Robert McCormick

Robert McCormick

Senior Research Fellow - Fuels and Combustion Science

Orcid ID

Bob McCormick is a senior research fellow and platform leader for NREL's fuels and combustion research. His work focuses on end-use issues and fuel-engine interactions with alternative fuels, primarily biofuels—including ethanol, biodiesel, and sustainable aviation fuel as well as next-generation and futuristic fuels. End-use issues include supplying technical data to support the setting of fuel-quality specifications, working with engine original equipment manufacturers to understand fuel-engine compatibility and durability issues, field performance issues such as storage stability and cold weather performance, ignition and combustion kinetics, fuel effects on engine efficiency, and the impact of new fuels on emissions and the performance of emission-control systems. Recent research has focused on the properties and combustion of current and emerging sustainable aviation fuels including property measurements over a wide temperature and pressure range and large-scale simulations to reveal property effects on aviation turbine performance.

Research Interests

Fuel processing, catalysis, and fuel utilization

Fuel-engine interactions

Alternative fuel properties, quality, and fuel effects on pollutant emissions


Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Wyoming

M.S., Chemical Engineering, Iowa State University

B.S., Chemical Engineering, Oklahoma State University

Featured Work

Economic Analysis of the Benefits to Petroleum Refiners for Low Carbon Boosted Spark Ignition Biofuels, Fuel (2023)

Toward Low-Cost Biological and Hybrid Biological/Catalytic Conversion of Cellulosic Biomass to Fuels, Energy & Environmental Science (2022)

A Roadmap Toward a Sustainable Aviation Ecosystem, NREL Technical Report (2022)

Towards Quantitative Prediction of Ignition-Delay-Time Sensitivity on Fuel-to-Air Equivalence Ratio, Combustion & Flame (2020)

Experimental and Theoretical Study of Oxidative Stability of Alkylated Furans Used as Gasoline Blend Components, Fuel (2018)

Durability Testing of Biomass Based Oxygenated Fuel Components in a Compression Ignition Engine, ASME International Combustion Engine Division Fall Technical Conference (2017)

Bleaching and Hydroprocessing of Algal Biomass-Derived Lipids to Produce Renewable Diesel Fuel, Energy & Fuels (2017)

Anti-Knock Quality of Sugar Derived Levulinic Esters and Cyclic Ethers, Fuel (2017)

A Quantitative Model for the Prediction of Sooting Tendency from Molecular Structure, Energy & Fuels (2017)