Director's Corner

Dr. Brian J. Anderson to head DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory
November 09, 2018
Today, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg announced that Brian J. Anderson, Ph.D. will be the new director of DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), effective November 11, 2018. Anderson comes to NETL from West Virginia University (WVU) where he served as director of the WVU Energy Institute. With Anderson’s arrival, NETL’s Acting Director Sean Plasynski, Ph.D., will transition into his new role as the lab’s deputy director and chief operating officer.

Problem-Solving is NETL's Business: McMahan Gray is just one Example of How We Do It
November 05, 2018
NETL is in the problem-solving business, and one of our key researchers may be on to solving a big one that has puzzled American cities for a long time. The Pittsburgh Business Times agrees and that’s why it announced that it will recognize our McMahan Gray with its innovator award later this year for his work on a technology that can filter heavy metals, including lead and other contaminants, from municipal water systems. That’s problem-solving in the NETL tradition.

Highlighting Rare Earth Elements
October 09, 2018
Throughout human history, coal has been an invaluable resource for heat and light and all the commodities that have played such an important role in advancing our global civilizations. From ancient China to ancient Greece, coal was recognized as a useful and important material. Today, coal continues to fuel our prosperity in new and surprising ways.

NETL Celebrates National Energy Awareness Month
October 01, 2018
There’s more to October than falling leaves and candy. October is National Energy Awareness Month, a time to recognize American innovation and progress toward our nation’s energy independence.

Mark National Clean Energy Week with NETL
September 24, 2018
Today marks the beginning of National Clean Energy Week, a timely opportunity to recognize our robust portfolio of research aimed at promoting responsible stewardship of the environment.

Ensuring Sustainable Energy Production through Environmental Monitoring
September 10, 2018
Responsible stewardship of the environment is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Energy and a key tenet of NETL’s mission. As we work to produce technological solutions for America’s energy challenges, environmental sustainability remains a driving factor. That’s why our research – from developing innovations for highly efficient energy production, to advancing technologies that enhance the extraction and transmission of domestic resources – is underpinned by innovations that monitor the environment to safeguard our air and water and ensure the safety and health of all Americans.

NETL Helps the U.S. Prepare the Workforce for the Next Generation of Energy and Manufacturing Jobs
August 27, 2018
A big part of NETL’s responsibility is to share knowledge. Sometimes the information we share provides a broader focus to the research data we develop that improves the way our nation uses fossil fuel energy resources. For example, through a recent online webinar, we shared analytical information to help business, industry, and higher education leaders make decisions to better prepare the next generation of energy and manufacturing workers. The webinar was presented by NETL’s Regional Workforce Initiative (RWFI) – one of our focus areas that presents a platform for regional stakeholders to engage with NETL, as well as our sister national laboratories in collaborative workforce development efforts.

NETL and the Carnegie Science Center Renew Energy Zone Alliance with Major Exhibit Improvements
August 20, 2018
There’s an old proverb: “if you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.” NETL and the Carnegie Science Center are planning for a lifetime with an updated version of a popular Science Center fixture known as the NETL Energy Zone exhibit.

NETL's Subsurface Research: Continuing a Legacy of Fueling America's Productivity and National Defense
August 13, 2018
Nearly all the energy sources that helped build our nation came from deep beneath our feet. The rich subsurface of our planet provides the oil, gas, and coal that fuel our prosperity and build a foundation for future growth. The wealth of domestic resources found in our nation’s subsurface, coupled with advanced energy technologies that enable their efficient use, promote competitiveness across our industry. That’s why cutting-edge research now underway at NETL is focused on maximizing our ability to access the vast domestic resources of the subsurface. These research projects will ultimately lead to lower costs for consumers while strengthening America’s energy dominance.

Here’s One New Way NETL is Working to Help Put Knowledge to Work
August 06, 2018
“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest,” wrote Ben Franklin more than 250 years ago. Every year, America invests in knowledge when it supports Department of Energy national labs where some of the best researchers in the world analyze and discover scientific breakthroughs. NETL has joined with its sister national laboratories in a project to make sure that the knowledge we collectively produce pays the best interest, just as Franklin espoused. 

Summer Research Programs at NETL Take on Energy Challenges
July 23, 2018
For nearly 20 years, the Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) program has not only been improving opportunities for under-represented students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), it has also built a diverse foundation of future STEM professionals. That important mission has been bolstered recently through the success of another opportunity called the Consortium for Integrating Energy Systems in Engineering and Science Education (CIESESE).

Leading-Edge Energy Research with Lasers and Laser Sensing
July 05, 2018

From an obscure theory to laboratory experiments to practical use in industry, operating rooms, and even outer space, lasers have become a ubiquitous technology device. At NETL, researchers use lasers in a variety of applications in a mission to discover, integrate, and mature technology solutions to enhance the nation’s energy foundation and protect the environment for future generations.

Turbines Make the World Go Around and NETL Aims to Make Them Better
June 25, 2018
Simply put, turbines make the world work. They propel our planes, trains, and ships; allow us to harness the power of wind; and make electricity from abundant fossil energy resources. They help keep lights on, homes warm, and schools, hospitals and industries productive. But at NETL, we believe we can make them even better.

NETL Individuals and Teams Recognized for Outstanding Performance by Federal Executive Board
June 19, 2018
The people of NETL specialize in not only making an impact on better and safer ways to use our nation’s energy resources, they also are making a difference in the lives of their fellow citizens. The Federal Executive Board (FEB) in both Pittsburgh and in Oregon confirmed outstanding examples with significant recognition awards recently.

International Partnerships Strengthen Lab's Clean Coal Efforts
June 05, 2018

The great captain of industry Henry Ford once said that, "If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself."

NETL’s Partnership for Advanced Computational Tools is Helping Invent America’s Energy Future
May 23, 2018
Designing new efficient power plants that use fossil fuels – America’s most abundant energy resource – to affordably maintain our energy dominance, economic prosperity, and quality of life is a challenging prospect because of how difficult it is to assess and measure aspects of complex energy systems. Simply put, researchers can’t crawl around inside an experimental system to observe first-hand how things work.

Hephaestus Doesn’t Work at NETL, but the Research of our Metallurgists is Almost as Miraculous
May 15, 2018
Hephaestus was the God of Metallurgy in Greek mythology. He had a pretty good run in ancient stories crafting impenetrable metals for Achilles’ armor, Hercules’ shield, Hermes’ helmet and even arrows for Apollo. At NETL, we take our metallurgy work seriously too, but instead of preparing mythological heroes for battle against make believe monsters, our work is crafting tough new alloys for turbines, boilers, and other equipment that can help meet energy efficiency challenges – heroic achievements as well.

To Address Energy Challenges, Listening is Key
May 04, 2018
At NETL, we talk a lot about advancing our mission to discover, integrate and mature technology solutions to enhance our nation’s energy foundation while protecting the environment and there are a great many examples of how well we pursue it on this site. But, one of the key ingredients for success is the ability to listen. It’s that input that guides our research and steers our progress.

New Global Oil and Gas Infrastructure Database is One More Way NETL Brings Knowledge to Power
April 26, 2018
Sometimes, the work of NETL to produce solutions to energy challenges involves much more than the arduous work of researchers in a collection of cutting-edge energy laboratories. Sometimes, it requires a flair for partnering, communicating, analyzing, organizing, and providing access to critical energy data on a global basis. That’s just what the Laboratory accomplished recently with the release of the global oil and gas infrastructure inventory database or GOGI.

NETL Prepares Next-Generation Sensors to Meet Next-Generation Challenges
April 03, 2018
More than 135 years ago, Warren Seymour Johnson, a college professor who was frustrated with his inability to regulate the temperature in his classroom, invented what he called the “electric tele-thermoscope.” It was little more than a contraption that rang a bell to alert heating system operators to open or close dampers. It turned out to be the first sensor.

For NETL, March came in like a lion.
March 19, 2018
NETL was busy in the first half of March innovating, communicating, and supporting technologies and ideas that help America address energy challenges of today and tomorrow. We hit productive new levels scoring successes, posting research funding opportunities, forging a strong new partnership, and setting new records.

A message from Acting Director Sean Plasynski
March 01, 2018
To be associated with NETL and its history of innovating a robust American energy future is an honor itself. To be asked to help lead a cast of very talented people who craft energy innovations every day is a new and exciting challenge that heightens that honor. The people of NETL are special because they each bring high value skills to their teams and their work to support the goals of the Laboratory – to discover, develop and integrate innovative technologies that will help lead and elevate our nation’s safe and productive energy future.

National Labs 75 Breakthroughs Document Release
February 16, 2018
As one of 17 National Laboratories under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Energy, NETL has made its fair share of cutting-edge energy innovations. As the only National Laboratory that specializes in fossil topics, NETL’s wide-ranging research has advanced science, safeguarded our energy security, and invented modern technologies that have saved lives, created jobs, improved energy efficiency, and served the public good.

Honoring African American Contributions During Black History Month
February 01, 2018
February is Black History Month, an occasion that reminds us to celebrate the historical contributions of African Americans in our nation. This year’s national theme, “African Americans in Times of War,” marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Known at the time as “The War to End All Wars,” the world had never seen a conflict of such magnitude.

Science & Technology Accomplishments Session
January 17, 2018
When Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy (ASFE) Steven Winberg visited NETL’s Pittsburgh and Morgantown sites in December 2017, he emboldened us to focus on work that achieves key facets of the Administration’s America First Energy Plan – including boosting our energy independence, enhancing safety and stimulating the economy.

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Dr. King
January 12, 2018
As a student at Morehouse College in 1947, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote an essay titled “The Purpose of Education.” He said education must “train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking” and its function “is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.”

Guiding Innovations to Market
January 02, 2018

Vannevar Bush, America’s first presidential science advisor, came up with a great description of technology transfer when he wrote that, “New products, new industries, and more jobs require continuous additions to knowledge of the laws of nature, and the application of that knowledge to practical purposes.”

NETL Pursues a Bright Energy Future
December 04, 2017

Discovery, development and deployment of effective and safe technologies for the recovery of underground energy is at the heart of NETL’s mission.

NETL's coal-related projects impact technologies that can revitalize American manufacturing and energy production
November 13, 2017
NETL is building on a productive history of carbon capture technology development with large-scale innovations to bolster enhanced oil recovery efforts.

Thank You to Those Who Answered the Nation’s Call to Duty
November 03, 2017

At NETL, it is an honor and privilege to work side-by-side with many men and women who actively served in our armed forces.

NETL Presents at the 2017 TransTech Conference
October 26, 2017
Developing innovative technologies in a focused drive to enhance our prosperity and energy dominance is a key part of NETL’s work. A critical element to all our research activities is transferring new technologies from our laboratories into the market where they can provide tangible benefits to the people of our nation.

Commemorating 40 Years of Innovation
October 12, 2017

When he visited NETL, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry described our Laboratory as “a fascinating place to work” and remarked that he is “continually amazed at what goes on at our National Labs.” He added that “as a country, we thrive off innovation…and the Department of Energy embodies that innovation.”

Congratulations to Our Award Winners
September 29, 2017
One of my great privileges as director of a national laboratory is to celebrate with our researchers as they receive much-deserved accolades from outside organizations. This year our researchers garnered numerous awards and recognition.

NETL Celebrates Women’s Equality Day
August 30, 2017
President Trump, in the tradition of other U.S. Presidents, recently proclaimed August 26, 2017, as Women’s Equality Day—a day when, as a nation, we celebrate and commemorate the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.

NETL’s Work on Multiphase Flow and Computational Sciences Accelerates Next-Generation Energy Systems
August 24, 2017
There was a time when all energy users needed to know was how to shovel coal into a furnace where it was combusted to keep the lights on, the wheels of industry turning, and homes and businesses warm and comfortable. However, in the 21st Century, new, efficient and cleaner ways to use fossil fuels in advanced energy systems is the name of the game. At NETL, we are accelerating the body of knowledge needed to make those systems better by using analytic skills in an area of research known as multiphase flow and computational sciences.

NETL Congratulates the Petra Nova Plant for Being Named “Plant of the Year” by Power Magazine
August 15, 2017
When the time came for the editors of the prestigious publication Power magazine to bestow its coveted 2017 “Plant of the Year” award to a power plant that leads the industry in the successful deployment of an advanced technology that maximizes efficiency while minimizing environmental impact, they choose a project that NETL helped make a reality. We couldn’t be prouder of our involvement.

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.