Dr. Paul R. Ohodnicki, a materials scientist at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), has been named by President Obama as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers (PECASE). The PECASE award is the highest honor the U.S. government can bestow on scientists or engineers in the early stages of their research careers. Dr. Ohodnicki was selected for his outstanding innovation and technical leadership, which have advanced foundational materials science and led to the development of new applications and inventions in materials technology.

The PECASE awards recognize the recipients’ exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge and their commitment to community service, as demonstrated through professional leadership, education, and community outreach. The awards are conferred annually by the president and are based on recommendations from participating government agencies.

A prolific author, inventor, and collaborator, Dr. Ohodnicki is a member of the Functional Materials Team in NETL’s Research & Innovation Center, where he leads research efforts to discover and develop novel high-performance materials for application in process monitoring and control for advanced energy systems. His research collaborations have resulted in the development of a portfolio of patented and patent-pending technologies. Beyond technology innovation, his highly cited research has also made significant contributions to the materials science community.

Dr. Ohodnicki is the principal investigator of a $4.5 million, multiyear project that spans materials discovery and development to full-scale system analysis and demonstration of new power electronics for grid integration of solar and energy-storage technologies. The project, funded by the Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technology Office, is a direct result of Dr. Ohodnicki’s long-standing collaborations with co-principal investigator Professor Michael McHenry from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Ohodnicki’s research successes demonstrate an ability to further foundational materials understanding and engineer real-world materials solutions to address our nation’s energy challenges.

Dr. Ohodnicki is involved in science outreach and education as a Science and Engineering Ambassador for the National Academy of Sciences and as a mentor to post-doctoral and graduate students in his position as adjunct faculty at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Ohodnicki is also an active member of numerous scientific societies, where he serves in a variety of leadership roles.