventing Chemical Catalysis Laboratory Objective, and the Marine and Coastal Research Laboratory. She is a current member of the Fusion Energy Science Advisory Committee, which provides independent advice to the Director of the Office of Science on complex scientific and technological issues that arise in the fusion energy sciences program.


  • PhD in Ceramics, Alfred University.
  • BS in Ceramic Engineering, Alfred University
  • Certified Project Management Professional

Awards and Recognition

  • 20 PNNL Outstanding Performance Awards, PNNL (1999 – 2020)
  • PS&E Award for Strategic Business Development for Nuclear Fuel Cell Project with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (2004)
  • Nominee, Woman of Achievement, PNNL (2000, 2001)

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Fusion Energy Science Advisory Committee, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Project Management Institute