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NETL to Discuss Key Lab Initiatives with CMU Faculty

NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., and other NETL leaders will meet with faculty at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) on Tuesday, April 20, for discissions about key lab initiatives (KLIs) and their potential to intersect with research undertaken by the Pittsburgh university.

“Partnerships between NETL and CMU have yielded a number of revolutionary energy-related discoveries. Therefore, it’s important for NETL to bring the faculty up to speed on our latest priorities and projects so we can explore continued collaboration with the incredible talent at CMU,” Anderson said.

A fireside chat format will be used to create an informal yet structed program for the three-hour virtual session with CMU professors and researchers.

Anderson will provide an overview on NETL’s direction and priorities, which include developing and supporting strategies and technologies to achieve carbon management goals outlined by President Biden. Priorities of the new administration call for a carbon emission-free electricity sector no later than 2035 and economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050 while supporting the creation of good-paying manufacturing jobs to ensure the cost of the energy transition is not disproportionately borne by economically distressed power plant and coal communities.

The bulk of Anderson’s presentation will address the Lab’s KLIs. In 2020, NETL executed an extensive competency assessment to identify paths for growth of the Lab’s capabilities, culminating in the establishment of four KLIs. The KLIs were crafted to meet strategic goals while exercising and enhancing NETL’s technical capabilities. The KLIs are:

  • Advanced Alloy Signature Center. No single research facility in the U.S. is capable of prototyping alloys at scales that easily translate to industrial practice. NETL will create a technology accelerator for U.S. industry, other government agencies and academia to prototype alloy solutions, bridging the “valley of death” and accelerating commercialization. NETL will help maintain U.S. leadership in specialty alloys while developing materials spanning a range of applications.
  • Science-based Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Institute (SAMI). The new institute is led by NETL to leverage science-based models, artificial intelligence and machine learning methods, data analytics and high-performance computing to accelerate applied technology development for clean, efficient and affordable energy production and utilization.
  • Microwave (mWave) Technology. This technology represents the next frontier of science in chemical processes and manufacturing. NETL will conduct fundamental science studies of microwave reaction chemistry to better understand this breakthrough technology and predictably model it for commercial uses. These efforts will significantly improve the energy efficiency of industrial processes, increasing selectivity and enabling scalable and distributed low-carbon applications.
  • Center for Sustainable Chemicals and Fuels. NETL will lead the development of a technology incubation center and consortia that transforms the downstream chemical sector and scales risky or far-term technologies to maturation. Benefits includes getting products to market faster, at lower costs and with less environmental impact while creating a more agile chemicals supply chain.

After Anderson’s presentation, faculty will discuss specific KLIs and related topics during 30-minute sessions with the following NETL leaders:

  • David Alman, Ph.D., associate director, Materials Engineering & Manufacturing
  • Kelly Rose, Ph.D., interim technical director, SAMI; Grant Bromhal, Ph.D., senior fellow, Geological & Environmental Systems; Madhava Syamlal, Ph.D., senior fellow, Computational Sciences & Engineering
  • David Miller, PhD., senior fellow, Strategic Systems Analysis & Engineering
  • Bryan Morreale, Ph.D., associate laboratory director, Research & Innovation Center

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory develops and commercializes advanced technologies that provide clean energy while safeguarding the environment. NETL’s work supports DOE’s mission to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy and environmental challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.