Dr. Daniel Laird
Director of the National Wind Technology Center
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Dr. Daniel Laird is Director of the National Wind Technology Center (NWTC) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado. Research conducted at the NWTC includes land-based and offshore wind energy, marine hydrokinetics, hydropower, and grid integration and the 305-acre site includes utility-scale field test sites, large test laboratories, industrial high-bay work areas, machine shops, and electronics and instrumentation laboratories. Dr. Laird also serves as an executive committee member of the U.S. DOE A2e Wind Plant Optimization Initiative and provides leadership in the high-fidelity modeling, wind plant controls, and rotor dynamics focus areas. Prior to joining NREL in 2015, he spent 19 years at Sandia National Laboratoties leading wind energy and water power research efforts in structural analysis and simulation, computational design tools, advanced manufacturing, composite materials, and blade reliability. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he is the current chair of the Industrial Advisory Board.