OAK RIDGE, Tenn.EM recently announced the selection of Laura Wilkerson as chief engineer for the Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) and the reassignment of Erik Olds from EM’s communications director to OREM’s deputy manager.

As a recognized leader and technical expert, Wilkerson will focus on the most complex, crosscutting engineering challenges facing the Oak Ridge environmental cleanup program.

She has more than 30 years of experience directing and managing technical programs and projects across major DOE programs, including a long history with the environmental cleanup program. Wilkerson has served in a variety of positions for OREM, including acting manager, deputy manager, division director for planning and execution, and portfolio federal project director for cleanup and waste management activities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Y-12 National Security Complex.

“We are excited to announce these critical OREM leadership positions,” said OREM Manager Jay Mullis. “As we continue to ramp up our environmental cleanup activities at ORNL and Y-12, Laura will use her extensive experience and in-depth knowledge about both of those sites to help us find solutions to some of our biggest technical challenges.”

Headshot of Laura Wilkerson


Laura Wilkerson was selected as the Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management chief engineer to lead efforts to identify solutions for complex engineering challenges facing environmental cleanup projects.

Olds will oversee day-to-day operations of OREM’s environmental cleanup and stewardship mission and other activities.

He brings extensive headquarters and field leadership, project and program management and policy experience to his new role. Olds has worked for DOE for more than 31 years and has served in a variety of assignments, including EM acting chief of staff, deputy project integration manager for the multi-billion dollar Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste system at the Hanford Site, and chief of staff for both the Richland Operations Office and Office of River Protection at Hanford.

Prior to his leadership roles at Hanford and EM headquarters, Olds served at the Yucca Mountain Project in Nevada for the defunct Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a master’s degree in communications studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.



Erik Olds will serve as the Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management deputy manager after leading communications for EM in Washington, D.C.

Headshot of Erik Olds

“The opportunity to add Erik to the OREM leadership team and promote Laura to chief engineer allows us to increase our focus on strengthening our organization as we continue to set the standard for cleanup across the EM complex,” Mullis said.

DOE’s Oak Ridge Reservation occupies more than 32,000 acres within Anderson and Roane counties in East Tennessee. OREM has cleanup responsibilities across the reservation, and its efforts are removing risks and hazards, enhancing safety, opening land for redevelopment, and enabling important science and energy research and national security missions at ORNL and Y-12.