April 9, 2007
University recognized for fuel-cell outreach and education by National Hydrogen Association
The University of South Carolina has been recognized by the National Hydrogen Association for its outstanding initiatives in fuel-cell education and outreach.
South Carolina received the Dr. Robert M. Zweig Public Education Award at the NHA meeting in San Antonio earlier this month (April).
Dr. Harris Pastides, the university's vice president for research and health sciences, said the award is further confirmation that the University of South Carolina is a leader in fuel-cell research.
"The National Hydrogen Association is the nation's premier industrial consortium advocating for the hydrogen and fuel-cell economy," Pastides said. "Their recognition of our university's contributions to local and national efforts is an indication that the University of South Carolina and the state of South Carolina have a real shot at winning the alternative energy race."
The award recognizes the university for its undergraduate and graduate hydrogen program; its partnerships with industry and cooperative agreements to advance the university's efforts in hydrogen and fuel-cell development in Europe, Asia and North America; its creation of a citizens' school for fuel-cell technology; its hydrogen and fuel-cell technology exhibit for a regional children's museum; and the university's development of hydrogen and fuel-cell educational materials for students in grades K-12.
The university houses the nation's only National Science Foundation-sponsored Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Fuel Cells. Established in 2002, the center fosters collaborative research among its industrial partners, which include John Deere Advance Power Systems, General Motors and DuPont Fuel Cells.
In 2005, South Carolina signed agreements with Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg, Germany, and with the Korean Institute for Energy Research to establish joint research programs in fuel-cell technology, hydrogen storage and other energy initiatives.
South Carolina recently hired Dr. Ken Reifsnider, a leading international researcher, to lead its solid-oxide fuel research effort. Reifsnider will join the university later this year from the University of Connecticut.