Today, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg announced that Brian J. Anderson, Ph.D. will be the new director of DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), effective November 11, 2018. Anderson comes to NETL from West Virginia University (WVU) where he served as director of the WVU Energy Institute. With Anderson’s arrival, NETL’s Acting Director Sean Plasynski, Ph.D., will transition into his new role as the lab’s deputy director and chief operating officer.
“Dr. Anderson’s extensive experience and knowledge in engineering and science is extraordinary. As the only national laboratory that is fully owned and operated by the Department of Energy, I am confident the National Energy Technology Laboratory will continue to make strides in advancing coal, natural gas, oil, and other energy technologies under his leadership,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.
“We are excited to have Brian join DOE to lead the National Energy Technology Laboratory,” said Winberg. “Brian’s career experience and background in chemical engineering and his leadership as the executive director of WVU’s Energy Institute will no doubt be valuable assets to NETL. I look forward to working with Brian as we advance NETL’s mission to discover, integrate, and mature technology solutions to enhance the nation’s energy foundation and protect the environment for future generations.”
Anderson began his career at WVU in 2006 as an assistant professor in the department of chemical and biomedical engineering. Throughout his tenure at WVU, he became a recognized scientist and subject matter expert in natural gas hydrates, unconventional oil and gas development, and clean coal technologies. In 2014, Anderson founded and built the WVU Energy Institute which is the largest energy collaborative research organization at the university focused on advancing technology through research, development, and demonstration within the energy industry. At WVU, Anderson built successful relationships and partnerships across academic institutions, federal agencies, and the energy industry, as well as paved the pathway for an $83 billion partnership between the state of West Virginia and China.
Anderson has a long history of working with DOE to advance energy technologies. For his work in natural gas hydrates and CO2 sequestration, he received the 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineers, and he received the Department of Energy Secretary Honor Award for his work with DOE in response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. A native of West Virginia, Anderson graduated summa cum laude from WVU in 2000 with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering. In 2004 and 2005, he earned his masters and doctorate in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
“I am honored and humbled at the opportunity to serve as the director of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL),” said Anderson. “The work that is being conducted at NETL is critical to advancing technologies that will transform the use and production of our nation’s vast coal, natural gas, and oil resources to protect our environment and enhance our nation’s energy security. I look forward to working with the talented and dedicated team at NETL to continue the lab’s efforts as the gold standard in advancing energy research and development.”
NETL’s acting director Sean Plasynski, Ph.D., will begin his new role on November 11 as the lab’s deputy director and chief operating officer. During his tenure as acting director, Plasynski fostered stakeholder collaborations and spawned innovative research partnerships with industry, academia, and other national labs. He focused investment in NETL’s competencies, which led to new, cutting-edge research capabilities at the lab.
“I want to thank Sean for his dedication and service as NETL’s acting director,” said Assistant Secretary Winberg. “Sean’s extensive career experience at NETL enabled the lab to grow and advance critical energy technologies aimed at protecting the environment and making our nation more energy secure. There’s no doubt that Sean is an invaluable asset to the NETL team. I am grateful to him for his leadership during this transition, and I look forward to working with him in his new role as deputy director and COO.”