William Tumas — Associate Laboratory Director, Materials, Chemical, and Computational Science

A photo of Bill Tumas

Bill Tumas is responsible for overall leadership, management, technical direction, and workforce development of the materials, chemical, and computational science capabilities at NREL, spanning fundamental and applied R&D for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Key research areas include photovoltaics and solar energy conversion, electrochemistry and electrons to molecules, hydrogen production and solar fuels, materials discovery and development for renewable energy technologies, chemistry and nanoscience, energy storage and batteries, fuel cells, building materials, advanced computing and theory, and reliability and durability of energy technologies. He oversees NREL's solar, hydrogen and fuel cells, basic energy sciences, advanced computing, and ARPA-E programs. Tumas also serves as the NREL laboratory point of contact for the Office of Science's Basic Energy Sciences program, responsible for sponsor interface, program management, and program execution.

Tumas has been actively engaged in collaborative research and a range of technical management and leadership positions for over 30 years in industry and at national laboratories. He joined NREL in December 2009 as director of the Chemical and Materials Science Center. He has led a number of program development activities and created a number of multi-institution and international collaborations. He has also led two Energy Frontier Research Centers on materials discovery: the Center for Next Generation of Materials Design and the Center for Inverse Design. Prior to NREL, Bill was at Los Alamos National Laboratory for 17 years, where his last position was program director for Applied Energy Programs (DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Fossil Energy, and Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability offices).

His research activities include materials design, catalysis, supercritical fluids, green chemistry, and waste treatment technology development and assessment. He has over 65 peer-reviewed publications and 12 patents and has given over 125 invited presentations. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and serves on several advisory boards for energy-related research. He has contributed to several Basic Energy Sciences reports, including as chair for the Roundtable on Liquid Solar Fuels.

Tumas received a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from Ithaca College and a doctorate  in chemistry from Stanford University and was a National Science Foundation and then a Hertz Foundation graduate fellow. He did research at Caltech as a National Institutes of Health and then a Chaim Weizmann postdoctoral fellow before starting his career at DuPont Central Research.