Thomas Acker, PhD
- Director, Institute
for Sustainable Energy Solutions
- Professor of
of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences
systems (wind, solar and hydropower)
grid integration of wind, solar and hydropower
1996, Dr. Tom Acker has been a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Northern
Arizona University. He is currently the director of NAU’s Institute for Sustainable
Energy Solutions which seeks to educate decision makers and inform energy
policy in addition to other objectives.
Acker’s research and curriculums focus on energy systems and renewable energy, including
grid integration of wind power
power variability and grid integration
of wind flow in complex terrain
energy resource assessment
/ energy projects, including desalination
American applications of renewable energy
2003-2004, Dr. Acker spent a year working as a sabbatical researcher at the
National Wind Technology Center of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
(NREL) in Colorado, where he focused on integration issues related to wind and
hydropower resources, as well as region-wide transmission planning. As the
“Operating Agent” for the International Energy Agency Wind Implementing
Agreement, Dr. Acker led an international effort to study wind and hydropower
Acker led an effort at NAU to establish a new Master’s of Science in
Engineering degree with an emphasis in Sustainable Systems Engineering, and
more recently participated in the establishment of an interdisciplinary Ph.D.
program with an emphasis in Engineering Sustainable Systems and the creation of
a Professional Science Masters program in Climate Science and Solutions. He has
also served as faculty fellow at the National Wind Technology Center studying
wind turbine aerodynamics, software engineering on climate models at the
National Center of Atmospheric Research, and rocket propulsion devices.
T, Robitaille, A., Holttinen, H., Piekutowski, M. and J.O.G. Tande (2012)
“Integration of Wind and Hydropower Systems: Results of IEA Wind Task 24,” Wind Engineering, Vol. 36, No. 1, pgs.
1-18, special issue on wind and hydropower integration.
T, Buechler, J., Knitter, K., Conway, K., and R. Noteboom (2012) “Wind
Integration Impacts on Hydropower and System Balancing Operations in the Grant
County PUD,” Wind Engineering, Vol. 36,
No. 1, pgs. 81-96, special issue on wind and hydropower integration.
T.L., (2012) “Special Editorial: IEA Task 24 on Wind and Hydropower
Integration,” Wind Engineering, Vol.
4, No. 30, pgs. iii-v.
T., and Pete, C. (2012) “Western Wind and Solar Integration Study: Hydropower
Analysis,” NREL/SP-5500-53098, prepared for the National Renewable Energy
Laboratory under DE-AC36-08GO28308, pg. 194
T. (2011) IEA Wind Task 24 Integration of
Wind and Hydropower Systems: Issues, Impacts, and Economics of Wind and
Hydropower Integration. Vol. 1, pg. 167; NREL Report No. TP-5000-50181.
Awards and recognitions
Science Distinguished Alumni Award, Colorado State University, 2011
of the Year Award, College of Engineering and Technology, 2001-02 Academic Year
Engineering Professor of the Year, Northern Arizona University, 2000-01
Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student, Awarded by the American Society of
Mechanical Engineers, 1992
the Colorado Graduate Fellowship, 1991
the Rockwell International Graduate Fellowship, 1989
Student Achievement Award, Awarded by the American Institute of Aeronautics and
research funding awarded at NAU: $25,500,000 (through 2009)
Special groups and committees
NAU Institute for Sustainable Energy Solutions (2011 – present)
of Governing Board, Southwest Renewable Energy Institute (non-profit)
Agent for the International Energy Agency Annex on the Integration of Wind and
Hydropower Systems, on behalf of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (2004
NAU Sustainable Energy Solutions Group (2001-2003, 2005 – 2010)
Journal Editorial Board, Wind Engineering (2007 – present)
ASME, AWEA, ASES, ASHREA, ASEE, AIAA, IEEE
Governor’s Solar Energy Advisory Council, AZ Department of Commerce (2000-2003)
- Ph.D., Mechanical
Engineering, Colorado State University, December 1995
- M.S., Mechanical
Engineering, Colorado State University, May 1990
- B.S., Engineering
Science, Colorado State University, May 1987