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Research Staff Biographies

Read more about the wind and water power research staff at the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) at NREL.

Sheri Anstedt

Communications Specialist
B.S. in English with a Professional Writing Emphasis, Carroll University
303-275-3255 (Mon/Fri: RSF); 303-384-7092 (Tues/Thurs: NWTC)

Sheri uses her extensive experience in communications to help facilitate NWTC publications through the NREL publishing process. Specifically, she is an editor, writer, and project manager. Sheri discovered her passion for science writing in 2010 when working as a subcontractor for the Bureau of Land Management's Joint Fire Science Program. Before she discovered science writing, she worked as a marketing writer for clients such as DISH Network, IBM, Motorola, and J.D. Edwards (now Oracle).

Don Baker

Master Research Technician

Don assists with the installation and maintenance of the NWTC's field test turbines as well as with test article installations and testing in the Structural Testing Laboratory and both dynamometer facilities. He participates in the operation and maintenance of the field test sites and meteorological towers, hoisting and rigging activities (including related training), and forklift and tele-handler operation and practical training. Don has received multiple President and Employee-of-the-Month awards during his time at NREL.

Ruth Baranowski

Communications Specialist
M.S. in Technical Communications, University of Colorado at Denver; B.A. in Mass Communications, Colorado State University – Pueblo

Ruth began her career at NREL in 2002, providing communications support for wind and solar research, and relocated to the NWTC in 2003. She now supports WINDExchange, the Department of Energy's (DOE's) platform for disseminating credible information about wind energy. She writes, edits, and manages communications projects including technical reports, conference papers, fact sheets, podcasts, and the biweekly WINDExchange e-newsletter, as well as authors content for the WINDExchange website. Prior to joining NREL, Ruth was a quality assurance editor for e-learning courses, the associate editor of a bi-weekly business journal, and a freelance writer, editor, and Web designer. She left NREL in 2008 and continues to support WINDExchange as a contractor.

A professional head shot photo of Ian Baring-Gould

Ian Baring-Gould

Technology Deployment Manager and Senior Engineer
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Massachusetts Renewable Energy Research Laboratory

As the Wind Technology Deployment Manager and the Technical Director of stakeholder engagement activities, Ian's primary focus is in applications engineering, deployment assistance, and educational outreach. Through programs like the WINDExchange Project, the Collegiate Wind Competition, and Integrated Deployment programs, Ian assists organizations in the deployment of wind technologies and provides information on the appropriate implementation of wind energy. Ian also manages the Distributed Wind Research and Testing portfolio and oversees NREL's deployment-related wind work. Ian has received numerous awards, including the 2013 Women of Wind Energy Champion Award, and is an editor-at-large for Wind Engineering. Ian has authored or co-authored over 80 publications and has been involved in major wind focused analytical work such as the recently completed Wind Vision Report.

A professional head shot photo of Ryan Beach.

Ryan Beach

Mechanical Engineer
B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, Virginia Tech

Ryan supports testing and research and development (R&D) efforts with the blade test team. His primary responsibilities include mechanical component design, test instrumentation and layout design, and data analysis for static and fatigue tests on full-scale wind turbine blades.

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Tiffany Byrne

Business Support II-Offshore Wind and Water Power

Tiffany supports the Offshore Wind and Water Power group. Her responsibilities include meeting planning and travel processing. Prior to joining NREL, Tiffany led the travel department at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California, where she worked to create streamlined and consistent processes.

A professional head shot photo of Arielle Cardina.

Arielle Cardinal

Project Lead II-Technical
B.S. in Hotel Administration, Cornell University

Arielle is the Project Coordinator for the Offshore Wind and Water Power Programs. Arielle is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the planning, management, execution, and reporting of all work associated with the Offshore Wind and Water Power Programs at the NWTC. Arielle also serves as the administrator to the U.S. Technical Advisory Group of the International Electrotechnical Commission's (IEC's) Technical Committee 114: Marine energy — Wave, tidal and other water converters. Prior to joining NREL, Arielle worked in the hospitality sector, developing her customer service and business management skills.

Palmer Carlin

Senior Engineer IV
Ph.D. in Physics; M.S. in Physics; B.S. in Electrical Engineering

Palmer has worked at NREL (then SERI) since 1986. Palmer has authored seminal analysis papers on variable speed technology and collaborated with many early small wind companies on the development of variable speed electrical topologies. His work on the NREL low-speed, direct-coupled wind turbine resulted in several reports and papers, including "Some Analysis of Energy Production from the NWTC Variable Speed Test Bed," which was awarded Best Conference Paper at the 1997 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Wind Energy Symposium. As a senior engineer at the NWTC, Palmer fields questions from inventors, students, small businesses, and entrepreneurs with wind-related questions.

A professional head shot photo of Corrie Christol.

Corrie Christol

Project Coordinator for Wind and Water Deployment and Distributed Wind
A.A., Santa Rosa Junior College, B.A. in Linguistics, University of Colorado at Boulder

Corrie joined NREL in 2002 as the receptionist for the NWTC. Since then, she has progressively gained additional responsibly, including supporting the Applied Research Team, the Water Power Program, and the Wind Powering America Team. Corrie recently began working as a project manager for the Federal Wind, Integrated Deployment, and Wind Powering America programs. In her various roles, Corrie has coordinated program conferences, tracked programmatic activities, and assisted with funding opportunities, as well as handled subcontracts, staff travel, budgets, and projects.

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Matt Churchfield

Senior Engineer
Ph.D, M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering, Purdue University; B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Nevada – Reno

Matt leads the Wind Plant Physics Computational Fluid Dynamics group. His work focuses on high-fidelity simulation of wind plant aerodynamics using large-eddy simulation. Particularly, he is interested in the behavior of turbulent wind turbine wakes and their interactions with other turbines, other wakes, the atmospheric boundary layer, and complex terrain or offshore conditions. He has also studied wind plant-level controls that increase wind plant performance by reducing wake effects. Matt is one of the lead developers of the open-source, freely available Simulator fOr Wind Farm Applications (SOWFA), a coupled fluid-structure-controls simulation tool specifically for wind plants. Matt's graduate research involved turbulence modeling for aircraft wing tip vortex flows.

Beverly Cisneros

Business Support
Trinidad State Junior College

Beverly joined NREL in 2004 as the NWTC receptionist. Since then, Beverly has progressively moved into positions that require more responsibility, including supporting the Research and Development group. Currently, Beverly is the Administrative Assistant for Dr. Michael Robinson, Deputy Director for the NWTC. Beverly provides conference support, logistical coordination for staff travel, and organizes and oversees day-to-day office needs. Prior to joining NREL, Beverly was employed by Oakridge Associated Universities, which worked on the decommissioning of Rocky Flats.

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Andrew Clifton

Senior Engineer
M.Eng in Engineering, Durham University (UK); Dr. Sci in Engineering, ETH Zürich (Switzerland)

Dr. Clifton joined NREL to set up the data processing systems for the NWTC's 135-m meteorological towers. Since then, he has led several projects to characterize and use a range of lidar and sodar, and radar remote wind sensing devices. He helps to lead International Energy Agency (IEA) Task 32 on wind lidar, and was one of the co-editors for the IEA's 2013 Recommended Practices on "Ground-based vertically-profiling remote sensing for wind resource assessment." Together with researchers in academia, national labs, and industry, Andrew is developing new techniques for predicting wind turbine performance in complex flows. He contributes to industry working groups such as the Power Curve Working Group, and leads NREL's partnership in the Center for Research and Education in Wind. Prior to joining NREL, Andy worked for a wind energy consultancy, the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, and Alstom Power.

Dave Corbus

Laboratory Program Manager, Wind Program
M.S. in Applied Science (Mechanical Engineering), New York University; B.A., New York University

Dave is the Wind Laboratory Program Manager at NREL. Dave manages NREL's relationship with the Deputy Assistant Secretaries and Program Mangers at DOE's Office of Electricity (OE), including managers for Power Systems Engineering, National Electricity Delivery, Energy Infrastructure Modeling & Analysis, and the Advanced Grid Integration divisions within OE. Dave worked as an engineer at the NWTC from 1994 to 2010 and researched small turbine testing, domestic and international small wind turbine fieldwork, aeroelastic wind turbine simulations, analysis of coherent turbulent structures, and model validations from field test measurements. He later transitioned into research focused on operational impacts of high penetration of wind on the electric grid, studying costs for generation, transmission, and full cost of wind integration. Dave's work has led him to interact very closely with regional grid operators and partners in the wind and electric utility industries, successfully developing strategic partnerships with a range of third parties.

Jason Cotrell

Manager, Innovation and Reliability
MBA, University of Colorado; M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Jason started at NREL as student in 1995. His current responsibilities include managing the Wind Turbine Reliability and Innovation group at the NWTC, which includes activities in gearbox and generator research and testing, advanced controls, distributed wind turbines, and manufacturing supply chain issues. During his time at NREL, he has researched and developed wind turbine drivetrains, advanced wind turbine rotors, wind-to-hydrogen systems, wind turbine blade and drivetrain testing equipment and facilities, and marine and hydrokinetic testing facilities. Jason has also worked as a visiting professional at GE Wind Energy in Salzbergen, Germany, and as a technical liaison to DOE in Washington, D.C. His most recent work includes strategic energy analysis of wind and water manufacturing and supply chain opportunities in the United States.

Rick Damiani

Senior Engineer
Ph.D. in Aeronautical Engineering

As a Senior Engineer at the NWTC, Rick focuses on aeroelastic modeling of turbines and structural design and analysis of blades and support structures. Rick also supports various technical projects ranging from offshore wind to distributed wind technology (DWT). Rick Damiani is a Senior Engineer at the National Wind Technology Center (NREL). Prior to joining NREL, he was a consultant to the wind industry for 15 years. He focuses on aeroelastic modeling of turbines and structural design and analysis of blades and support structures and he supports various technical projects from offshore wind to DWT.

Scott Dana

Test Engineer
B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering

Scott focuses on field testing of wind turbines and components for mechanical loads and power performance, providing expertise and analysis in structural dynamics, digital signal processing, and modal and random vibration testing. He has contributed to blade testing, dynamometer facility testing, and R&D projects during his time at the NWTC. Prior to joining NREL, Scott researched wind turbine condition and structural health monitoring using dynamic-based sensing methods.

Elise DeGeorge

Technical Project Leader
MBA, University of California at Berkeley; M.S. in Environmental Engineering, University of Alaska; B.S. in Engineering, University of Michigan

Elise is a project lead in the wind deployment team and currently leads the Collegiate Wind Competition project. Elise also manages NREL's role in the Fishermen's Atlantic City Windfarm, one of the first proposed offshore wind projects in the United States. She also supports several projects within the Wind and Water Power Program's environmental and hydropower portfolio. Prior to these roles, Elise supported the Wind and Water Power Program team as a program integrator, helping to manage and execute NREL's $50M+ program. Her expertise is in planning, analysis, and project management. Prior to joining NREL, Elise worked for 17 years at a global environmental consulting firm, MWH, where she worked on municipal engineering assignments across the project lifecycle. She also worked on management consulting assignments in sustainability assessment, asset, management, and organizational network analysis.

Michael Desmond

Mechanical Engineer, Certification Blade Test Engineer
M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Mike's primary role as a test engineer is to conduct static and fatigue structural testing of full-scale wind turbine blades for certification and research. Mike also works on dynamic characterization of wind turbine structures and components.

A professional head shot photo of Kim Domenico.

Kim Domenico

Business Support II

Kim joined the National Renewable Laboratory in 2010 and is the first person you see when you arrive at Building 251. She is responsible for performing a wide variety of tasks that are required to run an organization smoothly and professionally. As a Business Support, Kim works closely with all of the staff, assisting them with conferences, meetings, and travel, organizing tours, and coordinating special events that are held onsite. In addition, she supports the Communication Department with various purchases and requests. Kim also registers and hosts visitors from around the world.

A professional head shot photo of Caroline Draxl.

Caroline Draxl

Senior Scientist
M.S. in Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Innsbruck (Austria); Ph.D. in Meteorology, Technical University of Denmark, DTU Wind Energy (Denmark)

Caroline works to advance the current state-of-the-art in mesoscale modeling as it specifically pertains to wind energy. Caroline uses mesoscale models to research wind resources in various countries, and participates in on- and offshore boundary layer research and in the coupling of the mesoscale flow features (kilometer scale) to the microscale (tens of meters). Further areas of interest include solar energy, Large Eddy Simulations (LES), and data assimilation for renewable energies.

Frederick Driscoll

Senior Engineer
Ph.D. in Mechanical engineering and physical Oceanography University of Victoria; B.A. in Mechanical Engineering, with Business Management from University of Victoria

As a member of the Offshore Wind and Ocean Power Systems team, Rick works in the areas of offshore wind and marine hydrokinetics on computer modeling, design, testing, instrumentation, and data analysis. Before joining NREL, Rick was an Associate Professor of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), where he focused on ocean energy and navy projects for more than 10 years. While at FAU, he established and led the Center for Ocean Energy Technology, now the Southeast National Marine Energy Center, and served on the Florida Energy Commission. Rick has published more than 30 journal and conference papers and he holds two patents.

Katherine Dykes

Senior Engineer
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; M.S. in Electrical Engineering, M.S. in AED Economics, The Ohio State University; B.S. in Electrical Engineering, B.S. in Economics, University of Pennsylvania

Katherine supports an NWTC initiative for systems engineering methods applied to wind energy. The project is undergoing initial development and involves integrating engineering and cost-based analysis tools to analyze overall wind energy system performance. Katherine's Ph.D. work in systems engineering involves understanding innovation and diffusion of wind energy technology. She began working in wind energy as a wind program analyst for Green Energy Ohio in 2005 and as a data analyst for The Renaissance Group. In addition to wind energy, Katherine has worked as a system dynamics consultant to IBM's Smarter Cities Marketing Insights 2.0 initiative, a data quality analyst at EnerNOC for its demand management program, and as a controls engineer for GM's Hybrid Vehicle Program.

A professional head shot photo of Sara Fairchild.

Sara Fairchild

Research Technician I-Multi Discipline
B.A. in Environmental Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder

Sara brings strong data management and editing skills to NREL, gained through her work at the Institute of Alpine and Arctic Research. She specialized in biogeochemistry with an emphasis on soil science and had the opportunity to study soils throughout Northern California in the summer of 2010.

Jason Fields

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Texas Tech University

Jason Fields is a wind energy engineer with experience on over 5,000 MW of wind project development activities spanning multiple continents. He specializes in early stage development, particularly wind resource assessment and risk analysis. His research interests include instrumentation, mesoscale-microscale coupling, uncertainty analysis, and risk assessment. Jason is also the U.S. representative on several international research and standards tasks through the IEA and the IEC. Jason is heavily engaged in industry as a planner for the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Project Energy Yield workshop and as the co-chair for the AWEA Wind Resource Assessment (WRA) working group.

A professional head shot photo of Lee Fingersh.

Lee Fingersh

Engineer V-Multi Discipline
M.S. in Science in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder

Lee Jay joined NREL in 1993. For seven years, he was the test engineer on the Unsteady Aerodynamics Experiment turbine, which culminated in the NASA Ames wind tunnel test. Lee has worked on the design and controls for the variable-speed test bed and administered many experiments. In addition, Lee was an integral part of the team that designed the 2.5-MW dynamometer currently in use at the NWTC. Lee has written papers on wind, hydrogen, and battery integration. He has worked on the Controls Advanced Research Turbines (CART), including writing the control systems specifications and developing the three-bladed CART turbine. Lee has supported many industry projects including blade tests, dynamometer tests, and full-system developments for GE, the Wind Turbine Company, Clipper, Southwest Windpower, and Windward. Most recently, Lee has served as the head judge for the Collegiate Wind Competition.

A professional head shot photo of Paul Fleming.

Paul Fleming

Engineer IV-Multi Discipline
Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering, Vanderbilt University; B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Binghamton University

Paul's expertise is in the design and analysis of control systems for wind energy. Paul co-designed the control system used for field testing of advanced control systems on the CARTs, located at the NWTC. Since joining NREL, he has researched topics such as the use of modern control methods for wind turbine control systems, the use of lidar for wind turbine control, and independent blade pitch control. His current research topics include active power control (APC) from wind, control of floating wind turbines, and wind plant control.

Pieter Gebraad

Postdoctoral Researcher
Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Control Engineering, Delft University of Technology (Netherlands); B.Sc., Mechanical Engineering, Delft University of Technology (Netherlands)

Pieter works on the development of advanced wind plant control techniques that deal with wake interaction in the wind plant, and on integrating these techniques in wind plant system engineering. His work involves the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models such as NREL's SOWFA, the development of engineering models of wind plants, and field testing wake control techniques.

A professional head shot photo of Vahan Gevorgian.

Vahan Gevorgian

Senior Engineer
Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, State Engineering University of Armenia; M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Yerevan Polytechnic Institute (Armenia)

Vahan joined NREL in October 1994 and has served many roles over the years. He is currently working with Transmission and Grid Integration group focused on renewable energy impacts on transmission and interconnection issues and dynamic modeling of variable generation systems. He is involved in many different areas including dynamometer and field testing of large and small wind turbines, dynamometer testing of wind turbine drivetrain components, development of advanced data acquisition systems, and wind turbine power quality. Vahan provides technical support to NREL industry partners and major U.S. wind turbine manufacturers. He is member of the IEC team for wind turbine power quality standards. His contributions to NREL research have been recognized through multiple Outstanding Individual and Team Staff Awards.

A professional head shot photo of Jim Green.

Jim Green

Senior Project Leader
B.S. in General Engineering, University of Illinois

Jim joined NREL (then SERI) in 1978 and NREL's National Wind Technology Center in 1992. In 2009, he managed the purchase, installation, and commissioning of the DOE 1.5-megawatt wind turbine at the NWTC. He was the project leader for the design and construction of the 5.8-megawatt dynamometer completed in 2013. Jim is currently responsible for operations, safety, and engineering assessment of the Chesapeake Light Tower, an offshore platform off the coast of Virginia. Previously, Jim managed turbine development subcontracts with small wind turbine manufacturers. Throughout the 1980s, he participated in research on open-cycle ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) including the engineering design of a successful net-power-producing experiment in Hawaii, a fully-functional and grid-connected OTEC power plant. Jim has received an NREL Presidents Award for outstanding project management and a DOE award for an outstanding industry partnership.

A professional head shot photo of Srinivas Guntur.

Srinivas Guntur

Postdoctoral Researcher II-Computational Sciences
Ph.D. in Wind Energy, Technical University of Denmark; M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of New Hampshire; B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering and Information Technology, Vellore Institute of Technology (India)

As a postdoctoral fellow, Srinivas' research activities at NREL are primarily focused on verification and validation of the in-house wind turbine aeroelastic code, FAST. Srinivas also assists in the compilation of experimental databases from previous and on-going megawatt-scale wind turbine field experiments. Prior to arriving at NREL, Srinivas was a Ph.D. student at the Technical University of Denmark, where he studied modeling of 3D aerodynamic effects on wind turbine blades. During his M.S., he worked with aerodynamics of small scale wind turbines at the University of New Hampshire.

A professional head shot photo of Yi Guo.

Yi Guo

Researcher Engineer
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Ohio State University; M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University (China)

Yi is dedicated to research and development in dynamic modeling, reliability analysis, vibro-acoustics, data analysis, and design optimization of land-based and offshore wind turbine drivetrains. Yi has been focus on using analytical and computational modeling approaches to model and analyze geared systems and has published numerous impactful journal publications. Prior to NREL, she pursued her Ph.D. research at Ohio State University with specialization in dynamics, vibration, and acoustics of wind turbine and helicopter drivetrains. She received her M.S. and B.S. degrees from Xi'an Jiaotong University in China with the focus on fluid mechanics. Yi has published over numerous journal articles, conference papers and technical reports. Yi is a committee member of American Gear Manufacturers Association and a member of Women of Wind Energy.

Maureen Hand

Senior Engineer
Ph.D. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder; B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Wyoming

Maureen has worked at NREL since 1995. Most recently, she coordinated the Wind Vision Report, a collaborative analytic effort among public and private organizations to investigate the potential for wind energy to provide 20% of the nation's future electricity needs. Prior to leading this analytic effort, Maureen investigated active control system design for utility-scale wind turbines and contributed to experimental investigation of wind turbine aerodynamics. Her contributions were recognized through an NREL Outstanding Team Staff Award in 2001.

Gregory Hayman

Engineer IV-Multi Discipline
M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder, B.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Purdue University

Greg's expertise is in the design and development of software for engineering applications. His experience includes project management, software architectural design, various software development lifecycles, development of multi-physics simulation codes, visualization systems, computed tomography, electronic speckle-pattern interferometry, and motion control systems. At NREL, Greg has developed many of the pre- and post-processors used in the analysis of data from both land-based and offshore wind energy system simulations. He also develops software components for FAST, NREL's multi-physics engineering simulation tool. Prior to joining NREL, Greg was a software lead for 3M, developing medical software for the dental industry. While working at Hytec, Inc., he developed an optical instrument for micron-level displacement measurements, designed and developed software for the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) project, and created an experimental system for measuring the positional stability of the ATLAS pixel detectors for the European Organization for Nuclear Research's high-energy particle accelerator.

Arlinda Huskey

Senior Engineer
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado at Denver; B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Arizona State University

Arlinda joined NREL in 1995. Her activities include field testing of small and large wind turbines; noise, power performance, and loads testing of wind turbines; and duration, safety, and function for small wind turbines. She also is the secretary of the IEC maintenance team for the wind turbine noise standard. Arlinda was also involved in the accreditation of certification testing at the NWTC.

Mark Jacobson

Project Leader IV-Technical
M.B.A., Ball State University; B. S. in Physics, Ball State University

Mark's work at NREL is focused in three primary areas: international assistance via renewable resource assessments and developing capacity building strategies; educational outreach for renewable energy technologies, primarily wind; and developing solutions for the various market barriers of wind energy. Specifically, Mark has led or is leading the development of renewable tools, deployment strategies, and market studies in Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Brazil. Prior to joining NREL, Mark's career spanned a diverse background of energy positions. He has been responsible for leading or supporting various renewable legislative lobbying efforts in the Midwest and West. Mark has also been responsible for over 1,000 megawatts of generation projects built or under contract, primarily wind.

A professional head shot photo of Dave Jager.

Dave Jager

Lead Technician
Ground Radio Communication Equipment Repairman (AFSC: 304x4), Instrumentation Mechanic (AFSC: 316x3)

Dave joined NREL (then the Solar Energy Research Institute [SERI]) in 1985. He specializes in data acquisition and instrumentation and has served as lead technician on several NREL projects. Dave has installed instrumentation on meteorological towers and all classifications of wind turbines, and he has experience with sodar and tall towers. Dave joined the Independent Testing team by participating in Skystream 2 testing in 2006 and Mariah testing in early 2008. Dave worked under other staff members to become familiar and proficient in the testing requirements in accordance with IEC and MEASNET standards and in the procedures used in the NWTC's quality assurance system. Dave is a fully qualified member of the certification test team for power performance, loads, safety and function, and duration testing.

A professional head shot photo of Mike Jenks.

Mike Jenks

Research Technician V-Multi Discipline
M.S. in Environmental Policy and Management, Denver University; B.A. in Psychology, University of Oregon; A.A.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology, Front Range Community College

Mike joined NREL (then SERI) in 1987 and worked on the Unsteady Aero Experiment until 1989, when he helped commission the first structural testing laboratory at the NWTC. Since then, he has served as Lead Technician on dozens of blade tests. Mike is also the ISO 17025 Deputy Technical Manager for structural testing and helps ensure that quality assurance goals are met. Prior to joining NREL, Mike worked for AT&T Information Systems and served in the U.S. Air Force.

Dale (Scott) Jenne

Engineer III-Multi Discipline
M.S. Systems Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Arizona State University

Scott works in the Strategic Energy Analysis Center (SEAC), where he works with the Geothermal Analysis group and focuses on thermal system and economic analysis for low temperature and co-produced hydrothermal power plants. Prior to joining SEAC, Scott was an intern in the Research Participant Program (RPP), working in the biomass gasification and pyrolysis pilot plant. While in the pilot plant, he designed new and retrofit scrubbers, separators, and other downstream mechanical systems. His background in mechanical systems and economic analysis has led to his most recent work with the Marine and Hydrokinetic (MHK) team, where he is one of the lead techno-economic analysts for wave and current energy. His areas of expertise include techno-economic analysis, mechanical design, and rigid body structural analysis.

A professional head shot photo of Tony Jimenez.

Tony Jimenez

Senior Engineer
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University; B.S. in Engineering Physics, University of Colorado

Tony started working at NREL in 1996 as a student and became a regular employee in 2001. He has expertise in performance and economic modeling of wind, photovoltaic, and hybrid system projects; project pre-feasibility analysis; wind data analysis; the small wind turbine certification process; economic impact analysis; and project management. Current and past NREL work includes leading the small wind Regional Test Center effort, analysis of the potential economic impact of large-scale MHK deployment off the coast of Oregon, administration of the Native American Anemometer Loan Program, and wind project pre-feasibility analysis. Tony is an engineer officer in the Army Reserve. He has deployed twice overseas: to Iraq in 2007-2008, when he worked on reconstruction as a project manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and to Kuwait in 2014-2015, when he served as Director of Public Works for the Army installations in that country.

Tim Johansson

Facilities Tech IV-Specialty Trade
A.A.S. in Commercial/Industrial Electricity, Red Rocks Community College

Tim joined the SERI Site Operations group, formerly Facilities, in August 1982. He performed maintenance, operation, and repair on laboratory support systems, including some minor construction to install or retrofit various plumbing and electrical services in labs. As a mechanical/electrical technician Chief Engineer, Tim leads the maintenance crew at NWTC. Prior to joining SERI, Tim was a Machinist at the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, where he repaired diesel locomotives. Tim also served as a Machinist Mate in the U.S. Navy.

Katie Johnson

Joint Appointee Senior Engineer
Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder; B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Clarkson University

Professor Johnson has been a faculty member at the Colorado School of Mines since 2005 and is jointly appointed with the NWTC. Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher and held various student positions at NREL from 2001 to 2005. Katie's research interests are centered on control systems and control applications, especially wind energy. Some of her wind energy control projects include controlling the wake to increase the energy capture of wind plants using coordinated turbine control, lidar-based feed forward control strategies for load reduction and energy capture improvements on wind turbines, research in wind turbine fault detection and fault-tolerant control, and an analysis of the use of wind turbine control for grid support.

Chandra Jones

MLIS, University of Denver; B.A., Metropolitan State College of Denver

As a member of the Library Services team, Chandra spends time at the NWTC Library and the main Library in the Research Support Facility at NREL, providing information support services to staff and the public. Prior to working for NREL, Chandra worked in public libraries for more than 15 years.

Bonnie Jonkman

Senior Scientist
M.S. in Mathematics, Colorado State University; B.A. in Computer Science and Mathematics, Dordt College

Bonnie joined NREL in 2003. She spent her first several years at NREL processing and analyzing meteorological data collected from several experiments, including the Lamar Low-Level Jet Project, and incorporating those data into TurbSim, NREL's computer-aided engineering tool that numerically simulates stochastic, full-field turbulent wind. Since then, Bonnie has worked on many of the simulation tools developed at the NWTC and helped develop the FAST Modularization Framework. Bonnie is the chief software architect for FAST v8, NREL's primary computer-aided engineering tool for simulating the coupled dynamic response of wind turbines. She is also the webmaster for the NWTC Information Portal, which contains data and software developed at the NWTC and provides user support.

Jason Jonkman

Senior Engineer-Wind Turbine Multi-Physics Engineering Modeling
Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado; M.S in, Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University; B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering, Dordt College
303- 384-7026

Jason joined NREL in 2000 and leads the wind turbine multi-physics engineering tool development activities, including the FAST software for modeling the dynamic response of land-based and offshore wind turbines. He also guides projects aimed at verifying, validating, and applying engineering tools to wind turbine design and analysis. Jason currently co-chairs an IEA Wind research task on developing, verifying, and validating simulation models for offshore wind turbines. He is the principal investigator for a DOE-funded project to improve the modeling of offshore floating wind system dynamics. He also is a U.S. representative on the IEC working group to develop an international technical specification for the design of floating offshore wind turbines.

A professional head shot photo of Jon Keller.

Jon Keller

Engineer V
Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, Penn State University

Jon's is in mechanical systems reliability, aeroelasticity, and testing. At NREL, Jon is the Principal Investigator of the Gearbox Reliability Collaborative, a consortium of government, industry, and university partners studying wind turbine drivetrain reliability through focused testing, analysis, and modeling. In addition, Jon is the Principal Investigator for the NREL-led Next Generation Drivetrain team, which is developing and testing a wind turbine drivetrain to increase torque density and reliability while reducing operations and maintenance and deployment costs. Prior to joining NREL, Jon worked for the U.S. Army at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama for 10 years, where he developed condition monitoring systems for Army rotorcraft to reduce the cost and maintenance burdens while increasing availability and safety.

Levi Kilcher

Research Scientist-Ocean Energy
Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography, Oregon State University

Levi is an expert in ocean turbulence, tidal processes, and surface waves. He has more than 10 of experience in data analysis, and has spent more than 7 months at sea for research. Levi leads the NREL water power team's resource assessment and site characterization activities. Additionally, Levi worked under DOE's Alaska Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team program to help tribal communities throughout the state identify renewable energy and energy efficiency opportunities that fit the climate and meet their needs.

A professional head shot photo of Daniel Laird.

Daniel Laird

Center Director
M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Daniel Laird is Director of the NWTC. Dr. Laird also serves as an executive committee member of the DOE Atmosphere to Electrons Wind Plant Optimization Initiative and provides leadership in the high-fidelity modeling, wind plant controls, and rotor dynamics focus areas. Prior to joining NREL in 2015, he spent 19 years at Sandia National Laboratories leading wind energy and water power research efforts in structural analysis and simulation, computational design tools, advanced manufacturing, composite materials, and blade reliability.

Eric Lantz

Energy Analyst, Market and Policy Impact Analysis Group
M.S. in Environmental Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder; B.A. in Biology, Eastern Mennonite University

Eric's primary areas of research include policy applications for expanding renewable energy markets, evaluating economic and fiscal impacts of energy policy alternatives, and social acceptance of renewable energy infrastructure. Eric was a contributing author to the IEA Wind Task 26, The Past and Future Cost of Wind Energy, published in 2012, and the 2011 Cost of Wind Energy Review published in 2013. Prior to joining NREL full-time, Eric was a graduate research partner to NREL and a client services specialist for Pace Analytical Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

A professional head shot photo of Carol Laurier.

Carol Laurie

Senior Writer, Editor, and Project Manager

Carol supports NREL Wind and Water Power and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy communications projects. She writes the International Energy Agency (IEA) Wind Annual Report U.S. Chapter; writes, edits and manages the DOE Wind Program newsletter; and provides logistical support for DOE’s presence at large events such as American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER. Prior to joining the wind communications team, Carol served on NREL’s solar communications team, where she managed communications for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, a highly visible international student competition. Carol led a team of writers, editors, and designers in developing event websites, brochures, fact sheets, fliers, posters, technical reports, exhibit signage, interactive displays, newsletters, videos, and other materials. Prior to joining NREL, Carol owned her own consultancy and also served in senior editorial positions at public relations and marketing agencies.

Michael Lawson

Senior Engineer-Water Power
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University; M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech

As a member of NREL's Ocean Energy team, Dr. Michael Lawson focuses on the areas of wave and water current energy research and development. He is currently the Principal Investigator of the WEC-Sim project, which has the goal of developing an open source design and analysis tool for wave energy conversion (WEC) devices. Michael is the co-Principal Investigator of a laboratory directed research and development project to study advanced control methods for variable geometry WEC devices. Michael contributes to several other projects focused on the design, analysis, and economic evaluation of WEC and water current energy devices.

Sang Lee

Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University; B.S., Yonsei University (Korea)

Sang's research focus is on investigating critical fatigue load caused by neighboring turbine wakes and extreme gusts. He is one of the main developers of SOWFA. His research experience prior to joining NREL includes large eddy simulation of shock boundary layer interaction control and direct numerical simulation of isotropic turbulence.

A professional head shot photo of Alexsandra Lemke.

Alexsandra Lemke

Communications Team Lead
B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Northern Colorado; B.A. in Speech Communication and Human Communication, University of Northern Colorado

As the Wind and Water Power Program Communications Team Lead, Alex serves as the primary interface to the Wind and Water Power Program management team to develop communication strategies and plans and implement effective solutions and products to highlight the accomplishments and capabilities of the Wind and Water Power Program. Alex is an experienced sales manager and project manager with an expertise in publishing, communications, training, and public speaking. Prior to joining NREL, Alex spent two years as a senior account executive for Energy Central, a multimedia publisher for electric power professionals. Prior to that, Alex spent 15 years with Crain Communications' RCR Wireless News, a publishing firm providing wireless and mobile industry news, insights, and analysis to industry and enterprise professionals.

A professional head shot photo of Albert LiVecchi.

Albert LiVecchi

Laboratory Program Manager I-Multi Discipline
M.B.A., Cornell University; M.S. in Bioengineering, Clemson University; B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Lehigh University

Al has been part of the Wind and Water Power Program Management Team at NREL since 2009. He helped establish NREL's new Water Power Program and built the technical team that focuses on marine and hydrokinetic technologies. As Water Power Laboratory Program Manager, Al is responsible for planning and executing NREL’s portfolio of DOE-sponsored marine and hydrokinetic and hydropower projects along with having primary responsibility for establishing productive partnerships with external organizations. Prior to joining NREL, Al managed Strategy and Business Development at an early stage R&D informatics company and worked as a management consultant on a diverse set of engagements ranging from technology market opportunity assessments to information management optimization to support R&D decision making and planning. Al was also a Senior Staff Scientist at Baxter CardioVascular, where he conducted research on the failure mechanisms of heart valve implants and developed design modifications to increase their operational lives.

Julie Lunquist

Joint Appointee
Ph.D. and M.S., Astrophysical, Planetary, and Atmospheric Science, University of Colorado at Boulder

Julie Lundquist is a professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her research group uses observational and computational approaches to understand atmospheric influences on turbine productivity, turbine wake dynamics, and downwind impacts of wind energy. She has designed and led field experiments to quantify wind turbine wakes with lidar and in situ instrumentation, and employed these measurements to validate simulations of wind turbine wakes. Most recently, she has led the DOE A2e eXperimental Planetary boundary layer Instrument Assessment (XPIA) field campaign. She has authored or co-authored over 40 peer-reviewed publications and over 100 conference presentations. In 2013, she received the Women of Wind Energy's "Rising Star" award.

Ben Maples

M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder

Ben Maples is a member of the Technology Systems and Sustainability Analysis group in the Strategic Energy Analysis Center. During his first year at NREL, Ben earned his master's degree performing analysis on the use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles for peak shaving. His main research areas focus on developing a comprehensive cost and scaling model for utility-scale wind turbines and assessing future wind technology cost and performance estimates. Prior to his career in wind energy, Ben worked for an energy services company and as an engineering design consultant for the robotics industry.

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Mark McDade


Mark McDade is a project manager at the NWTC. He is responsible for the NREL Grid Simulator program and the Gearbox Reliability Collaborative Database and is a member of the 5-MW dynamometer upgrade team. Mark has a master's degree in information systems management and leadership experience in high-tech manufacturing. He has been with NREL and its predecessor, SERI, a total of more than 10 years over two different periods.

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Patrick Moriarty

Engineering Manager
Ph.D. and M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering, Stanford University; B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan; B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan

Pat is the lead of the Turbine Modeling and Wind Resource group and has been at NREL since 2001. His research expertise includes wind turbine design, systems engineering, aerodynamics and aeroacoustics of wind turbines, and resource assessment for wind plants. Currently, Pat leads much of the NREL wind resource assessment, guiding work across a range of scales between mesoscale and turbine scale, including turbine wake interactions. He leads an IEA Task on wind turbine wake model validation. He has published over 60 papers related to wind energy and serves as associate editor for the journal Wind Energy. Prior to joining NREL, Pat worked as a wind energy consultant at RANN, Inc. focused on wind turbine control and aerodynamics.

Ed Muljadi

Senior Engineer
Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison; B.Sc., Electrical Engineering, Surabaya Institute of Technology (Indonesia)

Ed joined NREL in 1992 and is a member of the Transmission Grid Integration group. His research projects are in the fields of electric machines, power electronics, and power systems, with emphasis on renewable energy applications. He has been involved with many different projects for industry and utilities, including variable speed wind turbine development, electric machine design and optimization, isolated operations (battery charging, self-excitation, and water pumping), and wind power plant design (collector system equivalent), operation, dynamic model development, and system integration. He has written numerous publications and was the recipient of an IEEE Prize Paper. He holds two patents in renewable energy power conversion for a variable speed wind turbine generator and a peak power tracker for photovoltaic applications. He collaborates with the Utility Wind Integration Group, Western Electricity Coordinating Council, Midwest Independent System Operator, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in the area of dynamic modeling and analysis.

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Walt Musial

Engineer VI-Multi Discipline
B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Walt is a principal engineer and the manager of Offshore Wind at NREL, where he has worked since 1988. In 2003, he initiated the offshore wind energy research program at NREL and now leads that program. Walt was also responsible for the development and implementation of the full scale blade and drivetrain testing facilities at the NWTC. In the 1980s, Walt was employed in the commercial wind energy industry in California. He has authored over 60 publications and holds two patents.

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Shelley Neiman

Executive Assistant

Shelley’s primary role at the NWTC is to provide direct administrative support to the center director, lab program manager, and the rest of the executive staff. Shelley also serves as lead business support associate for the Business Support team. Other duties include, but not limited to, calendar management, travel, and conference planning.

Prior to joining NREL, Shelley was an executive assistant at Ball Aerospace, for 12 years supporting the director and team members of the Program Security Department.

Eric Nelson

Engineer IV-Multi Discipline
B.S. in Electrical Engineering

Eric's area of expertise is marine energy devices: wave energy devices, water current turbines, and offshore wind turbines. Past areas of research include ocean observatory buoys and instrumentation. Eric has been deploying equipment in the ocean for over 12 years. Prior to working at NREL, Eric was an electrical engineer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

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Steve Nixon

Building Area Engineer
M.S. in Engineering Management, California Institute of Technology; B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

As the NWTC Building Area Engineer (BAE), Steve coordinates facilities operations activities and initiates and supports projects that maintain and upgrade the facilities supporting the world-class research activities. Prior to the NWTC, Steve was the BAE for the Field Test Laboratory Building at NREL. Steve has an extensive background in facilities engineering, facilities management, and implementing building energy efficiency measures. Steve is a registered Professional Engineer, a Certified Energy Manager, and a Project Management Professional. Prior to joining NREL, Steve was the Facilities Operations Manager at the IBM site northeast of Boulder, Colorado. His previous work experiences also include manufacturing engineering, business application programming, and business process management positions.

Frank Oteri

Communications Specialist
B.S. in Mass Communications, Colorado State University – Pueblo

Frank provides programmatic support for DOE's WINDExchange initiative. He continuously contributes to wind energy communication efforts concerning a variety of topics. Frank's past work has included researching and tracking annual wind-related manufacturing activities for DOE's Wind Technologies Market Report.

Andrew Platt

M.S. in Computational Physics, Oregon State University; B.A. in Engineering-Physics, Taylor University

Andy is a member of the NWTC computer support team and a developer of the FAST computer simulation software for modeling the dynamic response of land-based and offshore wind turbines. Andy's additional research interests include investigating charge transport in self-assembling, low molecular weight, organic semiconductors using ultra-fast spectroscopic and transient photoconductive techniques.

Nathan Post

Ph.D. and M.S. in Engineering Mechanics, Virginia Tech; B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Clarkson University

Nathan Post focuses on full-scale structural testing of wind turbine blades and related components for certification and research. Nathan works as a technical project leader for full-scale blade tests at the Wind Technology Testing Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Robert Preus

Project Leader/Program Manager
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering

Robert's expertise is in design and manufacture of small and midsized wind generators, and in standards development. At NREL, he provides technical monitoring of distributed wind contracts, manufacturing and cost expertise for model development, and support for standards development. Prior to joining NREL, Robert founded Advanced Renewable Technology, which provided training, engineering, and certification support for small wind manufacturers. Robert has 28 years of experience in wind energy. He led the successful development of 2.5-kW to 300-kW wind generators. He has extensive experience in design of wind energy systems. He has trained many dealers in the installation of distributed wind systems and served on the committees that developed installer certification. He was the co-chair of the group that wrote a section for wind in the National Electrical Code. In 2010, Robert received the Small Wind Advocate award.

Eliot Quon

Postdoctoral Researcher I-Computational Sciences
Ph.D. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology; B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University

Eliot's expertise is in computational fluid dynamics and aeroelasticity as well as numerical methods. His experience includes high-fidelity modeling of rotorcraft and wind turbines, development of variable-fidelity methods for rotor wakes, and application of advanced data mapping techniques. At NREL, Eliot's research focuses on the aeroelastic behavior of flexible, extreme-scale wind turbines.

Jim Ringwall

Senior Environment, Health, and Safety Professional
B.S. in Industrial Management/Design, Georgia Southern University

Jim is currently assigned as an Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) Point of Contact (POC) for the NWTC. He has over 25 years of experience in the safety profession. Before joining NREL, Jim worked as a contractor for the Environmental Protection Agency (Emergency Response Division), DOE (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Department of Defense (Rocky Mountain Arsenal), Corps of Engineers, (and URS Corporation and was an Occupational Safety and Health Administration Special Government Employee.

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Amy Robertson

Engineer V-Multi Discipline
Ph.D. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado; B.S. in Engineering Sciences, Trinity University

Amy's expertise is in structural dynamics modeling, verification and validation, and data analysis. At NREL, Amy specializes in the modeling of offshore wind system dynamics. She co-leads IEA Wind Task 30, an international research project focused on the verification/validation of offshore wind modeling tools. Prior to joining NREL, Amy worked as an independent consultant for 3M in Boulder and as a technical staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Her diverse work experience has included the analysis of medical CT data, data interrogation of mechanical responses, structural health monitoring of civil structures, and finite-element and rigid-body modeling.

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Robi Robichaud

Engineer IV-Multi Discipline
M.S. in Building Systems Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder; B.B.A. in Accounting, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Robi joined NREL in 1999. His expertise is in wind resource assessment and project development/deployment. He has completed resource assessments for wind and other technologies at dozens of domestic and international federal facilities utilizing Windographer, OpenWind, WindPro, and HOMER software. Robi was the project manager for the installation of a Vestas V-47 660-kW wind turbine at Camp Williams, Utah. He has developed numerous workshops on wind, pumped storage hydropower, and general renewable energy topics for federal energy managers and project leaders. He managed the hybrid power system providing renewable power to the Organizer's Team of the Solar Decathlon, an innovative solar house competition for university students worldwide. Prior to joining NREL, Robi installed solar and small weather systems on schools throughout Colorado while a photovoltaics technician with Altair Energy.

Samantha Rooney

Project Leader I-General
B.S. in Environmental Science and Land Use, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Sam joined NREL as Business Support for the Offshore Wind and Water Power team and is now a Project Coordinator working mostly on wind power projects and the Atmosphere to Electrons (A2e) initiative. Sam is responsible for working with principal investigators and project leads to plan their project resources, track financial progress, and submit all required reports and project updates. Sam also works with the program management team at the NWTC to coordinate the completion of the Annual Operating Plan, milestone transmissions, and quarterly reports.

Dana Scholbrock

Business Support III
B.A. in Communications, University of South Florida

Dana provides support to the senior engineers within the Turbine Modeling, Wind Resource, Offshore Wind, Ocean Power Systems, and Wind Technology Research and Development groups at the NWTC. She is the team liaison for all NREL business processes in Workday, NQuIRE, the cost development worksheet, conference and travel planning and payments, contracts and businesses, and the opportunity management system. Before Dana came to NREL, she spent more than seven years working as a Project Coordinator contractor to various government agencies (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and Department of Defense) facilitating the development of partnerships between different agencies.

Andrew Scholbrock

Engineer III-Multi Discipline
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado; B.S. in Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin

At the NWTC, Andrew currently works with the two CARTs developing, field-testing, and analyzing advanced control systems. Some of the research performed with the CARTs includes feedforward control algorithms for load mitigation, active power control for grid frequency stabilization, system identification for wind turbine control, and improving wind turbine reliability through controls. In addition to running field test experiments, Andrew coordinates the operation and maintenance of the two CARTs. Prior to joining NREL, Andrew studied computational fluid mechanics, which led him to research in modeling wind plant-level control to minimize wake loss effects.

Scott Schreck

Principal Engineer
Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado; M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology; B.S. in Engineering Sciences, United States Air Force Academy

Scott Schreck joined the NWTC in 1998 and has served in various roles within the center, ranging from basic and applied research to utility-scale technology development. Scott currently directs DOE's Turbine Dynamics and Inflow Research Facility, which is aimed at understanding turbine aerodynamics and atmospheric physics that govern energy production and machine structural loads. Early in his NREL career, he led the Aerodynamics and Aeroacoustics team in applied research for discovering, characterizing, and modeling phenomena crucial to wind turbine efficiency and commercial viability. Major activities have included planning and analyses of experiments in the NASA Ames 80' x 120' wind tunnel, as well as establishment of IEA Annex 20, a multinational consortium of turbine aerodynamics researchers from Asia, Europe, and North America developing and validating turbine aerodynamics models.

George Scott

M.S. in Geophysics, University of Michigan; B.S. in Mathematics and Geology, University of Michigan

George joined NREL (then SERI) in 1985. He specializes in the acquisition, analysis, and visualization of all kinds of wind energy data. He has contributed to many national and regional wind resource assessment projects, including training local staff in Mongolia on the installation of meteorological towers. He has lead NREL's MHK resource assessment projects for wave and river energy. In addition, he is part of the team studying the optimal design of wind turbines and wind plants. Before joining NREL, George was a research geophysicist with Superior Oil in Houston.

Latha Sethuraman

Postdoctoral Researcher
Ph.D. and M.Sc., University of Edinburgh (Scotland)

Latha's expertise is in modeling and design of direct-drive generators and coupled aeroelastic simulation of drivetrain systems. At NREL, she supports the drivetrain modeling effort under the Gearbox Reliability Collaborative, focusing on high-speed shaft and bearing loads analysis. Latha has also been investigating the dynamics of main bearings for three-point suspension systems. Her research experience is multidisciplinary and covers a range of topics, including hydrodynamic response modelling, electro-mechanical system design and optimization, structural analysis, and multi-body simulation. In addition, Latha holds industrial experience carrying out detailed design calculations for substation electrical equipment and power system analysis for industrial power plants.

A professional head shot photo of Shuangwen Sheng.

Shuangwen Sheng

Engineer-Multi Discipline
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Massachusetts at Amherst; M.S. in Electrical Engineering, Institute of Electrical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences; B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Northeast Petroleum University (China)

Shawn's expertise is in condition monitoring of wind turbine drivetrain as well as numerical modeling. At NREL, Shawn specializes in wind turbine drivetrain condition monitoring and is leading this effort as part of Wind Innovation and Reliability team. Shawn also leads gearbox reliability database and wind plant operation and maintenance research work at NREL. Under Shawn's leadership, NREL has become a widely recognized leader in wind turbine drivetrain condition monitoring and a credible source for wind turbine gearbox reliability statistics. Shawn's additional experience includes mechanical and electrical system modeling and analysis, data sensing and sensor placement, signal processing in time and frequency domains, machine defect classification and level evaluation, machine life prognosis, multi-scale modeling, soft computing, and traditional and intelligent control.

Dave Simms

Center Director—Lab Facilities

Before coming to NREL, Dave was an Air Force officer and led a variety of defense science and engineering programs. These included the U.S. Air Force Seiler Research Laboratory/Air Force Academy unsteady aerodynamics research program, a joint effort aimed at aircraft maneuverability enhancement. His final military assignment was with the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Computational Mathematics Program, a multidisciplinary program that supported university, industry, and Air Force laboratory computational research efforts in fluid dynamics, combustion, structures, materials, nanotechnology, multidisciplinary design optimization, and parallelization.

Karin Sinclair

Project Leader IV-Technical
M.A. in Environmental Administration, University of California at Riverside; B.S. in Economics, University of California at Riverside

Karin joined NREL in 1992 and currently leads NREL's research portfolio focused on wind energy and wildlife issues for both land-based and offshore wind applications. She serves as the Operating Agent for the IEA Wind Implementing Agreement Task 34, an international collaborative focused on environmental issues related to wind energy. In addition, Karin leads the Competitiveness Improvement Project, an effort under the Distributed Wind research portfolio focused on supporting the distributed wind sector to reduce the levelized cost of energy and increase the number of certified turbines for distributed applications in the United States. Prior to joining NREL, Karin was an analyst at the California Public Utilities Commission, where she worked on issues on behalf of the California ratepayers, including the cost-benefit analysis that ultimately lead to the closure and decommissioning of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station 1.

Senu Sirnivas

Principal Engineer
M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, Wichita State University; B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Arizona

Senu Sirnivas is responsible for leading and executing research programs to address emerging issues in the development of offshore wind energy technology. He advises, facilitates, and executes laboratory initiatives in offshore wind, working closely with DOE, industry, and university research partners. Prior to joining NREL, he worked in the offshore oil and gas industry for 20 years.

Aaron Smith

Technical Analyst
B.A. in Economics, University of Vermont; B.A. in Political Science, University of Vermont

Aaron specializes in market analysis, technology characterization, techno-economic model development, and financial modeling. Aaron uses these techniques to provide insight into the potential impacts of technology innovation on the economics of future land-based and offshore wind projects. Current research topics include development of models to predict the capital; development of models to predict the capital and operating expenditures of new technologies, principally floating offshore wind; techno-economic and financial model verification through participation in international collaborations, including IEA Task 26–The Cost of Wind Energy; integration of economic models with geospatial datasets to identify the influence of spatial variability on levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for potential offshore wind development areas in the United States; and quantification of risks in the wind project lifecycles to identify financial implications and pathways to addressing key uncertainties through publicly funded R&D.

A professional head shot photo of Brian Smith.

Brian Smith

Partnership Manager
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Massachusetts at Amherst; B.S. in Manufacturing and Management Engineering, University of Vermont

Brian Smith is Partnership Manager for the NWTC and focuses on portfolio diversification, capability enhancement, and strategy. Brian joined NREL in 1988, first as a test engineer for advanced airfoil blades and then as project leader for advanced wind technology development and field verification partnerships with industry. He managed the DOE Turbine Research and DOE-Electric Power Research Institute Turbine Verification Program activities at NREL in the 1990s that helped reinvigorate the development and deployment of wind technology and power plants in the United States. Brian served as NREL's Laboratory Wind and Water Power Program Manager from 2002–2014 and Acting NWTC Director. He is the U.S. Alternate Member and Vice Chair of the Executive Committee for the IEA Technology Collaboration Program for Wind Energy Systems research, development, and demonstration.

A professional head shot photo of David Snowberg.

David Snowberg

Senior Engineer
M.E. in Engineering Management, University of Colorado at Boulder; B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder

David's primary focus at NREL is structural testing of wind turbine rotor blades. His expertise includes test equipment design, test method development, measurement uncertainty, and the management of blade test projects. He also works with the NREL Marine Hydrokinetic group in the areas of risk management and failure analysis. David is a registered Professional Engineer in Arizona within the discipline of mechanical engineering; he is also a certified Project Management Professional with the Project Management Institute. Prior to joining NREL, David was an R&D engineer at Southwest Windpower and did engineering contract work for renewable energy manufacturers.

Michael Sprague

Senior Scientist, Computational Science Center
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado; B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Mike's areas of expertise include computational mechanics of fluids and structures, model coupling, and numerical methods. Within wind energy, Mike is engaged in the development of high-fidelity computational models for wind turbine structures and flow fields. Before coming to NREL, Mike was an assistant professor and founding faculty member in applied mathematics at the University of California, Merced. He also spent two years as an NSF-Vertical Integration of Research and Education postdoctoral fellow in Applied Mathematics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, working on rotationally constrained convection, which has applications to ocean deep convection.

Briesa St. Martin

Project Leader I-General
B.S. in Business Administration and Project Management

Briesa is part of NWTC's Testing and Operations team. Briesa works closely with the team's subcontracts, creating, funding, closing, extending, monitoring, and tracking them. She also supports the team with any travel requests, visitor procedures, procurement, and reporting needs. Prior to joining NREL, Briesa spent more than seven years as an administrator for the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Much of her work focused on writing budgets and proposals for NSF to fund field projects from start to finish. She worked closely with the field projects traveling with and supporting the team as a HAZMAT officer and business support.

Tyler Stehly

Wind Energy Engineer/Analyst
M.Eng. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Northern Arizona University

Tyler is currently a member of the Technology Systems and Sustainability Analysis group in the Strategic Energy Analysis Center. His current research focuses on support and development of U.S. offshore wind turbine cost models. While part of NREL's Research Participant Program, he supported the NWTC with research on utility-scale wind turbine supply chain and manufacturing issues in addition to wind turbine transportation and logistics studies to develop investment recommendations for DOE. Tyler's experience includes heavy civil construction cost estimating, wind industry root-cause-analysis, and renewable energy systems analysis and design.

A professional head shot photo of Bethany Straw.

Bethany Straw

Business Support II-Wind and Water Deployment
B.A. in Environmental Studies, University of Redlands

Bethany works as a Business Support Specialist for the Wind and Water Deployment group at the National Wind Technology Center. She focuses on administrative and program support for programs such as the WINDExchange, Wind for Schools, and the Collegiate Wind Competition. Prior to joining NREL, Bethany worked in the non-profit sector and environmental consulting.

A professional head shot photo of Cynthia Szydlekg.

Cynthia Szydlek

Specialist V– Research Project Support
Front Range Community College

Cynthia supports the NWTC to ensure that all personnel understand increased safety expectations and comply with comprehensive training requirements. She maintains the NWTC's Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) training and safety management systems and ensures all critical on-site EHS documentation and training is kept up to date, including coordinating training classes at the NWTC. She also is the main point of contact for the NWTC space planning and staff office coordination. She recently received a President's Award for her outstanding efforts in implementing a formal process to track and manage all aspects of NWTC project safety and Safe Operating Plans, and ensuring NWTC staff remains up-to-date on training and proficiency requirements. Cynthia has received NREL's Employee-of-the-Month award several times and received an NREL Outstanding Team award in 1999 for ISO 17025 accreditation for the competence of testing and calibration of laboratories at the NWTC.

A professional head shot photo of Suzanne Tegen.

Suzanne Tegen

Section Manager, Wind and Water Deployment
Ph.D. in Energy Policy, University of Colorado at Boulder; M.S. in Environmental Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison; B.A, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Suzanne Tegen manages the Wind and Water Deployment section at NREL. A policy analyst by training, she researches issues such as radar, wildlife, grid integration, and public engagement. In addition, she estimates economic impacts (including jobs) from renewable energy using NREL's Jobs and Economic Development Impacts (JEDI) models and has written on economic impacts from distributed wind, utility-scale wind, offshore wind, community wind, and water power projects. She also researches the wind and water power domestic workforces. Suzanne spent one year as an NREL liaison to DOE's Wind Program in Washington, D.C. She has provided invited testimony for the state of Colorado and Colorado Energy Office, has participated in National Academy of Sciences research, and was a reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Prior to NREL, Suzanne worked for the Center for Resource Solutions and the U.S. Antarctic Program at South Pole and McMurdo Stations.

A professional head shot photo of Bob Thresher.

Bob Thresher

Research Fellow
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University; M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Michigan Technological University

Dr. Thresher has worked at NREL (then SERI) since 1984. He has more than 40 years of research and management experience. As a principal researcher, he worked with DOE to conceive and create the National Wind Technology Center, and then served as its first Director. In 2008, Bob was appointed to the position of NREL Research Fellow. He serves as a strategist and spokesperson for the national research programs to develop offshore renewables, such as wind, wave, tidal, and ocean current. Bob has received numerous awards for his achievements, including NREL's H.M. Hubbard Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from AWEA, the Pioneer Award from the World Renewably Energy Network, and an Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the University of Glasgow.

A professional head shot photo of Nathan Tom.

Nathan Tom

Postdoctoral Researcher II Mechanical Engineer
Ph.D. in Mechanical/Ocean Engineering, University of California at Berkeley; M.S. and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley

Nathan works on a laboratory directed research and development project that focuses on the design of wave energy converters with actuated geometry. His past research at NREL focused on the development of WEC-Sim (Wave Energy Converter Simulator) through a collaborative effort with Sandia National Laboratories. The code developments include state space realizations of the fluid memory function, body-to-body hydrodynamic interactions, nonlinear hydrodynamics/hydrostatics, and Morison elements. Nathan's research at Berkeley focused on the design, construction, control, and testing of a model-scale point absorber. Nathan was recognized for his work as the recipient of the 2013 Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering Subrata Chakrabarti Young Professional Award. In addition, during his graduate work, Nathan worked as a part-time engineer on the WindFloat, a semisubmersible offshore floating wind turbine, being developed by Marine Innovation & Technology based in Berkeley, California.

A professional head shot photo of Jennifer Van Rij.

Jennifer Van Rij

Engineer III-Multi Discipline
Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Utah

Jennifer's expertise is in developing computational modeling methods for multiscale, multiphysics energy conversion systems. As a member of the Water Power Team, she is collaboratively developing numerical modeling methods to simulate the hydrodynamic, structural dynamic, power performance, system reliability, and economics of wave and tidal energy conversion devices. Prior to working at NREL, Jennifer worked for four years as a Research Scientist at the Institute for Energy Technology in Norway, where she developed computational fluid dynamics algorithms to investigate land-based and offshore wind turbine blade aerodynamics, wake development, and integrated aero-hydro-servo-elastic interactions. Her other diverse work experiences include developing numerical modeling methods for microscale thermo-fluid-structure-interactions as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Utah, computationally simulating accidental fires and explosions as a doctoral student, and developing performance prediction models for steam turbines as an engineer at GE Energy.

A professional head shot photo of Paul Veers.

Paul Veers

Chief Engineer
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University; M.S. in Engineering Mechanics, University of Wisconsin

Paul Veers is the Chief Engineer at the NWTC and represents NREL on DOE's Atmosphere to Electrons (A2e) Executive Management Committee. He has worked in the area of wind energy technology since 1980, conducting research on wind energy systems, including atmospheric turbulence simulation, fatigue analysis, reliability, structural dynamics, aeroelastic tailoring of blades, and the evaluation of design requirements. Prior to his role at NREL, he was a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories. Paul has authored over 70 articles, papers, book chapters, and reports, and for twelve years was the Chief Editor for Wind Energy, an international journal for progress and applications in wind power.

A professional head shot photo of Qi Wang.

Qi Wang

Research Engineer
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Utah State University; M.S. in Engineering Mechanics, Dalian University of Technology (China), B.S. in Engineering Mechanics, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China)

Qi Wang specializes in solid mechanics and structural dynamics as well as numerical analysis and methods. Qi is the lead developer of NREL's blade analysis tool BeamDyn, which is included in the new FAST modularization framework to analyze nonlinear behavior of composite wind turbine blades. BeamDyn can also be used as a standalone beam solver for static and transient dynamic analysis. Qi also contributes to high-fidelity modeling at different levels ranging from single turbine to wind plant. Prior to joining NREL, Qi was a Ph.D. student at Utah State University, where he focused on mathematical modeling of composite structures.

Na Wang

Postdoctoral Researcher II-Electrical Engineering
Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines; M.E. and B.E. in Electrical and Information Engineering, Dalian University of Technology (China)

Na Wang's research interests include lidar-based combined feedforward and feedback control for wind turbine loads mitigation and power capture enhancement. She applied and implemented the adaptive control scheme and the optimal control scheme in wind turbine control to improve turbine performance over the full operation regime.

Jochem Weber

Chief Engineer
Ph.D. in Engineering, University College Cork (Ireland); M.S. and B.S. in Physical Engineering, Technical University of Berlin (Germany); B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (Germany)

Jochem is the Chief Engineer at NREL's Water Power Program, where he pursues a holistic deductive system approach to problem solving in research, science, engineering, technology, innovation, and management. He holds degrees in mechanical engineering (design) and physical engineering (fluid and system dynamics), and a Ph.D. in modeling and optimization of wave energy converters. Jochem has over 25 years of scientific and corporate work experience in research, technology development, and engineering in self-employment, small, medium, and large enterprises and academia, with 16 years of research technology development of ocean wave energy converters and five years as Head of Research at Wavebob. Prior to joining NREL, Jochem led a high technology performance level wave energy converter concept development project at the Centre for Ocean Energy Research in Ireland and provided consultancy services to the wave energy industry through Liberal Synergies.

A professional head shot photo of Fabian Wendt

Fabian Wendt

Engineer II-Multi Discipline
Dipl.-Ing. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Stuttgart (Germany)

Fabian's work is focused around the numerical modeling and analysis of wind and water power systems, with a special emphasis on hydro and structural dynamics. He supports the validation and development of new aero-hydro-servo-elastic modeling approaches within NREL as well as in cooperation with external industry partners. Prior to joining NREL, Fabian worked on several projects related to the design and manufacturing of composite material components for wind and aerospace applications in Europe and in the United States.

Scott Wilde

Master Electrician; Commercial Electrical Inspector

Scott began his career at NREL in 1997 when NREL purchased two Westinghouse wind turbines to install and test at the NWTC. He is now the Technical Operations Manager at the NWTC. Scott has worked as a supervisor in the wind business since 1988. He has experience with many different styles of wind turbines and has led large crews on hoisting and rigging activities and operations and maintenance activities. Scott installed over 500 wind turbines and complete wind plants in Palm Springs, Altamont, and Tehachapi, California. He spent four years in Hawaii retrofitting the Westinghouse 600-kW wind turbines on the North Shore of Oahu and brought the Mod 5 3.2 MW wind turbine back to life. At the time, the Mod 5 was the largest running wind turbine and was featured in the Guinness Book of World records for size and production. Scott is a U.S. Marine Corps noncommissioned officer and master electrician.

Alan Wright

Engineer VI-Multi Discipline
Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Colorado; M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Oregon State University; B.S. in Mathematics, Oregon State University

Alan joined NREL (then SERI) in October 1984. His expertise is in wind turbine controls and dynamics. At NREL, Alan is the technical lead and project leader for the Advanced Controls Task. Under Alan's direction, NREL has become a world leader in the development and testing of advanced controls for wind turbine load mitigation and enhanced energy capture and performed the world's first field tests of advanced lidar-based feedforward controls at the NWTC. Prior to joining NREL, Alan was a research engineer for Rockwell International for five years, developing wind turbine structural dynamic simulation and modeling tools to improve wind turbine loads predictions, thereby improving wind turbine designs and increasing fatigue lifetime.

A professional head shot photo of Kelly Yaker.

Kelly Yaker

Professional II-Project Manager
B.A. in Advertising, University of Colorado at Boulder

Kelly works with all sections of the Wind and Water Power Technologies office to ensure their websites are regularly updated, news articles are properly posted, and information is cross-promoted appropriately. Additionally, she helps with the digital aspects of several marketing efforts and events. Kelly manages the wind and water sites for both NREL and DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Kelly also works with the WINDExchange team to update their website. Prior to joining NREL, she spent the majority of her career in the private sector working with startup companies to develop and implement their content strategies. Her areas of expertise include search engine optimization, content writing and editing, social media management, and content analysis.

Don Young

Environment, Health, and Safety
B.S. in Biological Science, Colorado State University

Don Young is an EHS Professional at the NWTC. He received his B.S. from Colorado State University in Biological Science before becoming a Safety Engineer with Lockheed Martin. He began his career working at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, working in the Space Shuttle External Tank program. After spending eleven years working in the synthetic fuels, wind energy and oil and gas industries, he brings his breadth of knowledge and experience to the team at NREL.

Yi-Hsiang Yu

Senior Engineer
Ph.D. in Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas at Austin; M.S. and B.S. in Marine Environment and Engineering, National Sun Yet-Sen University (Taiwan)

Yi-Hsiang Yu's expertise is in marine energy system design and performance analysis, hydrodynamics modeling, and application of high performance computing. Since joining NREL, his work has focused on the research and development of ocean energy technologies. His experience includes the development of WEC-Sim, a wave-to-wire numerical model for design and analysis of wave energy conversion systems, wave tank testing for wave energy converters, practical resource assessment in the United States, cost of energy analysis for marine energy technologies, and extreme condition modeling, which is essential for determining the design load for wave energy systems. Yi-Hsiang is currently serving as the associate editor of the Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, an international journal for all aspects of analysis, design, and technology development in ocean, offshore, arctic, and related fields.