Director's Corner

NETL and the Hunt for Rare Earth Elements in Coal and Coal-Byproducts
July 12, 2017
Most people know about the rich energy heritage of coal and how it was used for almost two centuries to build industries, create jobs and make America strong in a challenging world. Now, we could be on the verge of adding to coal’s legacy by finding new efficient, economical ways to extract rare earth elements (REEs) from coal and coal by products.

NETL Impact
June 20, 2017
I am pleased to announce launch of the new NETL Impact magazine, the Laboratory’s first quarterly publication that introduces readers to some of the most vital and robust energy research and development focused on improving the lives of Americans through innovation. In this inaugural issue, we feature new approaches and computational tools we use every day to increase the efficiency of existing power systems, innovate new ones, and find more efficient ways to harvest the nation’s energy resources.

NETL’s Vital Energy Analysis Activities
May 24, 2017
NETL is widely known for its energy research and resulting innovations that help keep the nation powered with greater efficiency. But, our Laboratory has also become known far and wide for its expertise in conducting energy analysis in a range of key areas that help decision makers chart courses for continued success.

NETL’s STEM Educational Outreach Work Encourages Today’s Students to Become Tomorrow’s Scientists
April 03, 2017
NETL promotes STEM education by providing education resources for teachers, bringing students to the lab to see STEM professionals in action, and offering internships to qualified college students. We take those actions because we firmly believe in the importance of creating a pipeline of scientific leaders who, through their hard work in the laboratory and in the field, will continue to make scientific breakthroughs that benefit the nation and pave the way for even more contributions by the people who follow in their footsteps.

In Recognition of Women’s History Month
March 03, 2017
Thirty years ago, Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month to honor extraordinary achievements of American women. It would take many pages for me to recognize the many talented and innovative women who have been responsible for “extraordinary achievements” in support of NETL’s mission to discover, integrate, and mature technology solutions to enhance the nation’s energy foundation and protect the environment for future generations. 

Reflecting on the Legacy of Dr. King
January 13, 2017

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time for contemplation and celebration of a man who embodied the ideals of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service.

 

NETL’s Year in Review
December 16, 2016

Throughout 2016, NETL made great strides in developing technologies that protect the environment, enhance American energy independence and enable domestic coal, natural gas, and oil to economically power homes, industries, businesses, and transportation.

 

NETL R&D – Setting Goals, Hitting the Mark
December 01, 2016
As a National Laboratory, one of NETL’s primary goals is to advance science and technology to support the DOE mission and provide mission ready competencies positioned to address the energy challenges of today and tomorrow. As an R&D organization, NETL strives to achieve the goals that support its parent organization and distinguish the laboratory as a premier research entity.  For 2016, we established a number of challenging metrics to gauge our success in meeting our goals and in supporting the DOE and Fossil Energy missions. I am proud to present the results of our work as measured by those metrics.

NETL Pays Tribute to the “Vigilant, Active, and Brave”—America’s Veterans
November 09, 2016
At 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918, the Allies of World War I and Germany signed the armistice agreement that marked the end of World War I. One year later, America began to celebrate the day when the “war to end all wars” came to its dramatic close when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. By 1954, the holiday evolved into a day set aside to pay tribute to all the nation’s men and women who answered the call of duty in the armed services—a day we now recognize as Veterans Day.

Energy Innovation is NETL’s Lifeblood
September 28, 2016
Energy innovation is NETL’s lifeblood.  It requires forging and leveraging partnerships with academia, industry, and other research institutions to accelerate technology development and drive commercialization.  It also requires challenging the status quo and advancing technology in a systematic way.  NETL has key role to play—as a National Laboratory, our science, technology, and research are powerful anchors of innovation and sustainable economic growth. 

A Bold New Icon for Excellence in Fossil Energy Research
August 29, 2016
A logo is a critical piece of how an organization conveys its brand to the public, and, with our recent reorganization, it is an appropriate time to make an impressive new adjustment to the way we present our vision and mission in a quick, simple, easy to comprehend form. I am pleased to officially unveil the new NETL Logo.

Outstanding Innovations Named Finalists for R&D 100 Awards
August 11, 2016
I’m extremely proud of the research our dedicated scientists and engineers perform. The discoveries and progress that results from our daily efforts are finding solutions to critical energy challenges like climate change and sustainability, and every step we make toward resolving these issues is a reward in itself. However, it is always encouraging to receive confirmation from external organizations that our R&D is top tier. Recently, four NETL innovations developed by our outstanding researchers were selected as finalists for R&D 100 Awards. This prestigious honor is well deserved and underscores our technical expertise.

Pursuing an Aggressive Agenda of Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration
July 15, 2016
I am a firm believer that listening to customers is a key to better service whether you are operating a retail endeavor or a major national research laboratory. In the case of NETL, that means paying close attention to the energy needs of the people, agencies, and organizations across America where the skills, expertise, and capabilities of a resourceful national laboratory can make a real difference for a brighter future.

Integrating New Innovations from the Lab to the Marketplace
June 30, 2016

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories have innovated thousands of new technologies and processes for entire industries that eventually improved many lives in our nation and around the globe. Commercialization of the innovations and processes that we make possible by involving private sector partnerships is an integral part of our mission of service to the nation.

Accelerating New Fossil Energy Innovations through Regional Partnerships
May 04, 2016
Recently, I had an exciting opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss the future of energy in America with more than 100 invited energy stakeholders from 11 states at the Regional Energy Innovation Forum, sponsored by the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research. It was an excellent forum, at which I highlighted the kind of projects NETL is pursuing in partnership with the private sector and university researchers.

The Art of Observation
April 07, 2016
In fossil energy, many things happen that can’t be seen, either beneath the earth’s surface where natural gas, oil, and coal await extraction or in carbon storage processes that place carbon dioxide (CO2) in underground storage reservoirs. Human observers cannot enter these environments to monitor or supervise storage or recovery efforts, so how can we be sure what we think is happening below the surface actually is?

Legacy of Women in Innovation
March 24, 2016
In March, our nation honors the many invaluable contributions to history, culture, science, and society made possible by brave, innovative, and able women. As Director of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), I have been privileged to witness firsthand the outstanding work and contributions of many remarkable women who develop and enhance game-changing technologies to improve the way we use and produce energy. From better, safer wellbore cement casings to environmental monitoring innovations, from carbon capture and storage technologies to chemical looping combustion breakthroughs, NETL’s women of innovation are distinguished additions to a long list of female pioneers who have made a significant difference in all branches of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Building a Strong Energy Foundation with STEM Outreach
February 29, 2016
This is a special time of year for NETL as we host two regional Science Bowl competitions: the West Virginia Regional Science Bowl, held February 5–6 this year, and the Southwest Pennsylvania Science Bowl, which has preliminary rounds for high school and middle school teams February 20 and 27 with finals on March 9. We are especially excited this year, as 2016 mark the 25th anniversary of NETL’s participation in these events.

NETL Celebrates Black History Month
February 09, 2016
This month, America commemorates Black History Month, a remembrance of the important role of black Americans in the nation’s history and a celebration of their achievements. At NETL, we especially want to recognize the contributions of black Americans to energy science and innovation.

Collaborations Across Space and Time
January 21, 2016
NETL has made its mark on American history with key energy-related innovations that contribute to the safety, efficiency, and progress of the nation. Many of these accomplishments have transcended space and time by involving researchers all over the world in collaborations that lasted months to years, and produced benefits for decades.

Heat, Light, and Innovation
December 09, 2015
In December, perhaps more than any other month, we at NETL feel a special sense of pride. During this, the coldest, darkest time of the year, we’re aware that the laboratory’s innovations enable Americans to stay warm and illuminated, and to connect with family and friends, while also protecting the environment and conserving energy resources.

With Gratitude to NETL’s Veterans
November 11, 2015
November is a month that features two time-honored American traditions. It is when we exercise our democracy by electing our leaders, and it is also when we pause to give thanks for our many blessings with a festive national holiday of kindness, gratitude and fellowship. There is a third solemn November tradition that is just as much a part of the fabric of America: the day when we honor and pay tribute to the men and women without whose military service the essence of the first two traditions may never have endured. November is when we honor our nation’s military veterans.

NETL’s Greatest Asset
August 28, 2015
I am frequently asked, “What’s so special about NETL?” I respond that we have a long list of impressive accomplishments—innovations that strengthen the nation both inside and outside the energy arena. But what makes us truly exceptional is our people. I am proud and justifiably honored to work with an outstanding staff and to share their stories with my colleagues inside and outside the laboratory.

NETL’s Story – A Long History of Excellence
July 29, 2015
The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has a long and colorful story of success to tell, and I’m happy to spread the word of our many accomplishments this month, as the Energy Department’s national labs celebrate their history and contributions.

Leading Energy Innovation to Overcome Climate Change
April 09, 2015
Global climate change is the greatest environmental threat of our time, and mitigating this threat while providing affordable, reliable, and secure energy presents a formidable challenge. But this challenge is also an opportunity for the United States to assert its innovative leadership in developing technologies that enable the continued economic prosperity of developed nations and nurture progress in developing nations, all while protecting the environment.

Breaking Boundaries: Advancing Energy Technology through Advanced Manufacturing
February 09, 2015
Advanced manufacturing breakthroughs have allowed NETL researchers to improve the efficiency of energy systems that will power the Nation’s homes, businesses, and industries. For example, 3-D printing is a remarkable step in the evolution of the way we build products. Rather than using expensive and cumbersome molds to create components, the same parts are now printed on a machine layer by layer, form-fitted for their exact function and use. Components are economically redesigned, modified and improved, eliminating the need to create expensive full-scale prototypes. Engineers design and create new geometries with new materials for more efficient configurations. The resulting products work better and open doors of efficiency and performance.

Lighting the Fires of Education: Mentoring and Internships at NETL
January 12, 2015
Poet William Butler Yeats once wrote that "education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." By that definition, NETL has been lighting fires for America’s young people for decades by providing experience, guidance, mentorship, and incomparable education opportunity—a tradition that continues through a very robust collection of public outreach activities.

A National Treasure: NETL's Advanced Materials Research
December 12, 2014
As Director of NETL, Dr. Grace M. Bochenek brings a tradition of leadership, technical expertise, and precision to the laboratory’s mission of protecting the nation’s environment and enhancing its energy independence. Dr. Bochenek’s vision is to build upon NETL’s expertise in coal, natural gas, and oil technologies; energy systems analysis; and international energy issues to effectively address the energy and environmental challenges of the 21st century and create innovations that will benefit generations to come.

An Open Letter from NETL's New Director, Dr. Grace M. Bochenek
December 01, 2014

Dear NETL Staff, Colleagues, and Friends,

It is with great excitement and anticipation that I take the reins as Director of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). For more than a century, NETL has aggressively sought technological solutions to ever evolving energy challenges. I’m inspired to become a part of that tradition and to work with professional staff and employees who are clearly dedicated to advancing energy innovation that fuels the nation’s economy, strengthens its national security, and improves our environment.