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Carl Irwin, Director, TransTech Energy Research and Business Development Program


Phone:  304-293-7318


Science was inevitable for Dr. Carl Irwin. He was influenced by a childhood fascination in model planes and mechanical things. His grandfather, an architect, sparked his interest in mathematics and engineering. He followed his mathematical and mechanical leanings to Auburn University where he earned a degree in aeronautical engineering while working at Lockheed Aircraft Company. He moved on to work at Oakridge National Laboratory before earning his PhD in mathematics from Emory University.

He joined the faculty at West Virginia University in 1983 as a professor of mathematics. During a sabbatical year, he participated in energy research at Stanford University and the United States Department of Energy office in Morgantown.

Irwin has played a leadership role at NRCCE and its predecessor, the Energy and Water Research Center, since 1986. He has developed several programs to promote the efficient and sustainable production and use of energy including The Carbon Products Consortium, the Electric Industry Research Group, and perhaps most notably, Industries of the Future-West Virginia (IOF-WV). IOF-WV advances energy efficiency and what Irwin calls “TranTech energy technologies” through interdisciplinary research, assessment, and business development projects.

Established in 1997 in partnership with Jeff Herholdt, director of the West Virginia Division of Energy, IOF-WV was the nation’s first state-level program of its kind and was a model on which other states built similar programs. IOF-WV partnered with federal and state agencies as well as aluminum, steel, glass, chemicals, polymer, forest/wood products, metal casting, and technology industries in the state to help them save millions in energy costs.

Irwin says that TransTech energy research and business development are the keys to building a sustainable and economically vibrant future. An avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, and kayaker, he values outdoor spaces and believes that TransTech energy solutions will preserve the environment for future generations to enjoy.

In his spare time, Irwin competes in triathlons—often placing in or winning his age group—and spends time with his two grandsons.