Jonathan Burton oversees daily operations at NREL's Renewable Fuels and Lubricants Laboratory in Denver, Colorado. He also conducts engineering projects and evaluates fuels and advanced propulsion systems for the next-generation of clean, efficient, light- and heavy-duty vehicle technologies. In partnership with industry, he evaluates fuels and systems for advanced vehicles; oversees tasks involving engine emissions and performance testing, data collection and analysis, and quality assurance; and helps design, install, modify, and troubleshoot test instrumentation. Before coming to NREL, Burton worked at General Motors in the advanced diesel engineering group.

Research Interests

Commercial vehicle technologies

Fuels and combustion research

Transportation research


M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin, Madison

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University

Professional Experience

Research Engineer and Task Lead, Center for Integrated Mobility Sciences, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (2009–Present) 

Research Engineer, Advanced Diesel Engineering Group, General Motors Corporation (2008–2009) 

Graduate Research Assistant, Engine Research Center, University of Wisconsin - Madison (2006–2008) 

Featured Work

Investigation of Emissions Impacts from Hybrid Powertrains, NREL Technical Report (2020) 

Impact of Ethanol Blending into Gasoline on Aromatic Compound Evaporation and Particle Emissions from a Gasoline Direct Injection Engine, Applied Energy (2019)

Effects of Heat of Vaporization and Octane Sensitivity on Knock-Limited Spark Ignition Engine Performance, SAE Technical Papers (2018)

Knock Resistance and Fine Particle Emissions for Several Biomass-Derived Oxygenates in a Direct-Injection Spark-Ignition Engine, SAE International Journal of Fuels and Lubricants (2016)