There are many ways to map the world, from geographic illustrations to the genetic makeup of the organisms around us. As an avid outdoorsman, hiker, and mountain biker, it is natural that National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Scientist Kandler Smith would also apply these concepts to his research. Smith leads NREL’s battery computational modeling for electrochemical energy storage, where he designs maps and models to improve our understanding of batteries.
“Working in sustainable energy is one small way I can help preserve the natural world,” Smith said. “I enjoy the puzzle of designing and accelerating the design of safe, reliable, and efficient batteries for grid and transportation decarbonization.”
With 15 years at NREL, Smith is an expert in predicting and extending the lifetime of lithium-ion batteries, but electrochemical energy storage was not always his passion. Smith started his career in mechanical engineering, working on jet engines for military programs, before shifting focus to renewable energy. After earning a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Pennsylvania State University, he joined NREL.