Archives—March 2007

Michigan Tech Awarded $897,000 for Automotive Fuel Cell Research

Michigan Tech has been awarded $897,000 to investigate methods of improving automotive fuel cell performance and durability. The award is part of a $2.7 million Department of Energy collaborative project with Rochester Institute of Technology, General Motors and Michigan Tech.

Assistant Professor Jeffrey Allen (MEEM) is the Michigan Tech investigator for this project. Collaborators on this project include the principal investigator Satish Kandlikar, the James E. Gleason professor of mechanical engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology, and Thomas Trabold, senior research engineer with General Motors Fuel Cell Development Center.

The project, “Visualization of Fuel Cell Water Transport and Performance Characterization,” will explore water transport and accumulation in automotive fuel cells to develop components and materials that minimize water accumulation and freeze damage, which degrades performance and durability of automotive fuel cells.

The three-year project began March 1 and will involve undergraduate, master’s and doctoral engineering students. The project is part of a $100 million hydrogen research and development program announced by the Department of Energy supporting President Bush’s Advanced Energy Initiative.


Helton, Brad King Receive Major Defense Department Grants

Assistant Professor Deak Helton (Cognitive and Learning Sciences) and Associate Professor Brad King (MEEM) have been awarded two major grants from the US Department of Defense.

Helton has requested $467,017 to equip a Human-Robot Interaction Lab. King’s proposal includes $151,069 to support his work developing ion thrusters, used to power a new, small class of satellites. Both proposals will receive funding; the final amounts have not been determined.

“We are trying to build nanosatellites as small as cell phones that will be able to take pictures and relay them back to Earth,” King said. “They’ll need a propulsion system, a rocket engine the size of a thumbnail.”

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Improving Fuel Cell Performance and Durability

Michigan Technological University has been awarded $897,000 to investigate methods of improving automotive fuel cell performance and durability. The award is part of a $2.7 million Department of Energy collaborative project with Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), General Motors (GM), and Michigan Tech (MTU).

Jeffrey Allen, (in photo) Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics, is the MTU investigator for this project. Collaborators on this project include the principal investigator Satish Kandlikar, the James E. Gleason Professor of Mechanical Engineering at RIT, and Dr. Thomas Trabold, Senior Research Engineer with GM Fuel Cell Development Center.

The project, Visualization of Fuel Cell Water Transport and Performance Characterization, will explore water transport and accumulation in automotive fuel cells with the goal to develop components and materials which minimize water accumulation and freeze damage which degrade performance and durability of automotive fuel cells.

The three year project, beginning March 1, 2007, will involve undergraduate, master’s degree and doctoral engineering students. The project is part of a $100 million hydrogen research and development program announced by the Department of Energy supporting President Bush’s Advanced Energy Initiative.