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Grace Marie Bochenek[1] is an American industrial engineer and the former Director of the National Energy Technology Laboratory within the United States Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy. She also served as the acting United States Secretary of Energy in early 2017. She previously had spent much of her career at the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.

Grace Bochenek
Grace Bochenek (4x3 crop).jpg
United States Secretary of Energy
In office
January 20, 2017 – March 2, 2017
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byErnest Moniz
Succeeded byRick Perry
Personal details
EducationWayne State University (BS)
University of Michigan, Dearborn (MS)
University of Central Florida (PhD)


Bochenek earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering at Wayne State University in 1986, and a Master of Science in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Michigan–Dearborn in 1992. She did her doctoral work at the University of Central Florida earning her Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering in 1998. Her dissertation title was "Comparative Analysis of Virtual 3D Visual Display Systems: Contributions to Cross-functional Team Collaboration in a Product Design Review Environment".[1][2][3]


After graduating, Bochenek worked in the Department of Defense for 25 years.[4] In 2006, she became Director of U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center after having spent most of her career there.[2] Subsequent to this, she was named the first Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.[3][5]

In 2014 Bochenek became Director of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), the research and development arm of the Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy.[3][6] NETL is a national laboratory focusing on efficient and sustainable use of fossil fuels, including carbon capture. She cited the security aspects of energy when discussing her move from Defense to Energy, and encouraged students to specialize in engineering and sciences.[7] She advocated for greater collaboration between the laboratory and outside companies, saying that energy is more subject to market forces than defense.[5]

She was named the acting United States Secretary of Energy on January 20, 2017, following the resignation of Ernest Moniz at the conclusion of the Obama Administration. She served until the confirmation of Texas Governor Rick Perry on March 2, 2017.[4][8] Bochenek retired from NETL effective February 28, 2018.


  1. ^ a b "Comparative analysis of virtual three-dimensional visual display systems: Contributions to cross-functional team collaboration in a product design review environment". University of Central Florida. 1998. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Grace Bochenek". Clean Technology and Sustainable Industries Organization. 2011. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Dr. Grace M. Bochenek, New Director at NETL". Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Bronwne, Ryan; Payson-Denney, Wade (January 19, 2017). "The people you don't know who could be running the government on Friday". CNN. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Litvak, Anya (July 28, 2015). "NETL's new director gazes into the future". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  6. ^ "NETL: Key Staff". Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  7. ^ Cole, Laura J. (Spring 2016). "Energizing the Future". Pegasus Magazine. University of Central Florida. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  8. ^ Davenport, Coral (March 2, 2017). "Senate Confirms Rick Perry as Energy Secretary". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Ernest Moniz
United States Secretary of Energy
Succeeded by
Rick Perry