Release Date: May 18, 2000
|DOE's Strategic Gas Center Now Operational
Part of General Reorganization of Department's Newest National Laboratory
Responding to Energy Secretary Bill Richardson's directive, the Energy Department's newest national laboratory has put into operation a new Strategic Center for Natural Gas, charged with overseeing a full range of the agency's natural gas-related activities.
The Center's creation is part of a larger reorganization of the government's primary fossil fuel research facility in Morgantown, WV, and Pittsburgh, PA, which Secretary Richardson designated as the National Energy Technology Laboratory on December 10, 1999.
As part of the new laboratory, the Strategic Center for Natural Gas will oversee federal research efforts in gas exploration, production and storage, infrastructure reliability, and advanced gas use technologies such as high performance turbines, engines, and fuel cells. It will also be responsible for natural gas-related analyses that can help set the direction for future federal natural gas initiatives.
Laboratory Director Rita Bajura has named Dr. Joseph Strakey, a 29-year career professional, as the first director of the new natural gas center. In addition to this post, Dr. Strakey will also serve as one of the National Laboratory's eight Associate Directors.
The Strategic Center for Natural Gas will have four Product Managers, responsible for gas exploration, production and storage; advanced turbines and engines; fuel cells; and infrastructure reliability.
Under the Laboratory's matrix organization, the Center will have access to approximately 50 staff members currently working on natural gas projects in other sections of the Laboratory, in addition to the 13 federal employees assigned directly to the Center.
Additional Organizational Changes Reflect Expanded National Laboratory Role
Other parts of the Laboratory's organization are also being restructured in response to Secretary Richardson's national laboratory designation. A second deputy director position will be added, permitting one deputy to focus on programs overseen by the laboratory while the second deputy will concentrate on facility operations.
The National Energy Technology Laboratory is unique in the Energy Department's lab system in that it both conducts onsite research and oversees federally-funded private sector research activities conducted in all 50 states and 16 foreign countries. While its primary focus is on fossil energy related technology, it also carries out research activities for other Energy Department programs, including the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and the Office of Environmental Management.
To implement these functions, in addition to the natural gas center, the new Laboratory organization will include:
Other organizational changes have been made to better focus the Laboratory's onsite research by grouping the facility's staff researchers and technicians in the Office of Science and Technology into newly defined "focus areas:" carbon sequestration, computational science, ultra clean fuels, and gas energy systems dynamics. Each of these areas will be headed by a senior scientist.
A complete description of the new National Energy Technology Laboratory's organizational changes can be found by clicking on People at the Laboratory's web site at www.netl.doe.gov.
|Contact: David Anna, DOE/NETL, 412-386-4646|