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Research infrastructure

Enabling transformative science and engineering through operational excellence

"… long term, sustained investments in state-of- the-art research infrastructure … provides the capabilities needed to conduct world-leading research. Maintaining and modernizing this infrastructure is critical to getting the best value out of R&D investments." — Former Director, National Science Foundation, Dr. France Córdova

Balancing efficiency with scientific creativity

Battelle has the deep technical, laboratory and large-scale program management experience to lead the most complex research infrastructure programs and support successful scientific and engineering collaboration and discovery.


Scientific & Technical


Engineering & Optimization


Community Engagement &
STEM Education

Icon: Building symbolizing Program, Land and Laboratory Management

Program, Land
& Laboratory Management

Icon: Shield with Checkmark symbolizing Safety, Health, and Environmental Excellence

Safety, Health & Environmental Excellence

Experts with world-class capabilities

Battelle’s research infrastructure management experience spans decades of national lab management, effective operation of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) and world-class chemical demilitarization technology and operations management. Our team is uniquely positioned to provide exceptional complex research operations services combined with unmatched scientific expertise to large-scale research infrastructure projects.

Contact Our Expert Team

Kathy Kirby's Experts

Kathy Kirby


Research Infrastructure, Program Manager

"Wonder, wherever you wander."

About Kathy

Ms. Kirby is the Program Manager for the National Science Foundation National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), a $430 million dollar programs for the construction, development, installation, and transition to operations of ecological monitoring sites and data systems in 81 locations across the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Through the NEON program, Ms. Kirby has garnered extensive experience in program and logistics management in support of multiple research and development sites over a wide geographic area. Ms. Kirby also has significant Arctic experience through her management of eight NEON Arctic sites. In her previous Deputy Program Manager role with the NEON Program, she was instrumental in the transition of personnel, facilities, and management systems from the previous contractor to Battelle. 

Ms. Kirby organized a highly effective team and established clear roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities, as well as performance indicators for each staff member working on the program. She utilized the forums for routine staff check-in meetings to develop a culture of customer service among Battelle staff, which led to close collaboration between Battelle staff, the NSF, and community stakeholders at observatory sites. Ms. Kirby manages program performance and reporting, mitigates program risk, coordinates customer status and review, and interfaces with site hosts. Ms. Kirby implemented risk management best practices, which allowed Battelle to complete constructions projects in parallel with successfully mitigated hazards, such as wildfires, floods, and hurricanes. She ensures environmental compliance and permitting, implements improvement initiatives, as well as manages baseline change control, and engineering change approvals. This includes brokering the transfer of the University of Washington’s Canopy Crane Tower at the PNW WREF for NSF NEON use (Pacific Northwest Research Station’s Wind River Experimental Forest).

But if you really want to pique Kathy's interests, ask about:

  • Astronomy
  • Criminal and restorative justice
  • Physics
  • Program Management
  • Systems and Software Engineering

  • Certifications & Specialized Training

    • Certified SCRUM Master
    • Contractor Technical Rep Officer (COTR) 2015
    • DAU Fundamentals of System Acquisition 2017
    • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Education

    • M.S. - Physics - Denver University
    • B.S. - Physics & Astronomy - University of Nebraska
  • Affiliations & Associations

    • Society of Women Engineers (SWE)



National Lab

Image: Large Research Infrastructure

Battelle has a substantial management role at eight national laboratories: seven for the U.S. Department of Energy and one for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. These national laboratories deliver unmatched capabilities that drive scientific discovery, inspire innovation and solve what matters most.

See a list of the national laboratories Battelle manages

Continental-Scale Data Collection

Photo: National Ecological Observatory Network Field Sensor

NEON, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and operated by Battelle, collects and provides open data to characterize and quantify complex ecological processes across the US. This comprehensive data, spatial extent and remote sensing technology enables a large and diverse user community to tackle emerging ecological challenges.

Learn more about NEON

Lab Management & Research Ops

Image of workers working in a lab.

For decades, Battelle has provided end-to-end lab operations and research management, highly skilled and trained research teams, and systematic research, development, testing and evaluation, combined with systems integration, data management, advanced analytics, and simulation capabilities for complex programs and facilities.

Learn more about Battelle Lab Operations & Research Management

Neurotechnology & Neuroscience 

NEON Aquatic Data Collection & Research

Funded by the National Science Foundation, NEON is gathering crucial aquatic observational and instrumental data to better understand seasonal climatic, hydrological and chemical changes occurring in lakes, rivers and streams. This provides researchers an unprecedented opportunity to study changes to ecosystems over time while also being able to provide data back into the NEON portal.

Learn more about using NEON Data


News & Insights

Sisters HS Balloon Launch

Students at Sisters High School Take Science into the Stratosphere

Students at Sisters High School in Oregon, are taking learning to new heights through an innovative STEM program in stratospheric ballooning with h...

Learn More about Students at Sisters High School Take Science into the Stratosphere
View of one of the NEON program sites in the Arctic

Science at the Top of the World

Battelle is pushing science forward in some of the most remote and extreme environments in the country—like the Arctic Tundra and Taiga.

Learn More about Science at the Top of the World
aerial view from NEON AOP

Understanding Earth’s Ecology from Above

The NEON Airborne Observation Platform is an array of instruments installed into a light aircraft to collect high resolution remote sensing data.

Learn More about Understanding Earth’s Ecology from Above
A NEON program site operated by Battelle in the arctic

Battelle Awarded Contract to Enable Arctic Research

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Battelle the Arctic Research Support and Logistics Services contract. On this 10-year, $260 milli...

Learn More about Battelle Awarded Contract to Enable Arctic Research


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