Dr. Jennifer Kurtz leads NREL’s Energy Conversion and Storage Systems Center, which spans innovative, interdisciplinary, and integrated research and development for technology advancements in electrochemical, molecular, thermal, and mechanical systems. The center’s research focus is clean, high-performance, cost-effective, safe, diverse, and integrated solutions that improve energy system flexibility and balance to maximize renewable energy generation, storage, and conversion with advanced controls and optimization. Kurtz is part of the leadership team for NREL’s ARIES: Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems. Previously, she managed the hydrogen and fuel cell systems engineering group in NREL’s Center for Integrated Mobility Sciences, and was a principle research engineer for the National Fuel Cell Technology Evaluation Center. Prior to joining NREL in 2007, Kurtz worked at UTC Power, primarily in fuel cell system design.

Research Interests

Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems

Systems integration

Hydrogen and fuel cells

Fuel cell system design

Market transformation

Hydrogen infrastructure

Electric vehicle grid integration

Renewable hydrogen production

Transportation and mobility 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

Optimal Design of Solar-Driven Electrolytic Hydrogen Production Systems Within Electricity Markets, Journal of Power Sources (2021)

Predicting Demand for Hydrogen Station Fueling, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (2020)

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)


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

Awards and Honors

U.S. Department of Energy Merit Award (2014)