William Madia

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William Madia
A photograph of William Madia.
Born 1947 (age 69–70)
Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Nationality American
Alma mater Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Known for Director of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory 2000-2003
President and Director of Battelle Columbus Laboratories, President of Battelle Technology International, President's Advisory Committee for nuclear science and engineering at MIT, Vice President Stanford University
Spouse(s) Audrey DeLaquil
Awards Secretary of Energy's Gold Award, Laboratory Director of the Year
Scientific career
Fields Chemistry, nuclear physics
Institutions Battelle, Stanford

William (Bill) J. Madia (born 1947) is an American scientist and laboratory director. Madia holds a Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry, a field in which most of his career was focused at Battelle. In his early twenties, Madia was drafted into the US Army where he trained nuclear reactor operators. He later worked for Battelle, a non-profit research company where he began as a researcher before being promoted to direct various laboratories across the United States and Western Europe. Madia retired in 2007 but continues to lead several organizations out of interest.


Madia was born in 1947 in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania and grew up a few miles away in Swissvale.[1] His peers in school went into careers in the steel mills of Pittsburgh but Madia wanted to be the first in his family to attend a university.[2] He was accepted into both Penn State University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) in 1965, however, he had to pay his way as a dish washer in a restaurant so chose IUP because it cost $200 less per year.[2] In his later years at university, he worked summers in a steel mill to pay for tuition.[2] Madia became a member of Sigma Tau Gamma and studied chemistry, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry in 1969, followed by a master's degree in 1971.[2]

After attaining his Master's, Madia went to Texas A&M University to earn a Pd.D. in nuclear physics but before he had settled he was drafted into the U.S. Army.[2] Madia trained nuclear reactor operators as part of the army's nuclear power program in Washington D.C. for the Joint Chiefs of Staff before he returned to study.[3] He attained a Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry at Virginia Tech in twenty seven months, the standing record for fastest Ph.D. at the university.[2]


In 1975, Madia began work at the Ohio branch of Battelle, in their nuclear research department. Madia created the first nuclear fuel cycle analysis group at Battelle, studying the entire cycle, not just the reactor components.[3] He also developed non-proliferation procedures and managed the plutonium fuel fabrication laboratory.[3] After the Three Mile Island accident he was made a member of Department of Energy's "Blue Ribbon Panel" to advise on decontamination practices and the decommissioning of the plant.[3] In 1985 he was promoted to laboratory director of the Columbus Laboratories and later managed Battelle laboratories in Frankfurt and Geneva.[2]

Madia was appointed Director of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 1994 where he served until 2000. While at PNNL, he oversaw the construction and startup of the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) and the elevation of the lab to formal national laboratory status. On 1 April 2000, Madia was appointed Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, under UT-Battelle, where he served until 2003. Construction of the Spallation Neutron Source and Center for Nanophase Materials, the Department of Energy's first nanoscience laboratory,[4] began under his direction, and he led a laboratory-wide modernization effort.[5] As part of the modernization Madia attracted the investment of private companies to fund buildings to host the National Center for Computational Sciences and the supercomputer Jaguar, beginning a trend of high performance computing that continued for at least a decade.[6]

Madia returned to Battelle in 2003 as Executive Vice President for Laboratory Operations where he remained until retirement in 2007, although he continued to involve himself in research and education programs out of interest.[2] In 2008 he joined Stanford University where he was appointed vice president for the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), where he oversees the laboratory as serves as Chairman of the Board of Overseers for it. In this capacity, he represents Stanford to the US Department of Energy. He also became a director of United States Enrichment Corporation, now Centrus Energy (LEU: NYSE) a uranium enrichment company in 2008.[1][7] He is a presidential advisor on for Nuclear Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology,[3] and for research at Michigan State University, and Princeton University.[2] Madia is also an advisor for EnerTech Capital Partners, a green energy, venture capital firm.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Madia met Audrey DeLaquil at a student union dance in his freshman year at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, whom he married shortly after graduation. They have three children; Joe, Ben and Will and four grand children.[2]



  1. ^ a b "William J. Madia Ph.D.". Business Week. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Bill Madia". Indiana University of Pennsylvania. 12 August 2010. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "William J. Madia". California Council on Science and Technology. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  4. ^ Wamp, Rep. Zach (25 July 2003). "Tribute To Dr. Bill Madia". Capitol Words. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Alexander, Sen. Lamar (31 July 2003). "Recognizing The Achievements Of Dr. Bill Madia". Capitol Words. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Frist, Sen. William H. (1 August 2003). "Honoring Dr. Bill Madia". Capitol Words. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "William J. Madia". United States Enrichment Corporation. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Advisory Board". Enertech. Retrieved 15 February 2013.