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J. Richard Hess, Ph.D.

Director, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Office Program (EERE)

Research Areas:
Bioenergy Technologies


Dr. Richard Hess is the director of program development for the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Energy & Environment Science & Technology (EEST) Directorate.  He oversees and leads the development of top-level EEST strategic planning and customer relations for the DOE-EERE and FE offices, ensuring high impact, integrated, and objective-driven science and engineering programs at INL. Richard also coordinates EEST work with DOE-NE; NNSA; OE; CESAR offices, DoD, and DHS.

Richard has 12 years of management experience at INL. He manages EEST directorate relationship managers, was director of the Energy Systems and Technologies Division, which division addressed critical national energy challenges in biofuels/bioenergy, renewable electrical systems/grid, and hybrid renewable-nuclear systems. Richard was also manager of the Biofuels and Renewable Energy Technology Department, which grew to become two departments.

Richard's technical background is in bioenergy, with a focus on developing fungible conversion-ready feedstocks from biomass and recycled resources. Richard led the development of the INL feedstock preprocessing and logistics program from a collection of competitive projects to a stable program that created a DOE feedstock preprocessing pilot development unit, constructed a laboratory facility to house the program, and supports a staff of over 50 scientists and engineers.

Richard served as a Congressional Science Fellow in the Washington, D.C. Office of Senator Thomas Daschel (South Dakota), as an International Energy Agency Bioenergy Team Leader, and other professional and community service positions.  As the father of a multi-racial adopted family, he is passionate about diversity.​​


​Ph.D., Plant Science - Utah State University

M.S., Botany - Brigham Young University

B.S., Botany - Brigham Young University

American Society of Agronomy
Crop Science Society of America

Hess JR, Ray AE and Rials TG (2019) Editorial: Advancements in Biomass Feedstock Preprocessing: Conversion Ready Feedstocks. Front. Energy Res. 7:140.

Patrick Lamers, Erin Searcy, J. Richard Hess, Heinz Stichnothe (eds). 2016. Developing the Global Bioeconomy: Technical, Market, and Environmental Lessons from Bioenergy. Academic Press an imprint of Elsevier. IEA Bioenergy. ISBN: 978-0-120805165-8.

Lautala, P. T., M. R. Hilliard, E. G. Webb, I. Busch, J. R. Hess, M. S. Roni, J. Hilbert, R. M. Handler, R. Bittencourt, A. Valente, and T. Laitinen. (2015) Opportunities and Challenges in the Design and Analysis of Biomass Supply Chains. Environmental Management 56(6):1397-415.

Karlen, D.L., S.J. Birell and JR Hess. (2011) Corn Stover Harvest Strategies: A Five-Year Assessment in Central Iowa, USA. Soil & Tillage Research. 115-116:47-55. 2011.

Wilhelm WW, Hess JR, Karlen DL, Johnson JMF, Muth DJ, Baker JM, Gollany HT, Novak JM, Stott DE, Varveli GE (2010) Balancing Limiting Factors and Economic Drivers for Sustainable Midwestern US Agricultural Residue Feedstock Supplies.  Industrial Biotechnology 6(5) 271-287.

Hess JR, Jacobson JJ, Karlen DL, Muth Jr DJ, Nelson RG, Ovard LP, Searcy EM, Ulrich TH 2010. Agriculture and Land Use Issues. Chapter 4 In Food versus Fuel; An Informed Introduction to Biofuels. (Ed.) Frank Rosillo-Calle and Francis X. Johnson. Zed Books, Ltd., London and New York, p 86. ISBN: 978-1-84813-383-9.

Hess JR, Kenney KL, Wright CT, Perlack R, Turhollow A (TBD) Corn stover availability for biomass conversion: situation analysis. Cellulose (Accepted for publication Spring 2009).


Hess JR, Kenney KL, Ovard L, Searcy EM, Wright CT (2009) Uniform-format solid feedstock supply system: a commodity-scale design to produce an infrastructure-compatible bulk solid from lignocellulosic biomass. INL/EXT-08-14752 (Accessed 6 May 2009).

Hess JR, Wright C, Kenney KL (2007) Cellulosic biomass feedstocks and logistics for ethanol production. Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biorefining 1:181-190 (Accessed 15 may 2009).

Fales SL, Wilhelm WW, Hess JR (2007) Convergence of agriculture and energy II: Producing cellulosic biomass for biofuels. Ames, Iowa: Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, 2007.

Mann, N. R.,  R. S. Herbst, V. Kochergin, J. R. Hess (2004) “A Concept for Enhanced Flux, Erosion Resistant Membranes for Biomass Separations," Filtration Journal, Submitted for publication, 2004.

Wright, Christopher T., Peter A. Pryfogle, Nathan A. Stevens, Eric D. Steffler, J. Richard Hess, and Thomas H. Ulrich (2004).  Biomechanics of Wheat/Barley Straw and Corn Stover.  The 26th Symposium of Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals held in Chattanooga, TN. May 9-12, 2004.

Houghton, T.P., D.N. Thompson, J.R. Hess, J.A. Lacey, M.P. Wolcott, A. Schirp, K. Englund, D. Dostal, and F. Loge. (2004).  Fungal upgrading of wheat straw for straw-thermoplastics production. Appl. Biochem. Biotechnol., 113-116:71-93.

Hess JR, Foust TD, Wright L, Sokhansanj S, Cushman JH, Easterly JL, Erbach DC, Hettenhaus JR, Hoskinson RL, Sheehan JJ, Tagore S, Thompson DN, Turhollow A (2003) Roadmap for agriculture biomass feedstock supply in the United States. DOE/NE-ID-11129  (Accessed 6 May 2009).

Hoskinson, R. L., J. R. Hess, K. L. Kenney, J. M. Svoboda, and T. D. Foust, 2004,  "Method and Apparatus for Selectively Harvesting Multiple Components of a Plant Material", Patent No. 6,729,951,  May 4, 2004.

Hoskinson, R. L., D. N. Bingham, J. M. Svoboda, and J. R. Hess,  2003,  "Systems and methods for Autonomously Controlling Agricultural Machinery", Patent No. 6,591,145, July 8, 2003.

Hoskinson, R. L., J. M. Svoboda, J. W. Sawyer, J. R. Hess and J. R. Hess, 2002, "Measuring Spatial Variability in Soil Characteristics",  Patent No. 6,497,153, December 24, 2002.

Svoboda, J.M., D.J. Harker, J.R. Hess, and R.L Hoskinson, 2002.  "Methods and Systems for Seed Planting Management and Control", Patent No. 6,386,128, May 14, 2002.
Version: 16.0
Created at 6/9/2015 9:54 AM by Brendi M. Heath
Last modified at 5/27/2022 3:44 PM by