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Nathan Tom

Researcher IV-Mechanical Engineering

Orcid ID

Nathan joined NREL in May 2014 after receiving his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. While at NREL, Nathan has been on several international projects which include WEC-Sim code development and as an organizer for the Wave Energy Converter Control Competition. Currently Nathan is the principle investigator on a U.S. Department of Energy sponsored project that extends the concept of controllable geometries to new wave energy converter architectures. In this project, Nathan leads a group of four researchers to explore the coupling between the device hydrodynamic, structural, and control design to demonstrate the economic feasibility of this next-generation technology. Recently Nathan has joined the U.S. working group for the IEC TC114 standards development and sits on the shadow committee for MT62600-2 and -100. Nathan also assists in the development of educational material to support the future workforce development needs for the offshore renewable sector.

Research Interests

Marine hydrodynamics

Marine energy standards development

Control system design


Ph.D., Mechanical/Ocean Engineering, University of California at Berkeley

M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley

Professional Experience

Part-time Assistant Engineer, Marine Innovation & Technology (2009-2013)

Featured Work

Development of a Nearshore Oscillating Surge Wave Energy Converter with Variable GeometryRenewable Energy (2016)

Submerged Pressure Differential Plate Wave Energy Converter with Variable Geometry, European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (2019)

View all NREL publications for Nathan Tom.


Wave Energy Conversion Incorporating Actuated Geometry, U.S. Patent No. US 10,066,595 B2 (2018)

Awards and Honors

2019 United States National Committee Young Professional, United States National Committee to the International Electrotechnical Commission (2019)

Ocean Energy Systems–Blue Energy Collaborative Scholarship, International Network of Offshore Renewable Engineers (2019)

Outstanding Mentor Award, NREL (2015)

OMAE Subrata Chakrabarti Young Professional Award, OOAE Award's Committee (2013)