John A. Turner started his scientific career working on sodium and potassium amalagam batteries as an undergraduate student at Idaho State University. Through his academic career, he work with such pillars of electrochemistry as Bob and Janet Osteryoung, Fred Anson, and Heinz Gerischer.
Upon joining the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in 1979 — where he is currently a research fellow — Turner began to work on photoelectrochemical water splitting for hydrogen production. His research topics include the direct conversion (photoelectrolysis) systems for hydrogen production from sunlight and water, catalysts for the hydrogen and oxygen reactions, materials for advanced fuel cell membranes, and corrosion studies of fuel cell metal bipolar plates. Other work involves the study of electrode materials for high energy density lithium batteries and fundamental processes of charge transfer at semiconductor electrodes.
Turner has co-authored over 160 peer-reviewed publications in the areas of photoelectrochemistry, fuel cells, batteries, general electrochemistry and analytical chemistry. He has received a multitude of awards, including the Midwestern Research Institute President’s Award for Exceptional Performance in Research and the Hydrogen Technical Advisory Panel Award for Research Excellence.