Skip to main content

Maldonado to receive 2023 HENAAC Most Promising Engineer Award

Bryan Maldonado, a researcher in the Buildings and Transportation Science Division at ORNL, will receive the 2023 Most Promising Engineer Award from the Hispanic Engineer National Achievements Awards Conference. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy


Bryan Maldonado, a dynamic systems and controls researcher at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been recognized by the 2023 Hispanic Engineer National Achievements Awards Conference, or HENAAC, with the Most Promising Engineer Award.  

Given by Great Minds in STEM, or GMiS, the award highlights engineers who have made significant contributions to raising science, technology, engineering and math education awareness in underserved communities. Maldonado will receive the award during the GMiS annual conference, which will be held Oct. 11-14, 2023, in Pasadena, Calif.

At ORNL, Maldonado serves as the professional development and recruitment lead for the Hispanic and Latino Organization for Leadership and Awareness, or HOLA, one of the lab’s employee resource groups. He has co-organized educational activities for elementary-age Hispanic and non-Hispanic students that feature research at the lab. Maldonado has demonstrated his commitment to speaking with students about what it means to be a scientist through several outreach and volunteering activities, including supporting the annual Tennessee Science Bowl. His leadership in promoting scientific literacy and public engagement in science and technology has led to the production of several episodes of the Dynamics System and Control Division podcast within the American Society for Mechanical Engineers, or ASME.

“Bryan is a great role model for STEM students,” said ORNL’s Robert Wagner, director of the Buildings and Transportation Science Division. “His research expertise and leadership serve as a model of excellence for stewarding the next generation of engineers and scientists.”

Maldonado, who supports advanced and automated construction research in ORNL’s Energy Science and Technology Directorate, specializes in model-based and model-free identification, estimation and control of complex dynamic systems with an emphasis on optimal control techniques, machine learning algorithms and uncertainty quantification methods.

While a postdoctoral researcher at ORNL, Maldonado developed artificial intelligence-based control methods and implemented modeling and control strategies for propulsion systems. His cross-cutting research in buildings and transportation utilizes the capabilities of several DOE national user facilities at ORNL, including the National Transportation Research Center and the Building Technologies Research and Integration Center. In addition, Maldonado is the control theory expert for ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source team project that focuses on integrating AI techniques into the online monitoring and control of SNS subsystems to prevent failures and increase scientific output.

Maldonado is currently part of a research team developing novel installation methods for building envelope retrofit panels for Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation, which provides low-income housing in underserved communities. He co-developed a real-time building evaluator tool that allows for quick installation. The project is designed to reduce energy bills by improving the energy efficiency of older dwellings.

Prior to joining ORNL as an R&D associate, Maldonado served in various fellowship and research assistant positions with the Powertrain Control Laboratory and the Army Research Laboratory Center for Propulsion in Ann Arbor, Mich. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and ASME, having received the 2022 ASME Old Guard Early Career Award. He earned his doctorate in mechanical engineering with an emphasis on control theory from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for DOE’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. The Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit