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Director of National Bioenergy Center Named

Thursday December 12, 2002

Golden, CO. - Michael Pacheco has accepted the position of director of the National Bioenergy Center (NBC). The center was formed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in November 2000 and is based in the department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo. The virtual center is the focal point for technology development and information about bioenergy in the United States, giving industry a one-stop shopping place for access to world-class research and state-of-the-art laboratory facilities at several federal agencies.

Pacheco will join NREL on January 6. He comes to the Lab from Louisiana-Pacific Corp., where he has been manager of Oriented Strand Board Technology and Product Quality for the past two years and a Corporate Engineering Fellow for two years. Before joining Louisiana-Pacific, Pacheco was vice president of Process Development at Energy BioSystems Corp., where he led efforts to commercialize biocatalytic processes. Earlier, he held numerous supervisory positions in R&D during 13 years at Amoco Corp. and at Conoco Oil Co. Pacheco earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Clarkson University, and is a licensed professional engineer.

Pacheco will provide strategic guidance, technical direction and management to continue the NBC's leadership role in bioenergy research and development. His responsibilities also include coordinating NREL's activities with bioenergy research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and other organizations. Pacheco will represent the NBC, NREL, ORNL, DOE, and the interests of bioenergy programs to technical and industrial leads and other U.S. and international stakeholders.

Pacheco is the bioenergy center's first full-time director. NREL's Associate Director for Science and Technology Stan Bull has been acting director.

Bioenergy is energy derived from biomass, typically defined as all the Earth's plant matter and its byproducts. It is considered to be one of the most technologically promising sources of renewable energy in the United States. Biomass can be converted into liquid fuels to replace or enhance gasoline, into electricity, or into chemical and material biobased products that currently are made from petroleum.

The National Bioenergy Center links DOE-funded biomass renewable energy research programs with the resources and capabilities of the U.S. departments of Agriculture and Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation and several other federal agencies, DOE laboratories, universities, and the private sector. NREL's biomass research program focuses on conversion of biomass feedstocks into transportation fuels, biobased products, and electric power. ORNL's research program focuses on sustainable feedstock technologies with industry and the USDA.

For more information, please contact NREL Public Affairs at (303) 275-4090 or email public.affairs@nrel.gov

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