From 2012 to 2015, Howard Branz served as a Program Director at the Advanced Projects Research Agency – Energy. At ARPA-E, he selected and incubated more than $70M of interdisciplinary technologies with transformational potential. Branz led a “virtual research center” of 28 projects across more than 100 top U.S. industrial, national laboratory and university teams. He negotiated quantitative milestones to drive technical and marketplace success, and contributed to techno-economic and technology competitive analyses. Dr. Branz created ARPA-E’s first solar conversion program, combining thermal storage with PV to address the challenge of producing low cost, low carbon, dispatchable electric power.
Before joining ARPA-E, Dr. Branz was a Research Fellow and group leader at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). During more than 25 years at NREL, Branz led research groups to discoveries and new technologies in photovoltaics, nanotechnology, electrochromic windows, semiconductor devices, defect physics, electronic transport, optics, epitaxy, photoelectrochemistry and materials science. Dr. Branz has more than 20 patents issued or published; half of these patents were licensed by industry for commercialization. He was named a Fulbright Scholar in 1997 and won NREL’s Hubbard Award for sustained research excellence in 2011. Branz is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.