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NETL’s Burt Thomas Nominated for Oregon FEB Excellence in Government Award
A headshot of Burt Thomas

NETL extends its gratitude and recognition to Randal “Burt” Thomas for his outstanding scientific research and demonstrated exceptional leadership at NETL’s Albany facility for more than six years. His achievements led to his nomination in the leadership category of the Oregon Federal Executive Board (FEB) Excellence in Government Awards.

The Oregon FEB Excellence in Government Awards recognize outstanding federal employees for efforts that encourage innovation and excellence in government, reinforce pride in federal service and call public attention to the broad range of services provided by federal employees. The winners of the FEB Excellence in Government Awards are selected by an independent committee of federal executives.

“Being nominated for such an award is a major accomplishment and reflects the quality of talent that calls NETL home,” NETL Director Brian Anderson said. “As our country undergoes a profound transformation to achieve a sustainable energy landscape and combat climate change while creating exciting new job opportunities, Thomas’ work is a demonstration of how our Lab is leading the way.”

As the leader of the Critical Minerals research portfolio, Thomas amplifies NETL’s pursuit of a socially and environmentally clean energy future. This portfolio targets the development of a domestic supply chain of critical minerals in places where there are significant environmental and community justice benefits. This research will help develop materials required for critical energy components for the future while cleaning up legacy waste streams such as acid mine drainage, fly ash ponds, mine tailings and impoundments.

Thomas is also a principal investigator on several geochemistry-focused projects/portfolios across the Lab’s Research and Innovation Center. His technical skill and rigor in conducting research and development (R&D) is resulting in outstanding products for NETL. An example is the development of the Geochemically Informed Leakage Detection model that will be applicable for monitoring storage integrity at geologic carbon dioxide (CO2) storage sites, ensuring the safe mitigation of CO2 emissions. This area is a vital component for decarbonizing the American economy.

Thomas is a dedicated interdisciplinary scientist who connects research staff across campuses and scientific disciplines to strengthen NETL with diverse, broadly capable and resilient researchers. He finds opportunities to elevate others’ work and ideas, which is crucial for early career researchers who will form the basis of future R&D leadership at NETL.

Beyond his research, Thomas also strengthens NETL’s education and outreach efforts by promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, mentoring young scientists and engaging in outreach activities. Both inside and outside NETL, Thomas far exceeds his job expectations to help create a sustainable and supportive research community.

NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that drives innovation and delivers technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By leveraging its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.