The Office of Science and Engineering Research – the onsite research
arm of the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory
– prizes creativity and inventiveness among its research staff.
A recent addition to the staff came with her own truckload of inventiveness
which she is now applying to projects designed to help accomplish important
Mary Anne Alvin, who joined the research staff in OSER’s Separations
and Fuel Processing Division in May of this year, was awarded her 22nd
patent in July. Her patented inventions have been in the area of materials
development for such applications as hot gas particulate filtration, catalytic
combustion, gas separation membranes and aerospace lubricants.
She brought to NETL 30 years of experience in advanced energy systems.
Her patents are for inventions while she was employed by Westinghouse
Electric Corporation in Pittsburgh from 1974 to 1998, and then at Siemens
Westinghouse Power Corporation in Pittsburgh from 1998 until she joined
the NETL staff in May.
Alvin was attracted to NETL because it provided the opportunity to focus
her creativity on solving scientific and technological challenges identified
as important to the national interest. She was familiar with NETL’s
research expertise through her long-term association with the national
laboratory while working in hot gas filtration while employed by Westinghouse
and Siemens Westinghouse.
At NETL, Alvin is conducting research in programs that support material
and process technology development for gas turbines, fuel cells, gas separation
membranes, and catalysis.
She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh’s
Department of Microbiology and Biophysics. She has a master of arts degree
from Duquesne University’s School of Music and a Master of Science
degree from Duquesne’s Department of Chemistry.
Asked why she has been such a prolific inventor, Alvin said, “Enthusiasm
and a super team of people who worked together to make the development
of new technologies happen.”
The National Energy Technology Laboratory’s primary mission is to
implement a research, development, and demonstration program to resolve
the environmental, supply, and reliability constraints of producing and
using fossil resources. NETL is one of only 17 national laboratories.
Most of its research projects are in support of the Department of Energy’s
Office of Fossil Energy.