Back to Top
Skip to main content
In 2019, Vision and Action Will Merge to Fuel National Energy Successes
Director Brian Anderson

Director’s Corner

by Brian Anderson, PhD.

The people of NETL, an impressive collection of talented researchers, focused contract support personnel, promising young program interns and post-graduate scientists, are poised to broaden and enhance an aggressive pursuit of fossil energy innovation and progress as we enter 2019 – innovation that follows a robust vision that will continue to power the nation’s economic progress, ensure its security, and enhance national prosperity.

For people unfamiliar with the successful past and exciting and future of NETL, that sounds like a daunting assignment. But, as someone who has been involved with the Laboratory and its people for nearly two decades as an external partner, now has the honor of serving as its new director, and just spent the past 30 days deeply immersed in the history, competency and potential of the organization, I can assure the people of America that the daunting nature of the mission is matched only by the ambition, ability and determination of our team.

Joel Barker, an author, lecture and futurist, wrote that “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world” With an eye toward specific research challenges, we intend to follow a vision that can change the world.

Briefly, here is my vision for 2019:

  • Expand existing and build new external partnerships as a vehicle for innovation, commercialization and dissemination of the knowledge and technology we build together. I believe effective partnerships are the most efficient and effective way to conduct informed research and then make sure the results are put to work in support of a bright energy future.
  • Use the Laboratory’s well-known and expanding competencies and facilities to image, characterize, model, engineer, and manage the development and use of geologic systems that help the U.S. master the subsurface — the origins of more than 80 percent of the nation’s energy needs.
  • Create an enhanced energy infrastructure that accommodates new demands, emergent markets and changing energy consumption patterns with carbon capture, utilization and storage innovation and modified pipeline networks to reduce environmental impacts, enhance reliability and assure robust energy delivery.
  • Increase the efficiency of technologies that convert the stored energy in fossil resources into heat, power fuels and chemicals through research that focuses on greater system flexibility and resiliency, rapid technology deployment, and reduced pollutants, waste and freshwater use.
  • Develop and promote evolving NETL technologies for recovery of rare earth elements from coal, coal by-products and water resources for use by U.S. industries for consumer products and defense technologies.

We have a fine portfolio of research progress and accomplishment that can serve as a launchpad for greater progress in these areas and we are blessed with an admirable roster of teams and individuals who are the heart and soul of the work ahead. We are poised to address the challenges and 2019 will move us closer to even greater successes. I look forward to the process and the close collaborations with current and future partners that will fuel those successes.