In this new blog series, we ask Energy Department researchers about their life as scientists working with energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Our aim is to inform readers about how scientific research is performed, learn from the people who produce our technological marvels, and to increase awareness of how this work impacts our nation’s energy needs.
Our first interview is with Dr. Sarah Kurtz, research fellow, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, Colorado; professor, University of California-Merced. Charlie Gay, director of the Solar Energy Technologies Office, sums her up in one word — passionate.
“For over 30 years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Sarah Kurtz in various roles including the Director at NREL. In fulfilling her responsibilities in varying roles, Sarah has developed technologies, mobilized diverse stakeholder groups and crafted information in form and substance suitable for a wide range of audiences. All of Sarah’s efforts are unified by a motivation to deliver unwavering support for globally affordable and reliable solar power. In her dual role as an NREL Research Fellow and as Professor at UC-Merced, Sarah continues to inspire all of us and will lead future generations to even higher achievement. Thank you, Sarah.”
Kurtz began working at the Solar Energy Research Institute—now the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)—in 1985. Educated as a chemical physicist at Harvard University, she is best known for her work at NREL in III-V multi-junction cells and for her efforts to improve the reliability and quality of solar energy systems.