Team Member Bio

Thomas J. Tarka, P.E.

Senior Engineer, NETL
Director, Minerals to Materials Supply Chain Research Facility (METALLIC)

Technical Director, Process Optimization and Modeling for Minerals Sustainability (PrOMMiS) Initiative

Thomas Tarka is a Senior Engineer in the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL) Research and Innovation Center (RIC). He leads NETL’s Critical Minerals and Materials (CMM) intramural research portfolio and is a tenured member of the Strategic Systems Analysis & Engineering (SSAE) Directorate, which is focused on providing insights into the economic and environmental impacts of energy technologies, policies, advances, and other trends.

Thomas serves as the Director of the DOE’s Minerals to Materials Supply Chain Research Facility (METALLIC), a nine-national laboratory initiative to accelerate the creation of domestic CMM supply chains, providing an innovative platform for technology validation and commercialization via the team’s extensive facilities and expertise. He is also the Technical Director of PrOMMiS, a multi-laboratory modeling initiative focused on accelerating and de-risking the creation of a domestic CMM industry. 

A self-professed “energy geek”, he has over 20 years of experience in energy systems and is recognized as a subject matter expert on topics such as CMM, synthetic transportation fuels, novel energy systems, energy markets, and policy, to name a few.  Prior to joining NETL, he spent the first 5 years of his career in various roles as a software tester and programmer.  Tom received his Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Delaware in 1996 and is a registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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