Key Staff

Grace M. Bochenek, Ph.D.—Director

As NETL Director, Dr. Bochenek manages the complete NETL complex including delivery and execution of the Laboratory's mission. She joined NETL in October 2014 with more than 25 years of technical and management experience with the U.S. Department of Defense. Before joining NETL, Dr. Bochenek was the first Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, where she served as the principal technical advisor on all engineering and scientific activities within the command; she also provided management oversight to the command’s six regional centers, the Army Research Laboratory, and the Army Materiel Systems Analysis Agency, with an annual budget of more than $2.5 billion. Prior to this, Dr. Bochenek led research, development, and engineering strategies as Director of the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center. Dr. Bochenek earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Wayne State University, an M.S. in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Central Florida.

Randall W. Gentry, Ph.D.—Deputy Director, Science and Technology Strategic Plans and Programs

gentry.jpgRandall Gentry works to build upon the success of NETL’s collaborations with DOE on strategic initiatives like the Annual Laboratory Plan, and the Fossil Energy Roadmap and Grand Challenges endeavors. He has more than 20 years’ experience in environmental science and engineering with a focus on water resources. He came to NETL after serving as Deputy Division Director of the Argonne National Laboratory’s Environmental Science Division. He has also served as an associate editor of the Journal of Hydrologic Engineering and an honorary scientist at the Institute of Soil and Water Conservation within the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources. Dr. Gentry’s research occurs at the intersection of science and engineering with a goal of attaining a better understanding and ability to better characterize natural water resource behavior. Dr. Gentry earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in civil engineering from the University of Memphis, and a B.S. in civil engineering from Memphis State University. Before joining Argonne National Laboratory, he was Director of Environmental Sciences Division, National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He has also served as the President and CEO of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation and Director of the University’s Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment.

Linda S. Kimberling, Ph.D.—Deputy Director & Chief Operating Officer

Linda Kimberling provides strategic direction, leadership, and management of NETL’s support functions and services. As Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Kimberling manages a comprehensive, fully integrated program of laboratory support operations and services including safe and secure facilities, cybersecurity, and IT infrastructure. Dr. Kimberling has held leadership positions focused on financial and administrative operations, laboratory management, safety, and security. Her civil service career has spanned 28 years with leadership positions at the U.S. Departments of Energy, Treasury, the Interior, and Defense. Prior to joining NETL, Dr. Kimberling served as Chief Financial Officer for the DOE Western Area Power Administration, where she ensured the efficient and effective financial management of a $1.4 billion portfolio and $3.25 billion in federal borrowing authority. Dr. Kimberling earned a B.S. in education and economics and an M.S. in economics from Southern Illinois University, and a Ph.D. in organization and management from Capella University.

Sean I. Plasynski, Ph.D.—Executive Director, Technology Development & Integration Center

Sean Plasynski is the Executive Director of the Technology Development & Integration Center at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) of the Department of Energy (DOE).  In this capacity, he is responsible for overseeing NETL’s national programs, in fossil energy and other DOE programs, with industry, universities, and national laboratories. In this role, he leads integrated technical and business teams in managing federally sponsored, extramural research in coal, oil and gas, and energy technology development, with a focus on delivering research and development benefits to the nation.  Project portfolios typically consist of over 800 projects spanning the technology maturity continuum with an annual budget of over $600 million per year. 

Dr. Plasynski has held numerous management and technical positions over his 26-year career at NETL, including Director of the Strategic Center of Coal, 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, including advanced power and environmental systems, solids transport, biomass co-firing, and carbon capture and storage.  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.

James E. Wilson—Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer, Finance & Acquisition Center

Jim Wilson is responsible for planning, direction, and coordination of the Laboratory’s CFO, procurement, and financial assistance functions; he provides effective oversight and stewardship of the Laboratory’s financial resources. Wilson has more than 25 years of management and finance experience in the energy industry. Prior to joining NETL, he served as President of Wholesale and Retail Energy Trading Businesses within PJM Interconnection, and he served as Corporate Controller for a public electric utility. Wilson also previously worked as a management consultant in the energy industry and as an auditor with a Big Four accounting firm. Wilson holds a B.S. in accounting from Saint Vincent College and an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh.

Cynthia A. Powell, Ph.D.—Executive Director, Research & Innovation Center

Cynthia Powell is responsible for implementing a research and development portfolio that positions the Laboratory as an international resource for fossil energy technology discovery, development, and deployment. As part of this role, she promotes safe and efficient research operations at NETL and ensures the Laboratory’s research personnel are equipped with the technical competencies and knowledge needed to effectively support its research mission. Previously, Dr. Powell served as NETL’s Materials Science Focus Area Lead. She has more than 15 years of experience in high-temperature phase and microstructural development of structural materials and the effects of these phase changes on the bulk properties of such materials. She received her Ph.D. in materials science from Case Western Reserve University; this was preceded by an M.S. and B.S. in ceramic engineering from Clemson University. Dr. Powell’s 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.

Charles M. Zeh—Deputy Director, Technology Development & Integration Center  

Chuck Zeh manages NETL’s national programs, in fossil energy and other DOE programs, with industry, universities, and national laboratories. In this role, he leads integrated technical and business teams in managing federally sponsored, extramural research in coal, oil and gas, and energy technology development, with a focus on delivering research and development benefits to the nation. Over his 28-year career, 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. Zeh holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo.