Michelle Kidder, a senior R&D staff scientist at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has received the American Chemical Society’s Energy and Fuels Division’s Mid-Career Award for sustained and distinguished contributions to the field of energy and fuel chemistry. She was recognized for her scientific community service, leadership and contributions. Her research focuses on novel material development, methods and advanced characterizations for the separation and reaction chemistry of renewable energy resources including lignin and carbon dioxide.

Kidder, who supports chemical process scale-up research in the Manufacturing Science Division, is a physical organic chemist studying new materials and process intensification for separations and alternative fuel and chemical production from renewable energy resources. Her research has helped to describe the impacts of complex interfacial chemistries that occur in biomass conversion, carbon capture and release, and carbon conversion from thermal and catalytic reactions. This research will help improve technologies and accelerate the deployment of energy efficient and sustainable production of chemicals and fuels.

At ORNL, Kidder serves as the program manager for DOE’s Fossil Energy Carbon Management for Carbon Capture, Utilization and Conversion. She has also served as the scientific lead for ORNL’s net zero carbon strategies. She established the ORNL mentorship program in 2008 and has mentored several students, teachers and early career researchers over the years. Currently she serves as editor for the journals Fuel and Frontiers in Energy Research and on the advisory board for Energy Science and Engineering.

Kidder was named an American Chemical Society Fellow in 2018 and received the ACS Energy and Fuels Division’s Distinguished Service Award. She has also been awarded the U.S. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment in Research Award. In 2022, she received the UT-Battelle Director’s Award for Outstanding Individual Accomplishment in Science and Technology and the UT-Battelle Award for Excellence in Science and Technology for Research Mentorship. Kidder has published more than 140 peer-reviewed journal artitcles and preprints, authored a book and has eight patents.

She received her doctorate in physical organic chemistry from South Dakota State University.