Laboratory Safety and Energy Efficiency Made Easy: The Smart Labs Toolkit Part III

Rachel Romero, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Otto VanGeet, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Tom Smith, 3Flow

Educating scientists about sustainability best practices is the most effective way to ensure that laboratories operate safely and sustainably. A new, comprehensive training program for scientists is now available. Developed by My Green Lab in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as part of the Smart Labs Accelerator Program, these Smart Science training videos cover best practices for reducing energy, water, and waste, as well as how to incorporate green chemistry and sustainable procurement into experimental design. This resource also includes comprehensive quizzes and an interactive platform for discussion. With this new tool we expect sustainability training to become as ubiquitous and essential as safety training.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will learn about the Smart Labs Accelerator Toolkit and the resources provided therein;
  • Participants will learn about the content of the Smart Science Training Program and how this content can be used to augment existing Green Labs efforts or can be used on its own as a stand-alone program;
  • Participants will learn how to access the Smart Science Training Program; and
  • Participants will learn how the Smart Science Training Program fits into the Smart Labs Accelerator Program.


Rachel Romero is an energy engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the Integrated Applications Center. Rachel provides technical assistance to the Better Buildings Smart Labs Accelerator. Rachel obtained her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Hope College and then received her master's degree in Building Systems Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder and a graduate energy certificate from the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI).

Otto is a Principal Engineer at NREL. Otto has been involved in the design, and operation of energy efficient research facilities such as labs and data centers, general use facilities, and low energy use campus and community design. Otto was one of the founding members of the Labs21 program and provides technical guidance for the program. He and his family live in an off grid passive solar house with a 2 kW PV/hybrid power system and solar water heating that he designed and built 20 years ago.

Thomas C. Smith is the president and CEO of 3Flow, formerly Exposure Control Technologies (ECT), Inc. Mr. Smith has more than 30 years of experience helping research facilities design, build, operate, manage, and maintain laboratory hoods and ventilation systems. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University and a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (industrial hygiene) from the University of North Carolina.


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