Skip to main content

NREL Scientist Named AAAS Fellow

February 14, 2014

David S. Ginley, a materials scientist at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has been named a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor accorded to at most 1 percent of the prestigious scientific society’s membership each year.

AAAS cited Ginley for “distinguished contributions in renewable energy and sustainability, especially photovoltaics, batteries and fuel cells, and in developing materials and forums for student interactions on these topics. “

Ginley’s work at NREL in new materials and processes for renewable energy technologies has contributed directly to some of the highest efficiency, lowest cost thin film photovoltaic cells reported to date.

He continues to direct large and highly successful research programs at NREL that develop innovative processes for making inorganic photovoltaics, high temperature superconductor thin films, hybrid organic-inorganic solar cells, fuel cells, and lithium batteries.

Many scientists would see winning one R&D 100 Award as a career highlight. Ginley has won five. He is one of 13 scientists in NREL’s 36-year history to be named a research fellow.

Ginley’s favorite project now is directing an effort by scientists from the United States and India — the Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States (SIRRIUS) — to bring low-cost renewable electricity to the hundreds of thousands of villages in India that are without any kind of electricity. “It’s one of those times in your career when you can potentially make a big difference,” Ginley said. “This truly can be transformative.”

Ginley’s first brush with the AAAS began when he was 18 and invited to an AAAS meeting in Dallas for winning the Colorado-Wyoming Science Fair. “That was my first big airplane ride – quite an adventure,” said Ginley, who said he is thrilled with being named an AAAS fellow.

“Dave Ginley has been a strong contributor to science education, especially in renewable energy and sustainability,” noted Tom Mallouk, a colleague from Pennsylvania State University. “He is a favorite mentor of young scientists.”

Each year, Ginley helps organize and run Colorado’s annual electric car competition, which includes solar and lithium ion battery car races for middle-school students.

Ginley holds a bachelor’s in mineral engineering chemistry from Colorado School of Mines and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining NREL, Ginley worked at Sandia National Laboratories. Over the span of his career he has more than 30 issued, and pending, U.S. patents and has contributed to more than 360 publications in technical journals.

This year, 388 AAAS members have been named fellows across a broad scientific range because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on February 15 at the AAAS Fellow Forum in Chicago.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science. AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes 261 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. AAAS’s mission is to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, and more.

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.


Visit NREL online at

—Heather Lammers