Battelle’s Vivian Smith Receives Dr. Billy Richardson Award for Young Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) Researchers

ARLINGTON, Virginia (May 30, 2019)—Battelle’s Principal Research Scientist and Biologist Vivian Smith has been named the 2019 recipient of the Dr. Billy Richardson Young NBC Researcher Award.

For 25 years, Richardson was instrumental in the development of modern chemical and biological defense programs. He served as the Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Matters and as the Technical Director of the U.S. Army Chemical Research, Development and Engineering Center. In these roles he developed the concept which led to the creation of the Department of Defense Domestic Preparedness Program, started the Air Force development efforts in chemical defense, and was a key architect of the concept and plan for the Army’s chemical and biological defense laboratories.  

The award, given by the NBC Industry Group, was established to honor Richardson by recognizing exceptional young leaders with dedication to activities involving education and commitment to NBC defense. Smith accepted her award during a May 16 dinner in Arlington, Va. 

Vivian, who joined Battelle in 2016, is a Biosafety and Biosecurity Subject Matter Expert currently working with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA) Biological Threat Reduction Integrating Contract (BTRIC) under the prime contractor Jacobs Engineering. Her current work involves supporting the Vietnam Ministry of Health and Department of Animal Health to help bring safer scientific practices to the country of Vietnam.

While working on the BTRIC contract in Vietnam, Vivian has provided biosafety and biosecurity practical and academic skills to more than 100 Vietnamese researchers, laboratory technicians, biosafety officers, and others.

She has traveled the entire country of Vietnam with the purpose of equipping the various public health research laboratories with the skills to safely and securely prevent and/or respond to a public health crisis.

“Vivian’s entire career has been devoted to advancing the field of nuclear, biological, and chemical defense so I am thrilled to see her accomplishments honored in this way,” said Scott Robinson, a senior market manager at Battelle, who was recently elected Chairman of the NBC Industry Group.

Smith attended Alcorn State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She then held a one-of-a-kind fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, called the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program (NBBTP). During her tenure, she independently directed the operations of the NIH high and maximum biocontainment laboratories. She developed hundreds of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for various biocontainment laboratories throughout the United States, assisted in biosafety level (BSL)-3 and BSL-4 program development, conducted risk assessments and performed program gap analyses focusing on biodefense and biosecurity related issues.

In 2013, Smith received a Master’s degree in Biotechnology with a concentration in Biodefense from Johns Hopkins University. In 2018, Vivian was certified as a Specialist Microbiologist with the National Registry of Certified Microbiologist by the American Society of Microbiology.

About Battelle

Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle makes the world better by commercializing technology, giving back to our communities, and supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. For more information, visit 


May 30, 2019


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