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NETL’s Hannah Sieger Supporting Upcoming Direct Air Capture Center to Address Climate Change
Hannah Siegler

Hannah Sieger, NETL’s contracting officer representative (COR) for the upcoming Direct Air Capture (DAC) Center, grew up watching as evidence and effects of climate change mounted, and today she stands ready to support the Lab as it works to address this challenge. The testing and development of DAC technologies is an essential component of achieving a low-carbon economy and a tool to help mitigate some of the environmental issues the nation is facing.

“The function of this center is to provide a small pilot-scale testing space to run prototype DAC units under conditions representing the extreme ranges of climate within the contiguous United States, both in temperature and humidity,” Sieger said.

“The DAC center has been my focus since starting at NETL in December 2022 and remains the career project I am proudest of. As a younger millennial, I have seen the discussion of climate change grow louder over the course of my life and have witnessed the increasing evidence of its effects. There is no shortage of concern for what the future will look like, but I believe there is no better place to be to address these issues than here at the NETL.”

Growing up with time split between eastern Virginia and San Diego, California, Sieger attended Virginia Tech, earning her Bachelor of Science in civil engineering in 2016. Before joining NETL, she worked for six years with Grunley Construction, a general contractor in the Washington, D.C. metro area. There, Sieger moved from field engineering to project management, quality control and estimating while working on four distinct projects in sequence.

“Upon deciding to move Pittsburgh, my partner, having been born and raised in the area, already knew of the NETL, the competent and passionate people they employed, and the impactful work that they did,” Sieger said. “In exiting my previous employment, I was hoping to join a government institution in a position where my efforts might more directly benefit the public and support climate action.”

As COR, Sieger works to support the intended timeframe of the DAC Center’s implementation, by managing the contractors to concurrently work through the design and construction of the utilities, HVAC, and envelopes of the environmental skid rooms, with the Lab’s on-site personnel who would separately work through the design of the testing- and experiment-specific facilities equipment. 

Looking to the future, Sieger said she hopes the DAC Center becomes as heavily utilized as possible. She also noted that she chose working for NETL over the private sector because of the public service aspect of the DAC Center promises by bringing positive energy and environmental changes for everyone.

“I think there would be no better outcome than the DAC receiving more traffic than we could have ever expected, from a range of clients throughout academia and industry, to successfully validate and support the implementation of viable direct air capture technologies for widespread adoption,” she said. “NETL can continue to be a leader, focusing its efforts on climate goals for industry to follow.”

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.