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2018 Annual Merit Review Awards

Each year, at the Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting, the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program presents awards for contributions to the overall efforts of the Program and to recognize achievements in specific areas.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Awards

H2@Scale Team

Mark Ruth, Bryan Pivovar, and Paige Jadun pose with their award plaques in a group photo with Sunita Satyapal.

L to R: Mark Ruth, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); Bryan Pivovar, NREL; Paige Jadun, NREL; Sunita Satyapal, Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO)

  • Bryan Pivovar, Mark Ruth, Paige Jadun, Josh Eichman, Wesley Cole, James McCall, Nick Gilroy, and Elizabeth Connelly, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Amgad Elgowainy, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Max Wei, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Richard Boardman and Rob Hovsapian, Idaho National Laboratory
  • Jeongwoo Han, ExxonMobil (formerly with Argonne National Laboratory)

This award recognizes multiple visionary researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for their leadership in the development of the groundbreaking H2@Scale initiative. H2@Scale aims to advance affordable widescale hydrogen production, transport, storage, and utilization to unlock revenue potential and value across sectors. Hydrogen can enable grid services, gigawatt-hour energy storage, and energy generation through multiple technologies that can be geographically widespread. The H2@Scale team has worked tirelessly to develop world-class grid simulation and electrolyzer testing capabilities, conduct outreach to engage key stakeholders from industry in developing the H2@Scale vision and supporting research and development (R&D) efforts, and complete techno-economic analysis to define the value proposition of H2@Scale.

Chris Ainscough, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

This award recognizes Chris Ainscough from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for his outstanding dedication and invaluable contributions to advancing technologies in the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Hydrogen Program. Chris has been critical to the Fuel Cell Technologies Office for nearly 2 decades, and has led activities spanning the full spectrum of early stage R&D, from project management and laboratory research to strategic development of program plans and roadmaps. Chris's initiative, dedication, enthusiasm, and collaborative spirit consistently lead teams to innovative, outside-of-the-box thinking and solutions.

Sunita Satyapal presents an award plaque to Andrew Martinez.L to R: Sunita Satyapal, FCTO; Andrew Martinez, California Air Resources Board

Sunita Satyapal presents an award plaque to Jean Baronas.L to R: Sunita Satyapal, FCTO; Jean Baronas, California Energy Commission

FCTO staff present an award plaque to Joel Rinebold.L to R: Sunita Satyapal, FCTO; Pete Devlin, FCTO; Joel Rinebold, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology; Nancy Garland, FCTO


Huyen Dinh stands with her award plaque between Katie Randolph and Eric Miller.

L to R: Katie Randolph, FCTO; Huyen Dinh, NREL; Eric Miller, FCTO

Andrew Martinez, California Air Resources Board

This award recognizes Andrew Martinez for his outstanding contributions to hydrogen infrastructure advancements and state-level leadership to develop tools for station location strategies. His commitment to the advancement of hydrogen infrastructure has been unwavering. His dedication has enabled station location and selections to support hydrogen fuel cell vehicle rollout.



Jean Baronas, California Energy Commission

This award recognizes Jean Baronas for her outstanding dedication and leadership in advancing the rollout of California's hydrogen refueling infrastructure. She is responsible for executing California's plans for 200 hydrogen fueling stations. Her unwavering dedication and leadership has pushed California to the forefront of the hydrogen highway



Joel Rinebold, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology

This award recognizes Joel Rinebold for his outstanding leadership in developing strategic roadmaps and facilitating the adoption of hydrogen and fuel cells in the Northeastern region of the United States. Joel's unwavering commitment to hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles has led to the development of state road maps in all Northeastern states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, paving the way for hydrogen refueling infrastructure and fuel cell deployment throughout the region.



Hydrogen Production

Huyen Dinh, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

This award recognizes Huyen Dinh of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for her exceptional leadership, dedication, and commitment leading the HydroGEN Consortium, focused on accelerated research and development advanced water splitting technologies for clean, sustainable hydrogen production. The HydroGEN Consortium, which is part of the DOE Energy Materials Network, is led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and includes Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Savannah River National Laboratory. By fostering collaborations between national laboratories, industry, and academia, HydroGEN is effectively addressing the key materials challenges critical to all water splitting technologies. Huyen's outstanding efforts to establish and operationalize the consortium have been instrumental to HydroGEN's realization and impressive initial success.

Hydrogen Delivery

Al Burgunder, Praxair

This award recognizes Al Burgunder for outstanding support of target-setting and techno-economic analysis projects within the Hydrogen Delivery program, and of the development of DOE's H2@Scale initiative. Al has been a member of U.S. DRIVE's Hydrogen Delivery Tech Team for 6 years. During this time, he has provided extensive feedback to DOE projects, along with guidance in the development of Argonne National Laboratory's Hydrogen Delivery Scenario Analysis Model and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's thermodynamic analyses of liquid hydrogen transfers. Al has organized tours of Praxair facilities for lab researchers, and facilitated meetings between the Tech Team and other industry stakeholders to inform the team of the current status of industry and R&D needs. He has also provided invaluable industry perspective through invited presentations at multiple H2@Scale workshops and outreach events.

Fuel Cells R&D

Peter Pintauro, Vanderbilt University

Peter Pintauro stands with his award plaque between Dimitrios Papageorgopoulos and Donna Ho.

L to R: Dimitrios Papageorgopoulos, FCTO; Peter Pintauro, Vanderbilt University; Donna Ho, FCTO

Pete Devlin and Sunita Satyapal present an award plaque to Robin Nixon.

L to R: Pete Devlin, FCTO; Sunita Satyapal, FCTO; Robin Nixon, National Park Service

Pete Devlin and Sunita Satyapal present an award plaque to five staff from the United States Postal Service.

L to R: Pete Devlin, FCTO; Carroll Burgess, Rusty Williamson, Charles Karpiak, Robert Borris, and Carolyn Cole, United States Postal Service; Sunita Satyapal, FCTO

Chris LaFleur presents an award plaque to Bill Buttner.

L to R: Bill Buttner, NREL; Chris LaFleur, FCTO

This award recognizes Peter Pintauro for his outstanding achievements in developing an innovative electrospinning technique for fabricating fuel cell electrodes and advancing the Hydrogen Program. Peter and his group are fabricating nanofiber mat cathodes and anodes by electrospinning catalyst powders with a proton-conducting binder, followed by incorporation of these electrode mats into fuel cells for testing. Characterization and analysis of electrospun electrodes versus standard sprayed electrodes will help to gain better understanding and further improve the electrospinning process for this application. As part of the Fuel Cell Consortium for Performance and Durability, this groundbreaking work improves the performance and durability of fuel cells for automotive applications, advancing the widespread use of fuel cell technologies.

Technology Acceleration

National Mall and Memorial Parks, National Park Service

This award recognizes the National Mall and Memorial Parks team for their outstanding leadership in hosting the DOE's D.C. Hydrogen Fueling Demonstration Station at the Brentwood Maintenance Facility. Under Superintendent Bob Vogel, Robin Nixon led the National Mall and Memorial Parks team. Their dedication has enabled the process to validate and collect critical station performance data that feeds back the Energy Department's Fuel Cell Technologies Office early-stage research and development efforts.

USPS Capitol Heights Network Distribution Center

This award recognizes the United States Postal Service Capitol Heights Network Distribution Center for its leadership and ingenuity in converting an entire material handling equipment fleet to fuel cell power. The USPS team includes Carroll Burgess, Thomas Day, Robert Borris, Carolyn Cole, Rusty Williamson, and Charles Karpiak. Their efforts resulted in 85 material lift trucks deployed and exemplifies the "walk-the-talk" of the federal government leading by example.

Bill Buttner, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

This award recognizes Bill Buttner for his outstanding dedication and contributions to hydrogen safety, sensor technologies, and the global hydrogen refueling community. His collaborative work with international and industry stakeholders has led to the validation of sensor placement—including for indoor spaces—enabling the widespread deployment of fuel cell vehicles. Bill is also a dedicated mentor and teacher, and has a strong commitment to inspiring the next generation of hydrogen and fuel cell technology leaders through his ongoing work with interns and co-op students.