Chief Science and Technology Officer
Chief Science and Technology Officer


Dr. Cynthia (Cindy) Powell assumed the role of Chief Science and Technology Officer, for PNNL’s Energy and Environment Directorate effective October 1, 2021, 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, Cindy's 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, Cindy 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. Cindyl 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.


Doctor of Philosophy, Materials Science & Engineering, Case Western Reserve University

Master of Science, Ceramic Engineering, Clemson University

Bachelor of Science, Ceramic Engineering, Clemson University



  • 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