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NREL Engineers Accomplish Training for Participation in Pilot Lab-Corps Program

January 19, 2016

Katherine Dykes and Rick Damiani completed six weeks of training as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's pilot Lab-Corps program. Lab-Corps seeks to "help move innovative technologies from national labs into the marketplace."

Dykes and Damiani competed against other teams to represent the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the Lab-Corps program as "Team WISDEM," seeking to investigate the potential for technology transfer of NREL's Wind Plant Integrated Systems Design and Engineering Model (WISDEM) software. They were selected as one of the two NREL teams to participate along with 12 other teams from across the national lab system.

The program involved four days of up-front, intensive training followed by five weeks of Lab-Corps interviews with potential industry partners or customers for the technologies.

The team completed 75 interviews with wind industry representatives. The interviews were centered around the key themes of Lab-Corps, focusing on developing hypotheses and testing them through customer interviews. This led to a large number of insights about potential research directions for WISDEM that could have significant industry impacts as well as considerable interest from several interviewees on partnering with NREL to demonstrate WISDEM's capabilities in industry applications.

The team is following up with these potential opportunities, and given the significant industry interest in partnering with NREL on WISDEM work, "Team WISDEM" was awarded the "Show Me the Money!" award at the end of the program.

Attending the final presentation were several DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy representatives including Assistant Secretary David Danielson who praised the program as being a great success and exceeding expectations.

—Wayne Hicks