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Energy and Environment Directorate

Cindy Powell

Cindy Powell

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 375-3645


Dr. Cynthia (Cindy) Powell assumed the role of Chief Science and Technology Officer, for PNNL's Energy and Environment Directorate effective October 1, leading the scientific, technology and engineering vision for the directorate. Cindy joined PNNL in June 2017 as the Division Director for the Energy Processes and Materials Division. As Division Director, Cindy helped steward and grow the division's deep capabilities in science and engineering to create and deliver real-world solutions for clean and secure energy. She stewarded capabilities in key research areas including advanced energy systems, applied materials and manufacturing, battery materials and systems, and chemical and biological processing.

Previously, Dr. Powell worked for DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) as researcher, line manager, Chief Research Officer, and as the Executive Director for Research & Innovation. These R&D activities included leading 400 multidisciplinary staff at research locations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Oregon. In 2016, Dr. Powell received the DOE Secretary's Achievement Award for her efforts in leading the research effort at NETL. In addition, she is the recipient of an R&D 100 Award for BlackGold®, an erosion-resistant coating for turbine compressor air foils, in partnership with MDS Coating Technologies and Delta Airlines; and a Carnegie Science Award for Corporate Innovation for the creation and implementation of the NETL-Regional University Alliance with five universities.

As a materials research engineer, she is an accomplished author with multiple publications, patents, and presentations. Dr. Powell earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Ceramic Engineering at Clemson University and her Ph.D. in Materials Science at Case Western Reserve University.

PNNL Publications


  • Li S., C.A. Powell, S.N. Mathaudhu, B. Gwalani, A. Devaraj, and C. Wang. 2022. "Review of recent progress on in situ TEM shear deformation: a retrospective and perspective view." Journal of Materials Science 57, no. 26:12177-12201. PNNL-SA-169397. doi:10.1007/s10853-022-07331-4
  • Li S., L. Li, A. Soulami, C.A. Powell, S. Mathaudhu, A. Devaraj, and C. Wang. 2022. "In-situ observation of deformation twin associated sub-grain boundary formation in copper single crystal under bending." Materials Research Letters 10, no. 7:488-495. PNNL-SA-169389. doi:10.1080/21663831.2022.2057201
  • Wang T., X. Li, B. Gwalani, G.J. Grant, and C.A. Powell. 2022. "Compositionally graded aluminum-silicon alloy fabricated via friction extrusion." Materials Today Communications 33. PNNL-SA-170396. doi:10.1016/j.mtcomm.2022.104423


  • Gwalani B., W. Fu, M.J. Olszta, J.A. Silverstein, D. Yadav, P. Manimunda, and A.D. Guzman, et al. 2021. "Lattice misorientation evolution and grain refinement in Al-Si alloys under high-strain shear deformation." Materialia 18. PNNL-SA-160821. doi:10.1016/j.mtla.2021.101146
  • Li S., M.J. Olszta, L. Li, B. Gwalani, A. Soulami, C.A. Powell, and S. Mathaudhu, et al. 2021. "In-situ TEM Observation of Shear Induced Microstructure Evolution in Cu-Nb Alloy." Scripta Materialia 205, no. 2021:114214. PNNL-SA-165104. doi:10.1016/j.scriptamat.2021.114214


  • Gwalani B., M.J. Olszta, S. Varma, L. Li, A. Soulami, E.J. Kautz, and S. Pathak, et al. 2020. "Extreme Shear-Deformation-Induced Modification of Defect Structures and Hierarchical Microstructure in an Al-Si Alloy." Communications Materials 1. PNNL-SA-153669. doi:10.1038/s43246-020-00087-x

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas