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William Tumas

Associate Laboratory Director, Materials and Chemical Science and Technology

Photo of William Tumas
Phone: 
(303) 384-7955
At NREL Since: 
2009

Dr. William Tumas is the Associate Laboratory Director for Materials and Chemical Science and Technology, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). He is responsible for overall leadership, management, technical direction, and workforce development of the materials and chemical science and technology capabilities at NREL spanning fundamental and applied R&D for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Key program areas include solar energy conversion for electricity and fuels, materials discovery and development for renewable energy technologies, hydrogen production and storage, and fuel cells.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Tumas was the Director of the Chemical and Materials Science Center at NREL from 2009 to 2013. Bill is also the Director of the Center for Inverse Design Energy Frontier Research Center and the Associate Director of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), a joint institute between NREL and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He also serves as the Laboratory Point of Contact for Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, responsible for sponsor interface, program management, and program execution.

Bill received his B.A. in Chemistry, summa cum laude, from Ithaca College in 1980. He received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Stanford University in 1985 as an NSF Graduate Fellow and a Hertz Foundation Fellow. He carried out postdoctoral research in organometallic chemistry at the California Institute of Technology from 1985–1987 as an NIH and a Chaim Weizmann Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor Robert Grubbs.

Dr. Tumas’ research activities have included chemical hydrogen storage, homogeneous and phase-separable catalysis, catalytic transformations and chemical processing in supercritical fluids and alternate reaction media, green chemistry, and waste treatment technology development and assessment. He has over 45 peer-reviewed publications, 10 patents, and has given over 75 invited presentations.

Prior to joining NREL in December 2009, Dr. Tumas was the Program Director for Applied Energy Programs at Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was responsible for management, program delivery, sponsor interface and business development for renewable energy, infrastructure, energy efficiency, and fossil energy. Through his tenure, the applied energy portfolio doubled at LANL with new programs in hydrogen storage, fuel cells, algal fuels, solar energy, carbon dioxide sequestration, geothermal energy, and grid modeling. From 2004–2007, he was also the lead principal investigator of the DOE Center of Excellence for Chemical Hydrogen Storage. From 1994–2005, Dr. Tumas was the group leader of the inorganic chemistry group in the Chemistry Division. He was a founding board member of the Green Chemistry Institute in the mid-1990s that is now part of the American Chemical Society. Before working at Los Alamos, he was a research chemist, then a project leader in environmental and oxidation catalysis at DuPont Central Research, Wilmington, DE where he was also a member of the DuPont Corporate Catalysis Center and the Corporate Environmental Technology Panel.