Kyle DeSomber is a hydropower advisor at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), where he provides industry insight and direction to sustainable waterpower operations within the Energy and Environment Directorate. DeSomber has been with PNNL since 2021; prior to joining PNNL, he spent 19 years in the hydropower industry serving roles beginning in operations and maintenance, to design engineer, to private consulting business development.

DeSomber began his career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after competing in a hydropower collegiate competition. His first role was as a maintenance engineer, working closely with mechanical and electrical crews at Little Goose Lock and Dam. With onsite perspective, he transitioned to a mechanical design engineer within the Walla Walla District, eventually serving for six years as the chief of mechanical design. He transitioned to McMillen Jacobs Associates as the mechanical practice lead then to the energy practice lead within the water resources team. His skills have been used on the design and construction of hydropower, pumped storage hydropower, dams, navigation locks, pumping plants, fish hatcheries, and fish passage facilities.

With PNNL, DeSomber has been assisting the Department of Energy Waterpower Technologies Office with the strategy and direction of the Hydropower Fleet Modernization, Maintenance, and Cybersecurity portfolio.

Research Interest

  • Energy Storage
  • Hydropower Hybridization
  • Advanced Hydropower Development
  • Energy Policy and Regulation
  • Fish Passage
  • Waterpower Engineering


  • MS in mechanical engineering, Washington State University
  • BS in mechanical engineering, Gonzaga University



  • Twitchell J.B., K.R. DeSomber, and D. Bhatnagar. 2023. "Defining Long Duration Energy Storage." Journal of Energy Storage 60. PNNL-SA-171006. doi:10.1016/j.est.2022.105787