Matthew Beard Wins Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award

Recognition Marks First Time an NREL Scientist Has Been Honored With This Prestigious Award

Sept. 22, 2022 | By Meghan Hughes | Contact media relations

Matt Beard
Matt Beard

National Renewable Energy (NREL) Senior Research Fellow Matthew Beard accepted the prestigious Ernest Orlando (EO) Lawrence Award on Thursday at a hybrid awards ceremony held in Washington, D.C. In June, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science named Beard as an awardee for his groundbreaking research, which provides understanding and control of solar photochemical processes, interfacial phenomena, and next-generation photovoltaics. At the ceremony, Beard joined 10 other winners to accept the award.

The EO Lawrence award is among DOE's highest honors. It recognizes mid-career U.S. scientists and engineers for exceptional scientific, technical, and engineering achievements. The recognition marks the first time in history a scientist from NREL has received the prestigious award.

"It's an honor to be recognized by the Office of Science," Beard said. "And it isn't just me. I've had the privilege to collaborate with a lot of really smart people here at NREL."

Beard joined NREL nearly twenty years ago, and in that time, he has made key contributions both in the lab and beyond.

"Matt is a pioneer in the fields of unconventional semiconductors, multiple exciton generation, terahertz spectroscopy, and their energy applications," said NREL Director Martin Keller. "In addition to his scientific achievements, Matt has a long history of fostering collaboration and partnerships and is extraordinarily dedicated to mentoring the next generation of scientists."

Matt has more than 15 years of achievement in the chemical sciences, biosciences, and geosciences. He led or co‐led two Energy Frontier Research Centers funded by the Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences (BES): the Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics and the Center for Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Semiconductors for Energy (CHOISE).

"The BES-funded research program at NREL is crucial for advancing energy science and strongly supports our mission for a clean energy future," said Peter Green, NREL deputy laboratory director for Science and Technology; chief research officer; and Alliance for Sustainable Energy senior vice president.

Among his many recognitions, Matt has been named to the Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list in multiple years, received the Royal Society of Chemistry award in chemical dynamics in 2019, and was named as a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in the same year and is also a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Administered by DOE's Office of Science, the EO Lawrence Award was established to honor the memory of Ernest Orlando Lawrence, who invented the cyclotron—an accelerator of subatomic particles—and was named the 1939 Nobel laureate in physics for that achievement. Lawrence later played a leading role in establishing the U.S. system of national laboratories.

EO Lawrence Award recipients receive a citation signed by the secretary of energy, a gold-plated medal bearing the likeness of Ernest Orlando Lawrence, and a $20,000 honorarium; co-winners in a category share the honorarium equally.

For more information, visit To view the ceremony program and a recording of the ceremony, visit