September 18, 2023

World Energy Storage Day: PNNL’s Power Players

With specific expertise and leadership in key energy storage areas, one way PNNL celebrates World Energy Storage Day is by highlighting some of our “Energy Storage Power Players”

Four illustrations featuring different individuals with different colored backgrounds; two women, two men

Graphic created by Stephanie King | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

PNNL is home to many "energy storage power players"—the people who are advancing energy storage research and development that will make electric vehicles go farther and bolster a clean, reliable energy grid. Other players train professionals about energy storage safety, and work with communities to co-develop energy storage solutions that meet their energy resilience goals. 

Worldwide organizations, stakeholders, policy makers, and think tanks annually celebrate World Energy Storage Day on September 22 by shining a spotlight on the importance of energy storage.

With specific expertise and leadership in key energy storage areas, one way PNNL celebrates World Energy Storage Day is by highlighting some of our energy storage power players.

Meet Cassidy Anderson (battery materials research), Joshua Lochala (fundamental battery research), Matthew Paiss (battery safety and reliability advisor), and Jennifer Yoshimura (advisor).

Cassidy Anderson – Power Player in batteries for electric vehicles

Bright orange background, female with long brown hair and sunglasses.

Anderson’s research focuses on developing lithium (Li)-metal batteries as a future battery technology for electric vehicles. As an application-driven fundamental researcher, she studies materials on the micron scale up to fabrication in prototype pouch-cell batteries. Her work involves synthesizing new cathode materials, optimizing processing conditions, and assembling high-energy pouch cells. Anderson uses high-resolution characterization tools to study the mechanisms within the cells to understand and mitigate cell failure. She says she’s most proud to be working at PNNL full-time while in grad school pursuing a PhD and working with her team who developed a successful large coating of sulfur cathode material that yielded high-performance cathodes.

Fun Fact Question and Answer

Q: What would people be surprised to know about you?

A: “Prior to working in batteries at PNNL, I worked as a laboratory technician at a winery, which sometimes included shoveling 50 tons of pressed grape skins out of more than 10,000 gallon tanks.”

Joshua Lochala – Power Player in battery materials

Bright purple background, male with red hair wearing aviator sunglasses.

Lochala studies Li-metal and Li-ion batteries with an emphasis on the practical applications and engineering processes. The pouch cell format is of specific interest, as it is where new technology and materials are scaled and tested in a real-world format. The applications of this methodology help to advance next-generation batteries by bridging the gap between fundamental research and commercial applications. Lochala’s research extends to both the materials used within the pouch cell and the processes that occur during cycling, which is fundamental to the advancement of batteries used for electric vehicles. He says he is most proud of his work the Battery500 Consortium, which seeks to develop high-capacity batteries used for electric vehicles. “Advancing the Li-metal pouch cell from theory to reality is exciting and gives me a great sense of accomplishment.”

Fun Fact Question and Answer

Q: What’s your hidden talent?

A: “I can ‘Call the Hogs.’”

Matthew Paiss – Power Player in battery safety

Bright green background, male with dark goatee and hipster-styled sunglasses

As a technical advisor, Paiss brings 28 years of emergency response experience and has spent many years as a trainer or consultant in this area. Additionally, Paiss has more than a decade of experience on renewable energy codes and standards committees and currently represents PNNL on National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 855, UL 9540, and 1974, and he is a nationally named expert on the International Electrotechnical Commission Technical Committee 120. He is on the Board of Trustees for the Fire Protection Research Foundation, the research affiliate of NFPA. Paiss has delivered electrical safety training to over 8,000 firefighters nationwide, has spoken in Europe on fire safety and photovoltaic design, and holds certificates as a California State Fire Instructor and a California State Fire Officer. Paiss says he is most proud of developing the IntelliVentTM deflagration prevention for energy storage systems and representing PNNL as an energy storage safety subject matter expert.

Fun Fact Question and Answer

Q: What would people be surprised to know about you?

A: “I’m a past volunteer with the Burning Man Fire Department.”

Jennifer Yoshimura – Power Player in grid planning and energy justice and equity

Bright blue background, woman with dark hair wearing sunglasses.

Yoshimura is an energy justice and equity leader and electrical infrastructure advisor at PNNL. Yoshimura leverages her deep expertise in diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility and industry experience to develop equitable and community-centered approaches to energy systems planning. She leads several technical assistance programs and energy equity initiatives, including Energy Storage for Social Equity (ES4SE), which is focused on prioritizing the needs of disadvantaged communities and vulnerable populations in the clean energy transition. She also provides strategic support for initiatives looking at equity, decarbonization, and resilience objectives in grid planning.

Yoshimura is most proud of working in the energy and engineering industry for more than 21 years. She said, “I have learned to find my voice to protect, advocate, and amplify myself and others. The work I’m doing at PNNL encompasses thoughtfulness, intentionality, and space to listen, learn, and improve how to create and see equity and justice outcomes through projects and programs. The most important experience in my career has been partnering with and collaborating with communities across the country in the co-development of solutions that meet their goals and needs.”

Fun Fact Question and Answer

Q: If you could have a meal with three people past or present, who would they be and why?

A: “I would like to connect with three Native Hawaiian Leaders to learn more about how they navigated western systems to progress Native Hawaiian and indigenous rights, knowledge, and culture. I would pick Haunani-Kay Trask, Mary Kawena Pukui, and Dr. Noa Emmett Auwae Aluli.”

Find out more about PNNL’s energy storage work on PNNL’s main energy storage webpage.