Personal Profile

Matthew Thornton joined NREL in 2000 and today serves as a strategic program manager in the Energy Conversion and Storage Systems Center. In conjunction with his NREL position, he is an affiliate professor at Colorado State University and an adjunct professor at the Colorado School of Mines, where he teaches a course he developed on transportation, energy, and the environment.

Previously he managed NREL’s Fuels and Combustion group, which conducts cross-cutting research spanning from individual molecules to vehicle-scale fuel economy and emissions performance. He also served as NREL’s principal investigator for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hydrogen Storage Engineering Center of Excellence, advancing materials-based hydrogen storage systems for fuel cell vehicles, and oversaw NREL’s Renewable Fuels and Lubricants Laboratory.

Research Interests

Emission formation and controls

Hydrogen storage

Intelligent vehicle energy analysis

Sustainable transportation and mobility pathways

Transportation fuels and combustion

Transportation and mobility research

Professional Experience

National Renewable Energy Laboratory:

Strategic Program Manager (2020–Present)

Principal Research Engineer and Group Manager (2011–2020)

Senior Research Engineer (2000–2011)

Colorado School of Mines, Adjunct Professor (2019–Present)

Colorado State University, Affiliate Professor (2017–Present)

Post, Buckley, Schuh, and Jernigan, Inc., Senior Transportation Engineer (1997–2000)

Atlanta Regional Commission:

Senior Transportation Planner (1995–1997)

Transportation Planner (1994–1995)

Education/Academic Qualification

PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Master, Civil Engineering, Michigan State University

Master, Urban and Regional Planning, Michigan State University

Bachelor, Geography (Environmental Science Emphasis), University of Oregon


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