Speakers

Moody Altamimi, Director of Office of Research Excellence, ORNL

Dr. Moody E. Altamimi is the founding director for the Office of Research Excellence (ORE) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). ORE’s mission is to advance ORNL’s science and innovation culture by fostering an inclusive ecosystem for thriving research careers, facilitating strategic engagement with leading institutions, and delivering evidence-based evaluations to support ORNL’s aspiration to be the world’s premier R&D institution. Dr. Altamimi earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from the George Washington University in Washington, DC.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/maltamimi/

Yeonjin Bae, R&D Associate Staff, Grid-Interactive Controls, ORNL

Dr. Yeonjin Bae is an R&D Associate Staff in the Grid-Interactive Controls research group in the Electrification and Energy Infrastructure Division at ORNL. She received her PhD in Civil Engineering from Purdue University in 2016 and joined ORNL in 2019. Currently she is the subprogram manager at ORNL for the Tech-to-Market program, a part of the Building Technologies Program. The Tech-to-Market program pilots and evaluates innovative programs that eliminate the common barriers promising technologies face along the pathway to market. This includes JUMP into STEM and a new BTO Fellowship program called IBUILD. Also, she is involved in various DOE-funded projects regarding building energy modeling and validation based on the extensive background for simulation/modeling and energy efficient building system optimization, and is an active member of the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and is a webmaster of ASHRAE TC 7.6, Building energy performance.

https://www.ornl.gov/staff-profile/yeonjin-bae

Jim Bosch, Sr. Public Affairs Specialist, NREL

Jim Bosch works as a Sr. Public Affairs Specialist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). For the last 30 years, Jim has educated people about the natural environment, climate change, sustainability, and renewable energy. Jim introduces research capabilities and laboratories to leaders who are interested in renewable energy research, especially topics involving integrated energy pathways, electrons to molecules, and the circular economy.  Prior to working at NREL, Jim worked as a Manager in the field of Outdoor and Environmental Education. His interests include natural history education, bioinspired and ecological design, environmental restoration, biodiversity, organic agriculture, aeroponics, green innovation, eco-entrepreneurship, and the development of sustainable communities.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Olivet College and a Master of Science in Education from Northern Illinois University.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-bosch-3b54b191

Fredericka Brown, Fellow, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Science

Dr. Fredericka Brown is a Fellow in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Science, Technology and Policy Program.  She will be working with the Building Technologies Office’s Emerging Technologies program to support their goal of enabling cost-effective, energy-efficient technologies to be developed and introduced into the marketplace.

She earned a B.S. in physics from Xavier University of Louisiana, a M.S. in mechanical engineering from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, a M.B.A from University of Texas at Tyler, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is a professor at University of Texas at Tyler in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, where her research focuses on the design, analysis, and optimization of thermal systems and engineering education. She has led or been involved in numerous federal, industry, and state-funded research projects.

https://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/contributors/dr-fredericka-brown

Michelle Buchanan, Deputy for Science and Technology, ORNL

As Deputy for Science and Technology, Dr. Buchanan oversees one of the nation’s most extensive portfolios of research and development, spanning physical and materials sciences, energy and engineering sciences, computing and computational sciences, biological and environmental sciences, neutron sciences, and global security, for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors.  Before assuming her current position in October 2017, Dr. Buchanan was the Associate Laboratory Director for Physical Sciences for more than a decade.  She served as director of the ORNL Chemical Sciences Division from October 2000 to November 2004 and as associate director of the ORNL Life Sciences Division from January 1999 to September 2000.  She initiated the Center for Structural Molecular Biology at ORNL, serving as its director from 1999 to 2003, and led the Organic and Biological Mass Spectrometry Group in the Chemical and Analytical Sciences Division (now the Chemical Sciences Division) from 1986 to 1999.  She joined ORNL in 1978 after earning a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin.

Dr. Buchanan is the author or co-author of more than 150 scientific publications and reports, holds two patents, and was editor of a book on Fourier transform mass spectrometry.  She was North American editor of Biological Mass Spectrometry and has served on the editorial boards of Analytical Chemistry, Organic Mass Spectrometry, Journal of Mass Spectrometry, Biological and Environmental Mass Spectrometry, and Fresenius’ Journal of Analytical Chemistry.  She received an R&D 100 Award in 1986; ORNL Technical Achievement Awards in 1985, 1989, and 1993;  UT-Battelle awards for R&D Leadership in 2000 and 2002; and the Knoxville YWCA Tribute to Women award in science and technology in 2003.  She received the 2019 Ellen Swallow Richards Diversity Award given by TMS, the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society.

Dr. Buchanan is a Fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS).  She currently serves as a councilor for the Division of Analytical Chemistry (DAC).  She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Brookhaven Science Associates, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, and the Oak Ridge Methodist Medical Center.  Over the past decade she has worked at the national level helping define basic research needs in a number of key energy-related areas.

https://www.ornl.gov/content/michelle-buchanan

Marcus Giron, Intern Program Manager, NREL

Marcus Giron understands the need for effective communication. As a former teacher he taught math to disadvantaged and underserved populations; developing techniques to spark their interest, hold their attention, and make the content understandable. He has over 20 years of teaching experience, in both formal and informal education; teaching science and math at the elementary, middle, high school and college levels. Taking the research being conducted at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and explaining it to everyone from school children to industry specialists is his forte. 

As part of the Communications Office at NREL Marcus worked with various groups across the lab on a number of different science communication initiatives. He is currently the co-lead for a Storytelling Working Group, tasked with helping scientists deliver a better science story. He has also served as an ambassador for the laboratory at public events and within the lab corridors, performing tours highlighting the relevance and impact of NREL’s research. 

Marcus Giron has also developed and delivered scientific communication curriculum for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science interns at NREL. Once developed, this curriculum was also delivered to NREL research scientists and at colleges and universities along the Front Range. The curriculum focuses on communication to a general audience, writing a compelling research paper, and designing an engaging science poster. 

Marcus Giron has a Bachelor’s Degree in Math Education, a Master’s degree in Science Education, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Science Communication and Public Engagement from the University of Edinburgh.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/marcus-giron/

Erika Gupta, Acting Program Manager of Emerging Technologies Program, Building Technologies Office

Erika Gupta is the acting program manager for the Emerging Technologies Program in EERE’s Building Technologies Office. She is also the technology manager for the Sensors and Controls Subprogram. Her work at BTO leverages her controls background, focusing on building energy management controls and projects supporting controls for grid-integrated efficient buildings.

She first joined EERE as a technology development manager in the Fuel Cell Technologies Office in 2012, managing projects that could lower the cost of delivery of hydrogen. Under her management the subprogram achieved its delivery cost goal a year ahead of schedule and lowered the cost of hydrogen stations by 40% through innovative control strategies. Her portfolio was recognized through R&D 100 awards and the receipt of an outstanding regional partnership award for the highly successful H2FIRST project.

Prior to joining FCTO she worked in the fuel cell industry as a systems reliability engineer and then as a lead control systems engineer on fuel cell battery hybrid systems for forklifts and distributed steam methane reforming systems at Nuvera Fuel Cells. Prior to that, she spent time as a program engineer at Luminus Devices working on their Phlatlight LEDs. Erika also has a background in reliability engineering and predictive failure analysis.

She attained her B.S. in mechanical engineering at Boston University and M.S. in mechanical engineering, with a focus on control systems, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

https://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/contributors/erika-gupta

Mary Hubbard, Technology to Market Manager of Emerging Technologies Program, Building Technologies Office

Mary Hubbard is the technology-to-market manager within the Building Technologies Office’s (BTO’s) Emerging Technologies Program. In this position, she works across the office to lead BTO’s Technology-to-Market Initiative. This includes a number of programs and activities to help researchers and innovators in the buildings space de-risk their technologies, products, and processes to make them more attractive to private investment. Mary also helps innovators access the resources and develop the skills needed to make an impact in the buildings industry. In addition, Mary is involved in the development of prize programming, BTO funding opportunities, and workforce initiatives focused on expanding and diversifying the pool of building scientists and entrepreneurs. 

Mary has a B.S. in business and a Master of Public Affairs degree, both from Indiana University. She is also a Certified Energy Manager, LEED Green Associate, Project Management Professional, and Technical Project Officer.

Prior to coming to DOE, Mary worked in industry with Siemens Government Technologies, Inc. She oversaw more than $300-million portfolio, ranging from large renewable energy generation construction projects to smaller building automation system and HVAC projects. The portfolio contained both appropriated dollar contracts and energy savings performance contracts. Mary also brings experience with utilities, local government, and consulting.

https://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/contributors/mary-hubbard

Diana Hun, Group Leader, Building Envelope Materials Research, ORNL

Dr. Diana Hun’s research includes integrating the latest developments in materials and manufacturing techniques into building envelopes. For instance, she leads several interdisciplinary teams that are developing novel insulation materials, building envelope retrofit solutions, self-healing sealants, and concrete mixes with lower embodied energy for lighter and thinner precast insulated panels. She is also a member of teams that are investigating active envelope systems and non-intrusive building envelope diagnostic tools. Before joining ORNL, she was a Senior Associate at Walter P. Moore. Hun received a PhD in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin with a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Hun is the author or co-author of more than 50 publications and reports, holds two patents, and has 6 ongoing patent applications. In 2020, Hun received an ORNL Innovation Award and a Federal Energy and Water Management Award. Hun currently serves as the Deputy Director for the US-China Clean Energy Research Center for Building Energy Efficiency.

https://www.ornl.gov/staff-profile/diana-e-hun

Roderick Jackson, Laboratory Program Manager, Building Technologies, NREL

Dr. Roderick Jackson is the laboratory program manager for buildings research at NREL. He sets the strategic agenda for NREL’s buildings portfolio, while working closely with senior laboratory management. The portfolio includes all research, development, and market implementation activities, which aim to improve the energy efficiency of building materials and practices. He also guides discussions with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Office to expand research ranging from grid-interactive efficient buildings to mechanical and thermal properties of building materials. He helps identify industry partnership opportunities to advance building envelope and equipment technologies.

Dr. Jackson comes to NREL from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he was the group manager for Building Envelope Systems Research. He was on the forefront of connected communities research, leading an effort that established Alabama Power’s Smart Neighborhood. Working with Southern Company and DOE, it was the first project in the southeastern United States to connect high-performance homes with a community microgrid, deploying a transactive microgrid approach.  

Another of Dr. Jackson’s notable industry accomplishments is a result of his role as the technical lead for the Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) demonstration project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. With his leadership, AMIE brought together experts from multiple research teams across the lab, 20 partners from industry, and DOE scientists to design, develop, and demonstrate a 3D-printed house that shares power wirelessly with a 3D-printed electric vehicle. The first-of-its-kind research was completed in just nine months.

Dr. Jackson was selected for a three-year appointment to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Research Advisory Board. He is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and has received several awards in his career, including the National GEM Consortium Alumni of the Year and Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s 40 under 40.

https://www.nrel.gov/research/staff/roderick-jackson.html

Martin Keller, Director, NREL

Under his leadership, the number of full-time employees at NREL has increased by more than 32%. Dr. Martin Keller is a visionary leader who is committed to people, teams, and partnerships. He innovatively and pragmatically applies private-sector best practices at NREL to achieve game-changing scientific outcomes.

Working collaboratively with NREL’s leadership team, Dr. Keller developed a strategy for NREL focused on three key initiatives: integrated energy pathways, circular economy for energy materials, and electrons to molecules. This strategy drives advanced scientific research, programs, projects, and partnerships at NREL. For example, NREL recently signed a 10-year, $100 million agreement with ExxonMobil to research and develop lower-emission energy technologies and accelerate new ideas about energy. NREL also has valuable partnerships with Eaton Corp., Wells Fargo, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Royal Dutch Shell, and more than 900 private- and public-sector organizations.

From 2006 to 2015, Dr. Keller led energy, biological, and environmental research programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His efforts culminated in his being promoted to associate laboratory director for the Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate during his last 6 years there.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Keller’s dedicated work in a variety of research management positions at Diversa Corp. enhanced and developed the microbiology expertise of this biotech company. 

Dr. Keller is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement Science and recently retired as chair of its AAAS Industrial Science and Technology Section. In addition, he is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council for Julich Forschungszentrum and serves on numerous other scientific advisory boards.  

Dr. Keller received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Regensburg, Germany.

https://www.nrel.gov/about/director.html

Ryan Meyer, Researcher III – Mechanical Engineering, NREL

Dr. Ryan Meyer joined NREL in 2018 as a research engineer in the Commercial Buildings Research Group. His expertise is in commercial building mechanical system design, building energy simulation, and numerical techniques that provide detailed and real-time information about the dynamic indoor environment. Currently, Ryan focuses on several efforts including modeling in a co-simulation environment for hardware-in-the-loop experiments and applications, as well as modeling and developing tools for load flexibility technologies for grid-interactive efficient buildings.

Prior to joining NREL, Ryan worked as a design engineer and energy consultant, including work with multiple utility-sponsored commercial new construction incentive programs around the country.

https://www.nrel.gov/research/staff/ryan-meyer.html

Chris Nash, Workforce Development Recruiting Manager, NREL

Mr. Chris Nash has over 20 years’ experience as a Talent Acquisition Professional, responsible for results within a multitude of Technologies and Industries. Experientially, he has lend a vast knowledge of the Technology Services industry and is highly qualified in account management, business development, technical sales recruiting focused on the utility industry, power systems, high performance computing, and supercomputing. Chris has been at NREL for over 8 years. He was originally hired to support the Energy Systems Integration Facility, then worked as team lead of NREL’s recruiting team. Most recently, he was promoted to University Workforce Development Program Manager. In this role, Chris support strategic partnerships and pathway programs with leading universities and organizations. Working with NREL’s University Partnership Lead and HR’s workforce development team, Chris provides a full-time focus on NREL’s university relationships, elevating the visibility, stature, and impact of existing programs. In support of workforce development, Chris manages the Visiting Faculty Program, implement current and innovative, data-informed strategies to increase diversity and inclusion, while identifying and building new connections with colleges and universities. Chris work closely with the recruiting team and NREL management to provide access to intern and postdoctoral talent and to unique capabilities that complement those of the laboratory.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopherrobinnash/

Wale Odukomaiya, Researcher III – Mechanical Engineering, NREL

Dr. Wale Odukomaiya joined NREL’s Building Energy Science group in 2018 as a Director’s Fellow. His research focuses on novel materials and manufacturing techniques for thermal energy storage, and their integration into building components and systems.

Prior to joining NREL, Dr. Odukomaiya was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Building Technologies Research and Integration Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he worked on developing energy storage and magnetocaloric refrigeration technologies. His research background includes applying fundamental heat transfer and thermodynamics to advanced energy technologies and building components, energy policy and economics, and thermal and electromechanical energy storage.

https://www.nrel.gov/research/staff/wale-odukomaiya.html

Jahi Simbai, Senior Manager, Workforce Strategy and Development, NREL

Mr. Jahi Simbai is the Senior Manager, Workforce Strategy and Development, in Human Resources at NREL.  In this role, Jahi partners across NREL and the DOE National Laboratory Complex to build an integrated strategy and plan for the “Workforce of the Future,” primarily focusing on internship and post-doctoral programs. 

Prior to NREL, Jahi served at the Colorado School of Mines where he progressed from Associate Director, Minority Engineering Program (MEP) to Assistant Dean, Office of Graduate Studies. Earlier in his career, Jahi worked as a structural analyst for Ball Aerospace.  Jahi holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an MBA from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He serves on the board for the Great Outdoors Colorado and for the Lutheran Medical Center Foundation, is on the Planning Commission for the City of Wheat Ridge, and is the incoming President for the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA).

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jahisimbai/

Kim Trenbath, Lead, Systems Technology R&D, NREL

Dr. Kim Trenbath is the acting innovation lead for systems technology research and development in the Buildings and Thermal Sciences Center at NREL. She oversees projects related to plug and process load efficiency, commercial building heating, ventilating, and air conditioning, automated fault detection and diagnostics, and advanced technologies that will make buildings more grid interactive. She leads the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Better Buildings Alliance Plug and Process Loads Technical Team. She also serves as the NREL lead for the DOE-funded JUMP into STEM building science competition for university students. In addition to her work at NREL, Dr. Trenbath is an adjunct professor at the Colorado School of Mines.

Dr. Trenbath previously served as business manager for the Commercial Buildings Research Group for four years. Before joining NREL, she worked as an analyst in global power strategic sourcing, risk management, and wind energy business development. Her prior research involved in-cabin air quality, undergraduate students’ understanding of scientific concepts, and break-in training.

https://www.nrel.gov/research/staff/kim-trenbath.html

Linh Truong, Senior Communicator, NREL

Ms. Linh Truong is a strategic communicator and project manager at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). A believer that variety and new opportunities add spice to life, she has spent the last 20 years dabbling in writing, editing, media relations, project management, strategic communications, and client relations. Although hard to pick her favorite aspect of communications, she has led dozens of cross-functional teams for more than 20 years to create websites, marketing materials, strategic research publications, and events that demonstrate impact within specific timeframes and budgets. At NREL, Linh leads a core communications team that supports pioneers who are leading research for more energy efficient buildings and for cost-effective methods to harness geothermal energy and concentrating solar power.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/linhtruong/