News

PNNL's Lemon to leave for Utah State

By John Trumbo
Tri-City Herald
September 11, 2008

Douglas Lemon of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will become director of the Space Dynamic Laboratory at Utah State University in North Logan next month.

The career change comes 30 years after Lemon began working at PNNL where he currently is director of laboratory strategy.

The move also takes Lemon back to his educational and family roots. He obtained his bachelor's degree and Ph.D. in physics at Utah State University and was raised in Cache Valley, where he still has family.

"This is a chance to put a capstone on my career and give back to the university that gave me a start," Lemon told the Herald.

The Utah State University Research Foundation announced that Lemon had been selected to replace retiring director Mike Pavich.

While at PNNL, Lemon worked in various roles, most recently on Homeland Security issues, and as director of lab strategies since 2007. Those responsibilities include identifying trends and opportunities, and overseeing PNNL's research and development initiatives.

As director at the Space Dynamic Laboratory, a nonprofit research corporation owned by Utah State University, Lemon will oversee about 400 employees. The lab works primarily on building instrumentation for space observation and with infrared imaging technology.

Stan Albrecht, USU president, said in a prepared statement that Lemon brings "decades of scientific and technical vision" that will help the space laboratory continue to provide engineering solutions to problems of national significance.

Albrecht noted that Lemon received the university's coveted Robins Award in 1974.

Lemon comes to the new job with experience in satellite imaging and remote sensing he got nine years ago while working as CEO of Advanced Geographic Information Systems Inc. The company was a PNNL technology spin-off company.

Albrecht said Lemon is coming just as the Space Dynamics Laboratory prepares to identify technologies that have potential for development as for-profit companies.

Lemon said this is the second time the Utah lab has sought him for the executive position.

The first time was five years ago, but he wasn't ready to leave the Richland lab for Utah. Pavich was selected instead. Now they've called again.

"It is a good time now. I've got seven or eight years left to work, and I have a lot of family there," Lemon said.

Lemon's first day at the lab is Oct. 20.

The Utah laboratory has designed, made and operated nearly 500 payloads, including shuttle experiments, small satellites and satellite-based sensor systems.

© 2008 Tri-City Herald, Associated Press & Other Wire Services