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Jennifer Kurtz was appointed to her current position as director of NREL’s Energy Conversion and Storage Systems Center in October 2020. Previously, she managed the hydrogen and fuel cell systems engineering group in NREL’s Center for Integrated Mobility Sciences. This research group conducts hydrogen and fuel cell activities in technology validationsafety, codes, and standardsmarket transformationhydrogen infrastructure, grid integration, and renewable hydrogen production, with a focus on increasing the efficiency, lowering the cost, and improving the reliability of systems through analysis, experiments, and industry/agency partnerships. As a principle research engineer for the National Fuel Cell Technology Evaluation Center, she processed, analyzed, and reported on real-world data from fuel cell and hydrogen projects spanning multiple markets—vehicles, forklifts, hydrogen stations, and backup power. Prior to joining NREL in 2007, Kurtz worked at UTC Power, primarily in fuel cell system design.

Research Interests

Hydrogen and fuel cells

Fuel cell system design

Market transformation

Hydrogen infrastructure

Electric vehicle grid integration

Renewable hydrogen production

Transportation research


Ph.D., Systems Engineering, Colorado State University

M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

B.A., Physics, Wartburg College

Professional Experience

National Renewable Energy Laboratory:

Director, Energy Conversion and Storage Systems Center (2020–Present)

Manager and Principle Investigator, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Systems Engineering Group, Center for Integrated Mobility Sciences (2012–2020)

Senior Engineer, Hydrogen Technologies and Systems Center (2007–2012)

UTC Power, Mechanical Integrator, Staff Engineer, Design and Component Senior Engineer, Mechanical Design Engineer (2001–2007)

Featured Work

Retail Hydrogen Station Reliability Status and Advances, Reliability Engineering & System Safety (2020)

Fuel Cell Backup Power System for Grid Service and Microgrid in Telecommunication Applications, Journal of Energy Resources Technology (2019)

Review of Transportation Hydrogen Infrastructure Performance and Reliability, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (2019)

On-Road Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles Evaluation, NREL Technical Report (2019)

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Durability and Fuel Cell Performance, NREL Technical Report (2019)

Renewable Hydrogen – Economically Viable: Integration into the U.S. Transportation Sector, IEEE Electrification Magazine (2018)

Fuel Cell Backup Power Unit Configuration and Electricity Market Participation: A Feasibility Study, NREL Technical Report (2017)

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Evaluation, NREL Presentation (2016)

Backup Power Cost of Ownership Analysis and Incumbent Technology Comparison, NREL Technical Report (2014)

National Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Learning Demonstration Final Report, NREL Technical Report (2012)

View all NREL publications for Jennifer Kurtz.


Fuel and Air Flow Control in a Multi-Stack Fuel Cell Power Plant, U.S. Patent No. 7,108,929

Combined Accumulator and Demineralizer Functionality for a Fuel Cell, U.S. Patent No. 8,084,161