John Pagliaro of Bowie, Md., a senior in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, was selected as a research associate at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) under the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) program. Pagliaro is completing the 10-week summer appointment at NETL's Morgantown, W.Va., research site.

Pagliaro is pursuing a bachelor's degree in engineering science and mechanics as well as mechanical engineering. He is working with his mentor, NETL researcher Peter Strakey, on a project employing flame thermoacoustic instability research for gas turbines. The work has potential for prevention of flame damage and better protection of the combustion chambers of gas turbines.

The ORISE program offers summer appointments to undergraduate students, post-graduates, graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and university professors to work part-time or full-time at NETL. Mentored by scientists and researchers, the research associates are assigned specific projects intended to teach them how to use their skills and qualifications to solve energy-related problems. The appointment provides research associates the opportunity to develop their professional, technical, leadership and communication skills, while promoting careers in energy, particularly in fossil fuel research and development.

NETL is one of the DOE’s national laboratories. NETL -- "the ENERGY lab" -- focuses on America's economic prosperity, which requires secure, reliable energy supplies at sustainable prices. It also has major research facilities in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Albany, Ore.

Three overarching issues characterize the energy situation in the United States. They are energy affordability, supply security, and environmental quality. The DOE's only government-owned, government-operated national lab, NETL is a research and technology center where these energy challenges converge and energy solutions emerge. NETL implements a broad spectrum of energy and environmental research and development programs through its own research staff and through funded research at other labs, universities, and industry that will return benefits for generations to come.

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