William Tumas is the director of the Center for Chemical and Materials Science, which integrates theory, chemistry, and materials science to tackle key problems in renewable energy including solar energy conversion, hydrogen and fuel cells, energy storage, and energy efficiency. Prior to joining NREL in December 2009, he was the program director for Applied Energy Programs (SPO-AE) at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), where he was responsible for renewable energy, infrastructure, energy efficiency, and fossil energy. From 2005–2007, he was also the lead principal investigator of the DOE Center of Excellence for Chemical Hydrogen Storage, which comprises seven universities, four companies, and two national laboratories including LANL. Since 2004, he has been the institute director of the Los Alamos Institute for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research. From 2005–2006, he was also a program manager for the Office of Energy and Environment Initiatives at Los Alamos National Laboratory. From 1994–2005, Dr. Tumas was the group leader of the inorganic chemistry group, which consisted of more than 60 technical staff. Prior to joining Los Alamos, he was a research chemist, then a project leader in environmental and oxidation catalysis at DuPont Central Research in Delaware. There, he was also a member of the DuPont Corporate Catalysis Center and the Corporate Environmental Technology Panel.
Dr. Tumas 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 a NSF Graduate Fellow and a Hertz Foundation Fellow, studying the dynamics and reaction mechanisms of gas phase negative ions. He carried out postdoctoral research in organometallic chemistry at the California Institute of Technology from 1985–87 under a National Institutes of Health and a Chaim Weizmann Postdoctoral Fellowship with Professor Robert Grubbs, who was awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Dr. Tumas's 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 more than 45 peer-reviewed publications and has given more than 75 invited presentations.