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2010 Annual Merit Review Awards

Each year, the Peer Review Panel at the Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting reviews the hydrogen and fuel cell projects funded by DOE's Hydrogen Program. After evaluating the merit of the 2010 hydrogen and fuel cell projects, the Peer Review Panel presented the following awards.

DOE Hydrogen Program Team Awards (with special recognition for outstanding technical contributions):

Production and Delivery

Jamie Holladay, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)

This award recognizes Jamie Holladay for his outstanding contributions to hydrogen production and delivery. He completed a two-year assignment in July, 2009, with the Department of Energy Fuel Cell Technologies (FCT) Hydrogen Production and Delivery Team at the headquarters office in Washington, D.C. Mr. Holladay provided invaluable technical support in many areas, and led the development of the Hydrogen Production Roadmap — Technology Pathways to the Future. He worked closely with the Hydrogen Production Technical Team to identify and document the key barriers and critical technology needs for each of the seven major hydrogen production pathways. Mr. Holladay also updated inputs and assumptions to develop the 2009 cost status of hydrogen production pathways and proposed scenarios to achieve the hydrogen cost goals for each. Additional accomplishments include leadership of the Electrolysis Working Group and participation in the Hydrogen Utility Group; technical oversight in identifying and developing a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR topic), "Hydrogen Home Refueler"; preparation and presentation of a "Fuel Cells for Grid Management" paper at the Energy Storage Association conference, and identification of potential use of hydrogen and fuel cells as energy storage for intermittent renewable energy. Mr. Holladay continues to enthusiastically and effectively support the FCT Production and Delivery team from his current position at PNNL.


David Dixon, University of Alabama

This award recognizes Dr. David Dixon and his team at the University of Alabama for their outstanding contribution to the overall efforts of the DOE Chemical Hydrogen Storage Center of Excellence (the Center). Dr. Dixon and his team used validated first-principles computational chemistry approaches that included molecular orbital theory and density functional theory on advanced computer architectures to calculate and predict thermodynamics, kinetics, and properties of promising hydrogen storage materials under development by the Center. They predicted reliable thermodynamics for thousands of compounds for hydrogen release, spent fuel regeneration schemes, and dramatically reduced the time and effort required to design and develop new materials. This computational chemistry support allowed the rapid screening of more than thousands of chemical reactants and reaction pathways to identify the desired hydrogen storage parameters with potential to meet or exceed hydrogen storage targets. This rigorous and systematic methodology has resulted in an efficient and cost-effective approach to develop hydrogen storage materials by guiding and focusing experimental efforts on reaction chemistries with a greater chance of meeting targets.

Ragaiy Zidan, Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL)

This award recognizes Dr. Ragaiy Zidan and his team at Savannah River National Laboratory for their outstanding contribution to the development of electrochemical methods to regenerate alane (AlH3). Alane is a promising hydrogen storage material that is thermodynamically unstable, but is kinetically stabilized at ambient temperature and pressure. Unfortunately, the low enthalpy of desorption for alane means that extremely high, unpractical levels of pressure would be needed to directly recharge Al with hydrogen to form alane. Dr. Zidan and his team have, for the first time, successfully demonstrated an electrochemical process that allows for the direct hydrogenation of Al metal with hydrogen to generate AlH3 under low-to-moderate hydrogen pressures and temperatures within an electrochemical cell. This past year's efforts led to the discovery of an electro-catalytic additive that also significantly accelerates the reaction.

Fuel Cells

Piotr Zelenay, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)

This award recognizes Dr. Piotr Zelenay and his team at Los Alamos National Laboratory for their outstanding contribution to the advancement of fuel cell catalyst development. Dr. Zelenay is the Principal Investigator on an advanced cathode catalyst project that recently produced several significant results. He and his team have dramatically improved the performance of non-platinum group metal (non-PGM) catalysts through optimization of synthesis conditions and addition of new precursors. The use of fuel cell catalysts containing non-PGMs could help reduce cost and accelerate commercialization of fuel cells. LANL has achieved a 100-fold improvement in non-PEM catalyst performance since 2008, exceeding the DOE 2010 target of 130 A/cm3 at 0.8 V. Dr. Zelenay and his team have also increased the durability of non-PGM catalysts under fuel cell operating conditions.

Douglas Wheeler, DJW TECHNOLOGY

This award recognizes Douglas Wheeler for his outstanding contribution to the Fuel Cell Team. Mr. Wheeler is an internationally recognized leader in the fuel cell community, providing consultation to the DOE, National Laboratories and the Office of Naval Research, while offering his expertise to multiple universities and industry partners on fuel cells and hydrogen technologies. Mr. Wheeler was a member of the Independent Review Panel commissioned by NREL for the DOE that evaluated the 2008 Fuel Cell System Cost Estimate for Transportation and verified the $60/kWnet - $80/kWnet cost estimate for an 80 kWnet fuel cell system. Mr. Wheeler is also on the independent panel for assessing micro-CHP status and targets. An expert on phosphoric acid fuel cells, he was a major contributor to the Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cells (PAFC) workshop that was held in November of 2004. Currently, Mr. Wheeler provides analyses of industrial Plasma Enhanced Melter (PEM) manufacturing capabilities to NREL and DOE. Mr. Wheeler's consulting company, DJW TECHNOLOGY, is working with NREL to develop a manufacturing readiness assessment process for evaluating PEM system and stack manufacturing status for North American companies.

System Analysis

Michael Penev and Darlene Steward, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

This award recognizes Michael Penev and Darlene Steward of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for their outstanding contribution to the System Analysis Team. Mr. Penev is a Sr. Analyst at the Hydrogen Technologies and Systems Center at NREL, where he provides techno-economic analysis for hydrogen infrastructure and fuel cell technology deployment scenarios and advises on fuel cell market transformation activities. Ms. Steward is a Senior Engineer in the Hydrogen Technologies and Systems Center at NREL, primarily focusing on life cycle cost, energy, and systems analysis. Both have provided significant support to the DOE's Fuel Cell Technologies Systems Analysis program element. One of their main accomplishments is the development of the Fuel Cell Power Model, now widely used by the national laboratories and industry to independently assess the cost and energy savings, as well as the benefits, of fuel cells. They have also provided training for various organizations including other DOE EERE programs on model operation, attributes, and application. Mr. Penev and Ms. Steward utilized the Fuel Cell Power Model to provide input for fuel cell evaluations of commercial and government applications and provided invaluable insight and assistance with critical financing mechanisms for fuel cells, including the analysis of tax credits for project financing. They've also developed numerous business cases to perform financial and economic evaluations of fuel cell applications including the integration of stationary fuel cells for combined heat, hydrogen, and power fuel cells to provide hydrogen fuel during the early phases of fuel cell vehicle penetration.

Safety, Codes & Standards

Glenn Scheffler

This award recognizes Glenn Scheffler for his outstanding contribution to hydrogen and fuel cell safety, codes and standards. Mr. Scheffler has been an indispensable technical resource and champion in the safety, codes, and standards community for many years. With exceptional technical experience in fuel cell technology engineering and development—including serving as Chief Engineer responsible for product reliability and safety and as Manager of ONSI Engineering for United Technologies—Mr. Scheffler has applied his expertise and devotion to product safety through service on numerous technical committees and working groups developing codes and standards for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Mr. Scheffler serves as Chair of the Safety Working Group and Vice-Chair of the Fuel Cell Vehicle Committee for the SAE. Under his guidance, SAE developed and recently published J2579, performance-based requirements for verification of design prototype and production of hydrogen storage and handling systems for hydrogen vehicles, which is helping to change and improve storage tank testing protocols in other countries and is now being incorporated under Global Technical Regulations for hydrogen vehicle systems. Mr. Scheffler also chairs the U.S. Technical Advisory Groups for both ISO TC197 (Hydrogen Technologies) and IEC TC22/SC21 (Electrically Propelled Road Vehicles) and serves as a technical resource for numerous other important standards and codes development and coordination activities. The outstanding progress that the hydrogen and fuel cell codes and standards community has made over the past decade owes much to the service and dedication of experts and champions like Glenn Scheffler.

Chris Sloane

This award recognizes Dr. Chris Sloane for her outstanding contribution to hydrogen and fuel cell safety, codes and standards. Dr. Sloane is widely recognized in the hydrogen and fuel cell technical community and a highly effective advocate for the incorporation of science and performance-based requirements in regulations, codes, and standards. Dr. Sloane has championed this approach in all critical domestic and international forums, and the codes and standards community owes much to her tireless efforts. Dr. Sloane served as Director of Environmental Policy and Programs for General Motors Corporation. While there, she was responsible for global climate issues and mobile emission issues involving advanced technology vehicles, including hybrid-electric, fuel cell, and advanced compression-ignition vehicles. Dr. Sloane also served as Chief Technologist for the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), where she was responsible for guiding and implementing the development of energy conversion and materials technologies for use in the Precept, GM's 80 mile-per-gallon five-passenger concept car. More recently, she served as an invaluable technical resource for the DOE in the ongoing development of Global Technical Regulations (GTR) for hydrogen vehicle systems. Dr. Sloane exemplifies the rare combination of technical expertise and a common-sense approach to problem solving that characterizes her devotion and service to the safety of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.


Mary Spruill, National Energy Education Development Project (NEED)

This award recognizes Mary Spruill of the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) for her outstanding contributions to hydrogen and fuel cell education for middle school students. NEED's exceptional teacher and student curriculum materials are the result of a collaborative effort among teachers, students, advisors, technical specialists, federal employees, and professional educators. NEED's H2 Educate! provides teachers the tools they need to educate students about the science, greater environmental, and societal impacts of hydrogen and fuel cells in a fun, interactive, and engaging way. Since 2004, NEED has trained over 8,000 teachers through workshops and conference sessions in 35 states, resourcefully leveraging DOE education funding through the years. NEED's has made great strides educating future researchers, scientists, engineers, technicians, and technology users.

Market Transformation

Greg Moreland, Sentech

This award recognizes Greg Moreland for his outstanding contribution to the Market Transformation Team. For the past two years, Mr. Moreland has provided essential support to the Fuel Cell Technologies Office, continually demonstrating the expertise he gained in advanced technology deployment as an industry leader in portable fuel cell power at MTI and as a manager at Ford Motor Company. Mr. Moreland led the coordination of fuel cell emergency backup power at Fort Sumter and enabled the installation of four fuel cells at this National Historic Park in South Carolina. He was an integral member of the team that developed plans for the deployment of 10 hydrogen-fueled shuttle buses at DOE and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) installations while applying his experience in negotiating lease agreements with automotive companies. Mr. Moreland provided insight and assistance with critical financing mechanisms for fuel cells, including the creation of a fact sheet on how federal agencies can take advantage of tax credits, and assisted both the DOE and the U.S. Treasury Department in developing requirements for fuel cell installations to qualify for investment tax credit monetization. Mr. Moreland coordinated DOE Program market transformation work with state-led energy programs including the California Fuel Cell Partnership, NYSERDA, Ohio's Third Frontier Program, the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technologies (CCAT), and the Hawaii Energy Program. He is currently working with industry leaders to further fuel cell auxiliary power in commercial aircrafts.

DOE Hydrogen Program Awards (with special recognition for outstanding contributions):

John Christensen

This award recognizes John Christensen for his outstanding contribution and dedication to the DOE Hydrogen Program and the Office of Fuel Cell Technologies. Mr. Christensen has supported the Department of Energy's FCT Market Transformation Team at the headquarters office in Washington, D.C. for over two years. He has provided invaluable assistance in many areas and consistently demonstrates the expertise in advanced technology deployment he gained as the former chief of the logistics R&D division at DOD's Defense Logistics Agency before he retired three years ago. Mr. Christensen was instrumental in the deployment of 60 forklifts at Defense Distribution Depot in Susquehanna, PA and Warner Robins Air Force Base; in addition to the installation of emergency backup power at over 15 DOD sites and 25 Federal Aviation Administration Sites. He has organized numerous panels and presentations for conferences, including the "Fuel Cell 101 Workshop" at the National Hydrogen Association Annual Conference in May, 2010; the Defense Energy Systems Conference, also in May, 2010, and the panels at last year's Fuel Cell Seminar. Mr. Christensen has worked tirelessly to keep the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Federal Interagency Working Group a vibrant and active organization by arranging countless industry presentations and interagency discussions on fuel cell deployments. In addition, he has been a tremendous help in assisting the Program with weekly highlight reports, technical and cost analysis, and review of industry topical papers and unsolicited proposals.

The Chemical Hydrogen Storage Center of Excellence (CHSCoE)
The Metal Hydride Center of Excellence (MTCoE)
The Hydrogen Sorption Center of Excellence (HSCoE)

These awards recognize the three Hydrogen Storage Material Centers of Excellence for their outstanding contribution to advancing the state-of-the-art in hydrogen storage materials. The three Materials Centers of Excellence made significant progress in advancing the understanding and development of hydrogen storage materials over the past five years. These centers significantly expanded the field of hydrogen storage materials by investigating more than 400 distinct new hydrogen storage material systems experimentally and millions computationally. These advances could not have been achieved without the collective creativity and synergy of the partners and management that enabled and encouraged coordination and teamwork among the center partners. All three Centers developed into efficient, high-performing partnerships. Accepting the awards on behalf of the three centers are: Kevin Ott of LANL, director of the CHSCoE; Lennie Klebanoff of Sandia, director of the MHCoE, and Lin Simpson of NREL, director of the HSCoE.