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At NETL, maintaining responsible stewardship of the environment is crucial to the Lab’s mission of driving innovation and delivering solutions for an environmentally sustainable energy future. Earth Day, celebrated since 1970, aligns closely with NETL’s vision while emphasizing the importance of recycling, conserving energy and improving air and water quality. Every year, NETL hosts an annual poster contest encouraging elementary students enrolled at schools near NETL’s sites in Albany, Oregon; Morgantown, West Virginia; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to showcase their favorite ways to protect the environment. This year, students were asked to design their posters around the theme, “Restore Our Earth,” in recognition of this planet-centric day. We have shared the first-, second-, third- and fourth-place winning entries at each grade level here.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) are advertising the availability for licensing of either or both of the following two DOE-supported technologies. 
NACE International and the Association for Materials Protection and Performance (AMPP) has announced that NETL’s Margaret Ziomek-Moroz, Ph.D., has been selected to receive the 2021 NACE Fellows honor, becoming a member of the class of NACE Fellows for her sustained and widely recognized contributions to corrosion control. Ziomek-Moroz will receive her award during CORROSION 2021, NACE’s virtual conference and expo held April 19-30. Ziomek-Moroz is a research chemist at NETL where she works on projects aimed at the fundamental understanding of the corrosion mechanisms of materials. She also works on projects aimed at developing methods of corrosion protection of metallic components subjected to extreme environments associated with advanced energy systems. Currently, she is working on selection of inexpensive, reliable, corrosion-resistant alloys for low-temperature supercritical carbon dioxide power cycle components; development of advanced coatings for corrosion protection of natural gas infrastructure; and a means of monitoring the corrosion protection capability of the coatings using novel membrane-based electrochemical sensors (MBES).
NETL amplifies the impacts of its nationally recognized technical competencies through collaboration with a variety of organizations, including university partnerships crucial to early-stage development of energy technologies that will lead the nation to a net-zero carbon emissions economy by 2050. One prime example of these valuable partnership efforts is the work of an ongoing collaborative research team comprising NETL and University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) researchers who have developed and commercialized sensor technologies, won multiple Carnegie Science Awards, produced more than a dozen patents and pending patents, advanced the understanding of energy production through high-impact research papers, and most recently, applied a first-of-its-kind distributive sensing method to solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) — a promising clean energy technology.
NETL Director Brian Anderson, Ph.D., and other NETL leaders will meet with faculty at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) on Tuesday, April 20, for discissions about key lab initiatives (KLIs) and their potential to intersect with research undertaken by the Pittsburgh university. “Partnerships between NETL and CMU have yielded a number of revolutionary energy-related discoveries. Therefore, it’s important for NETL to bring the faculty up to speed on our latest priorities and projects so we can explore continued collaboration with the incredible talent at CMU,” Anderson said. A fireside chat format will be used to create an informal yet structed program for the three-hour virtual session with CMU professors and researchers.
Tom Sarkus
As part of the ongoing POWERGEN+ series of presentations, NETL’s Tom Sarkus provided an in-depth look at how the power plant workforce will change in both the near- and long-term, as markets shift toward renewables, new technologies and operations emerge and workplace demographics and expectations evolve. “The new Administration is committed to both decarbonization goals as well as workforce development for areas that have been hard hit by declining industries,” Sarkus said. “Large-scale renewables projects have now levelized cost of energy at or below fossil energy marginal costs, and we are seeing many states setting bold renewable energy goals. All of this points toward a paradigm shift in the power plant workforce that we can leverage for maximum benefits.”
FOA Logo
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced $6 million in Federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002405, Advanced Coal Waste Processing: Production of Coal-Enhanced Filaments or Resins for Advanced Manufacturing and Research and Development of Coal-Derived Graphite. In a shifting energy generation paradigm, innovation is needed to extract the full economic value from coal waste. The Advanced Coal Processing program at NETL seeks to address this challenge by supporting novel technologies to produce valuable products from coal waste-derived sources through laboratory- and pilot-scale R&D.
NETL leaders participated in the recent kickoff meeting of the Advanced Welding Workforce Initiative (AWWI) to discuss how the new program will provide workers with needed technical skills to fill good-paying jobs in the energy sector and emerging industries across Appalachia.
NETL leaders participated in the recent kickoff meeting of the Advanced Welding Workforce Initiative (AWWI) to discuss how the new program will provide workers with needed technical skills to fill good-paying jobs in the energy sector and emerging industries across Appalachia. “The need for welders with advanced technical skills is critical to operate and service tomorrow’s highly efficient power plants and support the region’s growing automotive, aerospace and aviation industries,” said NETL Director Brian Anderson, who provided opening remarks for the virtual meeting held April 13. “NETL is proud to partner with the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to support an initiative that will not only create needed employment opportunities but will also establish a reliable pipeline of welders critical to the U.S. economy,” said Anderson. 
The R&D Plateau at NETL in Pittsburgh, PA
NETL together with the Quantum Science Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Pittsburgh Quantum Institute (PQI) to hold a joint workshop on April 16th as part of the PQI2021 Virtual Workshop on quantum information science, held April 13-16. As a free workshop, PQI2021 gave attendees the opportunity to explore panel discussions on quantum science applications in communications, defense and other topics, along with a series of speakers from national and international universities. The field of quantum mechanics has laid the foundation for science and engineering in the 20th century, forming the roots of semiconductors, superconductors, magnetic materials and the periodic table. The increasingly sophisticated ability to understand the quantum nature of matter led to the development of many inventions such as transistors, lasers and MRI scanners, which have profoundly transformed society technologically.
NETL’s Regional Workforce Initiative (RWFI), together with the Tri State Energy and Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Consortium and the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI), highlighted the various elements at play to paint a picture of what the future of manufacturing and energy jobs holds during the “Predicting Future Regional and National Energy Workforce Needs” webinar. The webinar brought together entities from academia, private industry, nonprofit organizations and government agencies such as People’s Natural Gas, the Robert C. Byrd Institute, the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development, Shell, Ohio University, West Virginia University and the U.S. Energy Association, among many others. Anthony Armaly, federal coordinator of NETL RWFI said the webinar centered on four focus areas: job opportunity metrics, opportunities for work, states with the widest potential for energy and manufacturing job growth, and how regional development strategies are the most effective path forward.