Mike Lawson

Michael Lawson

Group Research Manager II-Systems Engineering

Orcid ID https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3853-7500

Michael Lawson is the group manager of the water power R&D group and leads a large team of scientists and engineers focused on advancing marine energy technologies.

Michael started at NREL as a postdoc in 2010 and has worked on many aspects of marine and wind energy, with a focus on numerical modeling and system design. He spent 2 years in Washington, D.C., working with the U.S. Department of Energy in support of the wind and water power programs. 

As a member of NREL's Ocean Energy team, he focuses on the areas of wave and water current energy research and development. He is currently the principal investigator of the Wave Energy Converter-Simulator (WEC-Sim) project, which has the goal of developing an open source design and analysis tool for WEC devices and won an R&D 100 award. Michael is the co-principal investigator of a laboratory directed research and development project to study advanced control methods for variable geometry WEC devices. Michael contributes to several other projects focused on the design, analysis, and economic evaluation of WEC and water current energy devices.


Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech

Featured Work

Mission Analysis for Marine Renewable Energy To Provide Power for Marine Carbon Dioxide Removal, NREL Technical Report (2023)