Source: Denver Business Journal | Cathy Proctor | October 21, 2015

Martin Keller, director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Photo Credit: ORNL

Martin Keller, director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Photo Credit: ORNL

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden has a new director: Martin Keller, who will join the Golden-based federal laboratory on Nov. 30, 2015

Keller will also serve as the president of the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, the entity that manages the laboratory via a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.

Martin succeeds Dan Arvizu, who announced plans in March to retire from the lab after more than 10 years as its director.

NREL pumped about $701 million into Colorado’s economy in fiscal 2014, according to a recent study by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business.

It’s also cutting the number of people who work at the lab due to smaller budgets.

The lab focuses on renewable and alternative energy sources, energy efficiency practices and equipment, and it also works with businesses to test new technologies and integrate energy systems.
Keller hails from a sister DOE laboratory in Tennessee, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he served as the associate laboratory director for energy and environmental sciences, according to the announcement from NREL.

That division includes the Oak Ridge’s programs in biosciences, environmental sciences, buildings technologies, transportation, climate change, manufacturing and electrical and electronics systems.

Prior to joining the Oak Ridge laboratory, Keller worked for a company focused on industrial use of enzymes, according to the announcement.

“Having seen firsthand the tremendous clean energy innovation at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in recent years under Martin’s leadership, I could think of no better person to lead NREL in the critically important years that lie ahead of us for clean energy,” said David Danielson, the DOE’s assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy.

“I look forward to working with Martin hand-in-hand as strategic partners to deliver the technologies and solutions that will help create American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy,” Danielson said in a statement.

Keller was selected following a “highly competitive” national search, the lab said.

“We are very excited to have Martin join NREL,” said the two co-chairs of the Alliance board: Ron Townsend, a Battelle executive vice president for global laboratory operations; and Tom Fleener, executive vice president, CFO and treasurer, for MRIGlobal.

Battelle and MRIGlobal are the leading companies involved in the Alliance partnership.

“Without a doubt, his visionary leadership, proven ability to form high-performance teams and produce world-leading outcomes and his strong relationships with senior leaders across DOE, industry and the national laboratory system will lead NREL to even more impactful scientific discovery and market impact,” Townsend and Fleener said in a statement.

Keller earned his doctorate in microbiology from the University of Regensburg in Germany. He was appointed a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2013. He serves on multiple boards and advisory panels, including the Science Advisory Board for the Council on Competitiveness.

“I have enjoyed working with colleagues at NREL” Keller said in the announcement.

“I’ve been impressed both by the quality of the research and the impact that NREL is having nationally and globally in enabling the transformation of energy systems. I am looking forward to becoming a part of NREL’s future success,” Keller said.