Director Named for National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The U.S. Government’s top renewable energy laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado now has a new Director. Dan Arvizu, former Senior Vice President and Chief Technology officer for CH2M Hill, has been selected to replace Richard Truly whose retirement was announced last June.

“Dan brings an exceptional cache of energy expertise, significant technology transfer capability and strong leadership experience, not only with national laboratories but also with public and private businesses, that make him the ideal candidate for this important position,” said James L. Spigarelli, President and CEO of Midwest Research Institute (MRI) which has operated and managed NREL since its inception in 1977. Arvizu holds both a Ph.D. and Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from New Mexico State University. He was recently appointed to the National Science Board by President George W. Bush and serves on a number of distinguished boards and councils including the Army Science Board for the Department of Defense, the National Coalition Council for the Department of Energy, Corporate Advisory Board for the Colorado School of Mines, Board of Directors for the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award Conference, and the Board of Advisors for the Greater Metropolitan Denver Salvation Army. He has received numerous awards including being named one of the “Top 50 Most Important Hispanics in Business and Technology” by Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology Magazine. Arvizu joined CH2M Hill in Englewood, Colorado, in 1998 as vice president and director of the Energy and Industrial Systems Business Group, a newly created group. After successfully leading the energy group to a $100 million dollar operation, he was promoted in 2002 to Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for the Federal and Industrial Client Sector, spanning seven business groups. Arvizu held this position prior to his new appointment at NREL, announced today. Before joining CH2M Hill, Arvizu established a distinguished career at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) as a researcher and manager in the energy field. In 1973, he joined Bell Laboratories Technology Staff in Denver, and in 1977 was transferred to SNL’s solar energy division in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At the time SNL was operated by Bell Labs. While in this assignment he managed the construction of the heliostat field for what was at the time the largest solar facility in the world. In 1984, Dr. Arvizu was named supervisor in the Photovoltaic Cell Research and Concentrator Research Division at SNL. He progressed through a succession of management assignments where he was responsible for a number of significant advancements in solar cells. He and his team received international recognition for achieving world records in solar-to-electricity conversion efficiency. In 1988, Dr. Arvizu was promoted to manager of Technology Transfer and Industrial Relations and two years later to director of the Technology Commercialization Center where he led Sandia’s efforts in creating industrial alliances and in developing and implementing a technology maturation program to ensure rapid commercialization of technology for U.S. industry. In 1992, he became director of the Advanced Energy Technology and Policy Center, and in 1996 he was named director of the Materials and Process Science Center, the position he held until joining CH2M Hill in 1998. “Dan is well known around the Department of Energy as someone who understands energy technology — not just renewable energy, but nuclear and fossil energy as well,” said DOE Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, David K. Garman. “Dan shares our view about the importance of getting our technology out of the lab and into the marketplace, and he is an excellent choice to lead NREL. Under Dan’s leadership, we expect NREL to achieve new heights of technical excellence and market relevance.” Arvizu’s appointment is effective Jan. 15, 2005. Midwest Research Institute (MRI) also appointed Arvizu Senior Vice President. MRI, headquartered in Kansas City, has operated and managed NREL for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) since the NREL facility opened in 1977.
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