Braeton James Smith
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Braeton James Smith

Argonne National Lab

Principal Energy Economist

Braeton is an Economist in Argonne’s Decision & Infrastructure Sciences Division. His research focusses on critical material supply chains, economic consequence analysis, and quantifying the economic benefits of infrastructure resilience.


Panel Session: Magnet & Critical Material Supply Chain

This panel session will bring together the brightest minds in the industry and dive into the challenges facing the magnet and critical materials supply chain ecosystem. Topics will include;

- DOE's strategies to improve the resilience of critical material supply chains, particularly rare earth elements and NdFeB magnets.
- DOE’s various efforts touching various aspects of the NdFeB supply chain and how these compare with efforts globally
- Strategies pursued by DOE’s Critical Materials Institute (CMI) to address supply chain issues
- Overview of past successes and current efforts being pursued by CMI in relation to magnets

Moderator: Braeton James Smith, Principal Energy Economist, Argonne National Lab

Helena Khazdozian, Sr. Technology Manager, US Department of Energy
Tom Lograsso, Critical Materials Institute, Director

Keynote: Vulnerabilities and opportunities in the sintered NdFeB supply chain for meeting U.S. decarbonization goals

In February 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14017 on America’s Supply Chains (EO14017), directing federal agencies to identify and evaluate potential challenges and opportunities facing key supply chains and propose potential policy solutions to address them. As part of this effort, the Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with the national laboratories, conducted evaluations of the supply chains that encompass the Energy Sector Industrial Base, with a particular focus on technologies required to decarbonize the U.S. economy by 2050. One of these reports focuses on the rare earth permanent magnet supply chain, specifically that for sintered neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets, for their prevalent use in traction motors in electric vehicle propulsion systems and direct drive synchronous generators in offshore wind turbines.