Ahmad Pesaran is the chief energy storage engineer for NREL’s Center for Integrated Mobility Sciences. At NREL since 1983, his work has spanned various technical arenas, including automotive batteries, buildings, ocean-thermal energy conversion, and advanced air conditioning. He has co-authored more than 150 journal articles and technical papers on energy storage and electric-drive vehicles.

Currently he supports the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) with battery recycling, battery processing and manufacturing, and low-cobalt cathode development projects. He also serves on the electrochemical energy storage technical team and workgroups of the U.S. DRIVE (Driving Research and Innovation for Vehicle efficiency and Energy sustainability) program.

He started working on batteries, ultracapacitors, hybrid electric, battery electric, and fuel cell vehicles in 1995, collaborating with car and battery manufacturers on battery thermal analysis and battery thermal management issues.

Until 2017, he was the manager of NREL’s energy storage research team working on high energy anodes, electrode coatings, battery thermal analysis and evaluation, lithium-ion battery safety modeling and evaluation, three-dimensional electrochemical-thermal modeling, techno-economic analysis of batteries for electric vehicles, and post-vehicle battery second use. From 2010 to 2016, he was the technical lead for DOE’s Computer-Aided Engineering for Electric Drive Vehicle Batteries (CAEBAT) program.

From 2016 to 2018, he was on detail in Washington, D.C. as a technical advisor to the VTO Battery R&D Program, supporting extreme fast charging of electric vehicle batteries, battery processing and manufacturing projects, and battery recycling.

Research Interests

Battery recycling

Lithium-ion battery safety

Automotive batteries, hybrid electric vehicles, and all-electric vehicles

Advanced air conditioning

Transportation research


Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles

M.S., Thermal Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles

B.S., Chemical Engineering, Shiraz University

Professional Experience

National Renewable Energy Laboratory:

Chief Energy Storage Engineer (2016–Present)

Energy Storage Group Manager (1991–2016)

U.S. Department of Energy, Technical Advisor (2016–2018)

Solar Energy Research Institute, Senior Engineer (1983–1991)

Associations and Memberships

Fellow, SAE International

Member, Society of Mechanical Engineers

Member, U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium

Featured Work

Comparison of Different Cooling Methods for Lithium-Ion Battery Cells, Applied Thermal Engineering (2016)

A Second Life for Electric Vehicle Batteries: Answering Questions on Battery Degradation and Value, SAE International Journal of Materials and Manufacturing (2015)

A Parametric Study on Thermal Management of an Air-Cooled Lithium-Ion Battery Module for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Journal of Power Sources (2013)

Multi-Domain Modeling of Lithium-Ion Batteries Encompassing Multi-Physics in Varied Length Scales, Journal of the Electrochemical Society (2011)

A Three-Dimensional Thermal Abuse Model for Lithium-Ion Cells, Journal of Power Sources (2007)

Battery Requirements for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles – Analysis and Rationale, presented at the 23rd Electric Vehicle Symposium (2007)

View all NREL publications for Ahmad Pesaran.


Calorimeters for Testing Energy Storage Systems and Power Electronics, U.S. Patent No. 9,476,780 (2016)

Fail-Safe Designs for Large Capacity Battery Systems, U.S. Patent No. 9,341,678 B2 (2016)

Passive Safety Device and Internal Short Test Method for Energy Storage Cells and System, U.S. Patent No. 9,142,829 (2015)

Awards and Honors

SAE Fellow for Contributions to Mobility (2018)

EERE Assistant Secretary’s Outstanding Impact Award (2017)

R&D 100 Award for Battery Internal Short Circuit Device (2016)

R&D 100 Award for Isothermal Battery Calorimeters (2013)

NREL Hubbard Award for Sustained Research Achievements (2012)

NREL Staff Award for Outstanding Performance (2005)

R&D 100 Award for Current-Interrupt Charging Algorithm for Lead-Acid Batteries (2001)