Brian West: Ethanol Award Recipient

Katie Smith

Dec 01, 2020  |  Today's News |  ICGA |  Ethanol

Brian West: Ethanol Award Recipient

Brian West received the ethanol award from the Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) at the group’s virtual annual meeting on November 24, 2020.


West worked as an automotive engineer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for 31 years, retiring at the end of 2019. There he served 9 years as Deputy Director of the Fuels, Engines, and Emissions Research Center and then for 2 years as Group Leader for Fuels and Engines Research.


His research at ORNL has impacted national policy including work for the Department of Energy’s Mid-Level Ethanol Blends Program that led to the 2014 EPA approval of E15 in vehicles 2001 and newer. In addition, his team’s method for calculating Nonmethane Organic Gas emissions from vehicles burning ethanol blends was adopted by the EPA in 2014 as part of the Tier 3 emissions rule. West has also received numerous awards including the 2015 Society of Automotive Engineers Horning Award for best fuels/engines paper on the high-octane benefits of ethanol.


“We thank Brian for his work to develop and promote higher blends of ethanol through his research and development projects at Oakridge.  He was instrumental in the vehicle testing needed to convince EPA to grant an E15 waiver that established E15 as a new fuel in the marketplace,” said Bill Leigh, President of the Illinois Corn Growers Association and Minonk, IL farmer.


“He has worked closely with the auto industry and corn farmers on testing high octane fuels using E25 in several different commercial vehicles, including the F150 and the GM Terrain. This work will help us build a foundation for high octane low carbon fuels policy of the future.”


West now continues his commitment to helping the nation transition to clean biofuels as the chief automotive engineer at his company, West Energy and Environment Associates.


Watch Acceptance Speech