Clean Energy Champion Josh Paquette works on awind turbine in the laboratory.

Sandia scientist featured as Department of Energy’s latest Clean Energy Champion 

June 25, 2024 9:45 am Published by

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technolgies Office recently highlighted Sandia National Laboratories’ Josh Paquette as a Clean Energy Champion—someone who takes action to make the world a better place. Read below to learn more about Josh’s interest in clean energy and his role at Sandia.

Josh Paquette rebuilt his first car engine in middle school. His father, an amateur car collector, always had vehicles around the house “in various states of restoration.” So, at the age of 13, when the younger Paquette was given the opportunity to rebuild the engine of a 1965 Ford Mustang—and test his engineering mettle—he jumped on it. He’s also proud to say he drove to high school in that Mustang and still owns it to this day.   

These days, Paquette pours most of his curiosity and problem-solving skills into his work in wind energy—namely, figuring out how to make wind turbine blades more reliable and identify potential issues before they happen.   

“I’ve always been interested in mechanical things,” said Paquette, a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia). “I asked a lot of questions as a kid, and finally my parents got me a book called How Things Work. I read it cover to cover and started explaining to them how things like lasers worked.” 

While studying mechanical engineering at the University of Texas in Austin, Paquette became interested in structural components and composite materials. Although he originally planned to pursue work in the aerospace industry, he jumped at the opportunity to work at Sandia on wind turbine blades—the largest composite structures in the world.  

Read the complete WETO article

Learn more about Sandia’s Wind Energy Technologies program. 

Learn more about becoming a Clean Energy Champion

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