NREL's research programs are organized into five directorates. Learn more about how these organizations are advancing and transforming energy research.
Bioenergy Science and Technology
This directorate advances technologies to produce bio-based fuels, products, and energy. Research covers the full spectrum of discovery science, from exploratory research to pilot-scale processing; capabilities include biochemical conversion, thermochemical conversion, algal biofuels, and techno-economic and life-cycle analyses. The directorate is led by Associate Laboratory Director Adam Bratis.
Energy Systems Integration
Energy systems integration enables a smooth transition to a modern energy system that is secure, resilient, reliable, affordable, and clean. Our advanced energy research and analysis provide technically sound guidance to get there, supporting strategic energy planning, data-driven decision making, and reduced-risk project development. The directorate is led by Associate Laboratory Director Juan Torres.
Innovation, Partnering, and Outreach
This directorate accelerates the transfer of laboratory technologies to the marketplace. It includes the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, the Technology Transfer office, and the partnership development team. All connect emerging advanced energy businesses with the financial community, NREL technical expertise and facilities, and the broader energy ecosystem. The directorate is led by Associate Laboratory Director Bill Farris.
Materials, Chemical, and Computational Science
This directorate's capabilities span fundamental and applied R&D for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Key program areas include solar energy conversion for electricity and fuels, materials discovery and development for renewable energy technologies, hydrogen production and storage, fuel cells, and computational science. The directorate is led by Associate Laboratory Director William Tumas.
Mechanical and Thermal Engineering Sciences
The Mechanical and Thermal Engineering Sciences directorate conducts research and development to enable technology innovations in NREL’s advanced manufacturing, buildings, concentrating solar power, geothermal, transportation, water, and wind research programs. The directorate is led by Associate Laboratory Director Johney Green Jr.