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NREL: Eight From NREL Named to 2022 Highly Cited Researchers List

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Eight scientists from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) were named today to the Highly Cited Researchers list, including two who are making their first appearance.

NREL had the same number on the 2021 and 2020 lists, but not the same names.

The researchers on this year’s list are Matthew Beard, Gregg Beckham, Joe Berry, Joey Luther, Mengjin Yang, Xiaopeng Zheng, Kai Zhu, and Keith Emery.

Luther, a newly named senior research fellow, has appeared on the list for five consecutive years, as has Emery, an emeritus researcher who retired in 2016 after more than 36 years at the laboratory. His work charting the record-setting efficiency of solar cells has made him a mainstay on the list.

Beard, another senior research fellow, has appeared on the list four times, although not in consecutive years. Yang and Zhu marked their fourth consecutive years on the list, which is compiled annually by London-based Clarivate’s Web of Science Group. (Yang left NREL last year; he now works at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.) Berry, also a senior research fellow, appeared on the 2021 list as well.

New to this year’s list is Beckham, a senior research fellow known for his work in trying to rid the world of plastic waste. Zheng, a postdoctoral researcher who focuses on perovskite solar cells, appeared on the list for the last two years when he was affiliated with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology; this is the first year the list recognized his position at NREL.

In addition, an affiliated researcher—Michael McGehee, a professor from the University of Colorado-Boulder—made his third appearance on the list. McGehee, whose research involves perovskite solar cells, has a joint appointment with NREL.

The list this year includes the names of 7,225 scientists from around the world—including 2,764 in the United States—who Clarivate said “have demonstrated significant and broad influence in their chosen field or fields of research.” The list is drawn from the highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations in the company’s Web of Science citation index over the past decade.

“I’m delighted our researchers continue to be recognized by this list every year,” said Bill Tumas, associate laboratory director for the Materials, Chemical, and Computational Science (MCCS) directorate. Six of the researchers named are in MCCS. “This shows that the research being done at NREL is of widespread impact and is being examined and cited by other scientists the world over.”

The active NREL researchers all were named to the category of cross-field, meaning their work stretches beyond a single scientific field.

“It’s very nice to receive the honor,” Luther said. “I think the interesting component is that no one really knows the exact method used to determine the Highly Cited Researchers list. I don’t know which paper or papers earned me or anyone else a spot on the list. This method helps prevent researchers from gaming the system. The most we can do is to try to spend the taxpayers’ dollars appropriately and use them to do the most impactful science that we can.”

“It is very exciting for a researcher to see that research papers have attracted much attention from the community,” Zheng said. “I am thrilled and humbled to be one of the Highly Cited Researchers, and I am very grateful for the support from my supervisors, colleagues, and collaborators.”

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