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NREL Announces New Center Directors to lead R&D, Analysis Efforts

September 29, 2014

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently named leaders in the renewable energy field as center directors. Paul Basore has been named Director of the Materials Applications and Performance Center; Dave Mooney as Director of the Strategic Energy Analysis Center; Nancy Haegel as Director of NREL's Materials Science Center; Jao van de Lagemaat as Director of Chemistry and Nanoscience; and Pete Sheldon was named Director of Research Operations within NREL's Materials and Chemical Science and Technology Directorate.

Paul Basore Named Director of NREL's Materials Applications and Performance Center

Basore has contributed to the establishment of photovoltaic research & development facilities on three continents, including work at Sandia National Laboratories on multicrystalline silicon; a pilot line for Pacific Solar in Sydney, Australia; the CSG Solar factory in Germany; a photovoltaic (PV) solar laboratory for the Renewable Energy Corporation of Norway and a PV research and development (R&D) lab in Silicon Valley for Hanwha.

Basore earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has contributed to world-record solar cell efficiencies and is the developer of widely used software tools for solar cell simulation and solar cost estimations.

"I've worked most of my career in industry and am looking forward to bringing the lessons learned to the public sector," Basore said. "I'm hoping to help NREL's Materials Applications and Performance Center achieve all that it is capable of becoming." He is also looking forward to the move to NREL's Golden, CO campus. "I've lived all over the world, but the Rocky Mountains have a special appeal."

Dave Mooney to Lead Strategic Energy Analysis Center

Mooney developed the prototype for NREL's System Advisor Model that is used widely around the nation to estimate the potential and costs of renewable energy projects. He has led initiatives in energy integration, energy-efficient buildings, and solar energy. He was a member of the core team that developed the Energy Department's Solar American Initiative (SAI) to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy.  SAI aims to achieve the goal through partnerships and strategic alliances with industry, universities, federal agencies, states, utilities, and the building industry.

Mooney has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Arkansas where his dissertation was on the rapid recrystallization of thin-film semiconductors for photovoltaics.

"I couldn't ask for a more exciting opportunity than going to work in NREL's Strategic Energy Analysis Center," Mooney said. "SEAC operates at the center of markets, policy, and technological advances. It is critically positioned to ensure that the full potential of clean energy technologies is realized in the marketplace."

Nancy Haegel to Head Materials Science Center

NREL recently named Nancy Haegel to direct the Materials Science Center. Haegel previously was director of the Center for Materials Science at the Navy Postgraduate School where she also was distinguished professor of physics. She earned her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

She said NREL is a world leader in advancing renewable and clean energy, "a mission critical to the nation's future prosperity and well-being."

Haegel said NREL's Materials Science Center has an outstanding, nationally recognized staff working to advance materials science discovery and problem-solving for current and next-generation photovoltaics and other renewable and energy-efficient technologies. "We are in a unique position to collaborate with our colleagues across the entire laboratory as well as our industry and academic partners to create new knowledge and accelerate the industrial impact of materials science research."

Jao van de Lagemaat Named Director of Chemistry and Nanoscience

NREL Principal Scientist Jao van de Lagemaat was named director of the Chemistry and Nanoscience Center. Van de Lagemaat earned his Ph.D. from the University of Utrecht. His work on quantum dots, exciton dynamics, and charge transport and recombination in dye-sensitized solar cells have been seminal in the field.

"The Chemistry and Nanoscience Center's mission is powerful in its diversity ranging from fuel cells to photovoltaics, from batteries to light emitting application," van de Lagemaat said. "I am very excited to work on not just the basic science of energy applications but also on bringing the large range of technologies we work on to market."

Pete Sheldon to Head Research Operations Center

Pete Sheldon was named center director of research operations within NREL's Materials and Chemical Science and Technology directorate. Sheldon previously served as deputy director of the National Center for Photovoltaics. He has more than 35 years of experience in photovoltaics research and development and has held numerous positions leading photovoltaic focused measurements and characterization, CdTe, and III-V research programs.

"I am very pleased to have the opportunity to help build and strengthen the R&D infrastructure within the Materials and Chemical Science and Technology directorate," Sheldon said. "The talent, the capabilities, and the growth opportunities that exist within the directorate position us to expand the impact of our research, and I feel fortunate to be a part of that."

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for the Energy Department by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

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—Heather Lammers