Newswise — The Department of Energy’s Center for Bioenergy Innovation, led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, recently added three new members to its board of directors: Deborah Crawford of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Susan Hubbard of ORNL; and Maureen McCann of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The board provides strategic oversight and operational guidance to CBI to ensure the center’s success and impact as it accelerates cost-effective substitutes for petroleum-derived fuels and products. CBI is one of four Bioenergy Research Centers sponsored by the DOE Office of Science Biological and Environmental Research Program.

Crawford is vice chancellor for research at UTK. As a member of the university chancellor’s cabinet, she is responsible for leading the research, innovation, and economic development enterprise at UT’s flagship land-grant institution and premier public research university.

Hubbard is deputy for science and technology at ORNL in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. She guides one of the nation’s most extensive portfolios of research and development and supports the laboratory director in the planning, integration and execution of lab-level initiatives.

McCann is director of the Biosciences Center at NREL in Golden, Colorado. She leads a team of researchers in reengineering matter and energy flows from the molecular to cellular to system scales for both technology innovation and disruption, enabling a circular bioeconomy of fuels, chemicals and materials.

The new members join Lawrence Hornak of the University of Georgia, who has been on the CBI board since 2008. Hornak is associate vice president for research, integrative team initiatives at UGA as well as a professor and distinguished faculty scholar in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“I am excited to add Deborah, Susan and Maureen to our board of directors,” said Jerry Tuskan, CBI chief executive officer and ORNL Corporate Fellow. “They bring a wealth of expertise in research planning and development and will ensure our continued success in pursuit of feedstocks-to-fuels innovations for a sustainable, decarbonized energy future.”

CBI and its predecessor, the Bioenergy Science Center, have for 15 years brought together researchers from multiple institutions to advance discoveries for hardy nonfood crops and microbes to break down and convert plant biomass to clean fuels and products. The center is currently focused on developing biobased jet fuels to decarbonize the aviation sector.

“CBI has a proven track record of well-managed, mission-inspired scientific impact that is foundational for the emerging bioeconomy,” NREL’s McCann said. “I’m very much looking forward to a front-row seat for CBI’s next phase.”

UTK’s Crawford said, “I am delighted to join the CBI board and to promote and support collaborative partnerships among the nation’s leading national labs and universities to advance U.S. leadership in the bioeconomy.”

“I look forward to working with CBI leadership in support of science and technology breakthroughs for a thriving bioeconomy,” said Hubbard of ORNL. “CBI is exemplary of the power of team science to bring together extraordinary expertise and facilities to address complex challenges important for national priorities. CBI’s progress in and plans for accelerating the development of bioenergy-relevant plants and microbes to enable production of sustainable aviation fuel is critically important for meeting national decarbonization goals”

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for DOE’s Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit