Transforming Energy Through Workforce Diversity (Text Version)

This is the text version of the video Transforming Energy Through Workforce Diversity.

>>Roderick Jackson, laboratory program manager, NREL: I know that every day, every activity that I do at my job…is working towards that future that wouldn't exist if I wasn't here.

>>Robynne Murray, research engineer, NREL: One of the things that I really appreciate about working at NREL is how collaborative and creative the work environment is and how amazing the people that I work with. The nature of the work that I do at NREL is a mix between theoretical research and hands-on manufacturing and process development research. So, for example, I'm working on a project to increase the strength and durability and decrease manufacturing costs of wind turbine blades through thermal welding. So, my advice to the next generation of advanced energy leaders is to let your passion drive you because there's still a lot of work that needs to be done. At NREL, I discovered that the work I do can impact and protect the environment so that I can continue to do activities that I love out in nature, such as snowboarding, mountain biking, climbing, and hiking.

>>Joan Marcano, former postdoctoral Director's Fellow, NREL: My primary role here at NREL is to do research in microbial technologies and that is to either take waste streams and convert it into energy or to take what we call cheap electrons and turn it into valuable molecules. The research that we do here in NREL has the potential to empower communities and not only by actually giving them power and electricity, but also creating new industries in places that really need it…places close to home, like Puerto Rico, in which we need a stronger infrastructure of electricity that can withstand the natural disasters like hurricanes, and maybe even bring back electricity faster to the people that need it. At NREL, I discovered that the work that I do at the bench and have meaningful impact to people around the world.

>>Mai-Anh Ha, researcher, NREL: This year, I served as a SULI mentor and SULI stands for "Science Undergraduate Laboratory Intern." Mentorship opportunities are important both for the students who are introduced to fields that they might never have heard of and to skills that they wouldn't usually get in a learning environment. This is actually giving them skills that they could use in industry or in their careers in the future. On the other hand, it's also exciting for a mentor because they get to be reminded of how exciting this work is. And so, that kind of excitement is infectious. At NREL, I discovered myself as a mentor for the next generation of clean energy leaders.

>>Roderick Jackson: The people here have a passion…an expertise, unlike any that I've seen before. Everyone comes to the job at NREL to say, "We want to transform energy."

Text on screen: NREL Transforming Energy