Key Staff

Scott Klara, Acting Director
Scott Klara manages the day-to-day execution of all aspects of the Laboratory's mission. He has over 29 years of diversified engineering and management experience that spans a broad spectrum of technology areas including: electric power generation, advanced separation processes, process control, coal conversion processes, and simulation/systems analysis. Mr. Klara's industry experience includes 7 years with AT&T Technologies—Bell Laboratories and Calgon Carbon Corporation. He has 22 years of Federal government experience with NETL and its predecessor organizations.  Mr. Klara holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering and an M.S. degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a registered professional engineer in chemical engineering in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

R. Paul Detwiler, Chief Counsel
Paul Detwiler came to NETL in January 2009. Prior to joining the laboratory, he had served DOE in a number of positions: special assistant to the general counsel, acting manager of the Carlsbad Field Office, and deputy general counsel of NNSA. He worked for the law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, DC, before coming to DOE in 1994. He has an AB degree from Dartmouth College, a PhD in ecology from Cornell University, a JD from George Washington University, and is a registered patent attorney.

Cynthia Powell, Director, Office of Research and Development
Cynthia Powell supervises the onsite research personnel and laboratories in Albany, Oregon; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Morgantown, West Virginia. Dr. Powell was previously the Materials Science Focus Area Lead at NETL. She has over 15 years experience in high-temperature phase and microstructural development of structural materials and the effects of these phase changes on the bulk properties of these materials. She received her Ph.D. in materials science from Case Western Reserve University preceded by an M.S. and B.S. in ceramic engineering from Clemson University. Her research also addressed microstructure/processing relationships in a wide range of intermetallic, metallic, ceramic, and composite materials, and the influence of microstructure on the tribological performance of ceramics and ceramics-based composites.

Sean Plasynski, Director, Strategic Center for Coal
Sean Plasynski is the Director of the Strategic Center for Coal at the National Energy Technology Laboratory. In this role, Dr. Plasynski is responsible for providing strategic direction, oversight and management for the Clean Coal Research Program that includes research, development, demonstration and deployment of technologies developed in the Program. He has held numerous management and technical positions over his 25 year career at the laboratory including Director of the Office of Coal and Power R&D and Sequestration Technology Manager. He has been involved in a wide spectrum of energy technology development from advanced power and environmental systems, solids transport, biomass co-firing, carbon capture and storage, and also as part of a team addressing critical infrastructure vulnerabilities in the U.S. for homeland security. He holds a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and also an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business.

Jared Ciferno, Director, Strategic Center for Natural Gas and Oil
Jared Ciferno is the Director of National Energy Technology Laboratory’s Strategic Center for Natural Gas and Oil R&D program.  In this capacity, Mr. Ciferno manages an R&D portfolio encompassing advanced technology projects ranging from basic energy science (modeling, materials development, sensors, controls) through large scale field demonstrations and includes natural gas (shale gas), enhanced oil recovery, deepwater oil & gas production, and methane hydrates.   Mr. Ciferno has 15 years of diversified engineering and management experience that spans a broad spectrum of technology areas including: electric power generation, advanced greenhouse gas control, process control, coal conversion processes (oxycombustion, gasification and chemical looping), thermoelectric water management, and simulation/systems analysis. Mr. Ciferno also serves as a member of NETL's Executive Board which oversees the implementation of major science and technology development programs in Fossil Energy.
Previously at NETL, Mr. Ciferno served as Director of the Office of Coal and Power R&D Program, Technology Manager of the Carbon Capture Program and Engineering Systems Analyst. Prior to joining NETL, he worked as a chemical engineer for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and as a research/process engineer for Calgon Carbon Corporation.  Mr. Ciferno holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

Ken Kern, Director, Office of Strategic Energy Analysis and Planning
Ken Kern has been involved in a wide range of energy related business activities during a 35 year career within the power generation industry. He has participated in business development, strategic planning, sales and licensing of major equipment for the power generation industry (gas turbine, steam turbine and boilers), both domestically and internationally. His international power generation involvement included several years of operations and general management at manufacturing and sales offices in Singapore, Japan and Poland. Prior to joining NETL, he was Vice President for Marketing and Business Development for a major, international power generation equipment manufacturing company. Mr. Kern holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

Charles M. Zeh, Director, Office of Energy Project Management 
Chuck Zeh manages NETL's clean energy programs. In this role he is responsible for management and oversight of projects for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE). Over his 27 year career Mr. Zeh has held numerous management positions administering the research, development and commercialization of new and emerging technologies at NETL. He supervised and was responsible for developing technology for vehicles, buildings, gas turbines, fuel cells, reciprocating engines, and environmental restoration. Mr. Zeh holds a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

StayConnected Facebook Twitter LinkedIn RssFeed YouTube