Dr. Daniel Laird named NREL wind director

Laird will be director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) National Wind Technology Center (NWTC).

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The US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL, Boulder, CO, US) reports that Dr. Daniel Laird will be director of NREL's National Wind Technology Center (NWTC), the country's premier wind energy technology research facility.

Laird, who earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Madison- Wisconsin, is relocating from the Energy Department's Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM, US, where he is manager of the Offshore Wind and Water Power Technologies program.

"I am very excited to join the outstanding research team at the National Wind Technology Center," Laird says. "The NWTC is a truly world-class research facility and the NREL mission is critically important to the nation. I look forward to working with the wind energy and water power teams to deliver the next generation of clean, reliable, and cost- effective power generation technologies."

Laird joined Sandia in 1996 and during his time there has worked on its advanced manufacturing initiative, structural analysis of composite wind turbine blades, and composite materials research and testing. Laird serves on the executive committee of Atmosphere to Electrons (A2e), an Energy Department wind plant-focused research initiative to reduce the cost of wind energy. He also serves on the University of Wisconsin-Madison's mechanical engineering industrial advisory board, and the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center advisory board.

The NWTC encompasses 305 acres at the base of the foothills south of Boulder. Research there advances the development of innovative land-based and offshore wind energy technologies through its research and testing facilities. Researchers work side- by-side with industry partners to develop new technologies that can compete in the global market and to increase system reliability and reduce costs.