Meet the new vit plant director 

A longtime Bechtel leader is taking over as project director of the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, known as the vit plant, at the Hanford nuclear site. 

Brian Hartman, a senior vice president, has been with Bechtel for 40 years. 

He starts in the new role on May 30 and will lead the vit plant team through final commissioning of the Low-Activity Waste Facility and its support facilities, and he’ll oversee the team working on a facility to treat high-level waste, Bechtel said in a statement.  

“I look forward to building on the WTP team’s quality culture and collaborative approach to how we do work,” Hartman said in the statement. “We have an important mission to protect the environment and the public. I’m eager to work with our customer, other Hanford contractors, regulators and the local community as we achieve hot commissioning for low-activity waste and ramp up efforts toward vitrifying high-level waste.” 

John Howanitz, president of nuclear, security and environmental business for Bechtel, described Hartman as an “exceptional leader with a proven talent for building strong partnerships with customers and creating high-performance teams.” 

Howanitz added that Hartman’s “deep experience on complex projects and across all aspects of project management and execution, from development to startup and commissioning, makes him an ideal choice to lead the WTP project forward.” 

Hartman started at Bechtel in 1982 as an intern and was hired full time the next year. He’s held leadership roles in nuclear, thermal, and renewable energy systems, and he most recently worked as corporate manager of engineering and technology and project execution manager.  

He became a principal vice president in 2013 and senior vice president in 2020.  

Hartman, a certified professional engineer, holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He’s a member of the International Association of Automation ISA and the National Society of Black Engineers. 

He succeeds Valerie McCain, who died after a short illness earlier this year. 

John Atwell had been serving as acting project director since April.


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