Crosscutting Research program advances and accelerates promising fossil energy technology by serving as a bridge between basic and applied research. The program intersects the core capabilities of the National Energy Technology Laboratory and combines researchers’ expertise to address the nation’s energy priorities. The Crosscutting Research Program supports and works collaboratively with America’s most talented technology developers and university researchers to develop high-impact fossil energy technologies in five key platforms: Sensors & Controls, High Performance Materials, Modeling, Simulation & Analysis, Water Management Research & Development, and University Training & Research. The University Training & Research program sponsors two of the longest running university training programs - Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions (HBCU/MSI), and, University Coal Research (UCR) - that reinforce the research-based education of students at U.S. universities and colleges with emphasis on fossil energy science. The program leverages the central technology trends such as data analytics, advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, and high performance computing to accelerate the progress toward addressing the challenges of today’s fossil power plants: reducing operations and maintenance costs, and maximizing efficiency. The program utilizes NETL’s Joule supercomputer, and advanced computational platforms to simulate and model the advanced processes of fossil energy development.
The program develops innovative concepts that address application-specific challenges by: 1) supporting the research necessary to graduate new technologies to the development stage; and 2) initiating research that is likely to lead to entirely new technology areas. It should be noted that the processes and materials that constitute advancement in one technology platform may well have application in another with little or no modification. A major advantage of the Crosscutting program is its ability to see and foster applications of a given technology across a number of programs and leverage efficiently to accomplish common fossil energy goals.