Mike Crowley joined NREL in 2007 to support the Chemical and Biosciences effort to understand and improve cellulases for biomass conversion to liquid fuels. He uses molecular modeling and computer simulation coupled with physics, chemistry, and stastistical mechanics to uncover the mechanisms of action of biological systems at the atomic and molecular level. Current studies include the cellulosomal system of bacteria that degrade cell walls of biomass and the fungal enzymes that act processively to degrade cellulose.
His most recent background is in molecular dynamics. He is a principal developer of the molecular dynamics packages CHARMM and Amber, with special emphasis on massively parallel computing on supercomputers. He has experience in modeling semiconductor materials and in chemical chaos and nonlinear chemical dynamics. He received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Montana in 1985.