June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Energy Conversion and Conservation
15.907.1 - 15.907.21
National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Education Program Part I: Curriculum
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) made five awards to university programs seeking to develop and expand education programs in Hydrogen and Fuel Cells. The main objective of the DOE program was to train graduates who will "comprise the next generation workforce needed for research, development, and demonstration activities in government, industry, and academia."
Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies (HFCT) are considered strong components in the future suite of technologies enabling energy independence and a cleaner environment for stationary and transportation applications. However, HFCT are inherently complex and require contribution from most of the engineering and technology disciplines. At the same time, HFCT topics are rare in university programs and few engineering students receive adequate training.
The paper will present the educational efforts and models being developed under this funding. The program is offered through California State University Los Angeles, Humboldt State University, Michigan Technological University, University of North Carolina Charlotte and University of North Dakota. With collaborations, the list of participating colleges is even larger. The authors' intent is to share the wealth of approaches taken to and the challenges and accomplishments of developing HFCT curriculum, which range from designing short modules for existing courses to dedicating majors and minors to the topic. More than twenty courses are modified or developed as part of the activities. As a result, HFCT is introduced to technology and chemical, mechanical, electrical, and environmental engineering majors. The activities undertaken also include outreach to non-major student population and school programs.
In fall 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) made five awards to university programs seeking to develop and expand Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Education. The original solicitation sought to expand hydrogen and fuel cell technology awareness among the general public, decision makers and also develop professional educational programs. Five academic institutions throughout the country were selected to further expand the latter. The main objective of this section of the program was to train graduates who will "comprise the next generation workforce needed for research, development, and demonstration activities in government, industry, and academia."1 The program is offered through awards to California State University Los Angeles, Humboldt State University, Michigan Technological University, University of North Carolina Charlotte and the University of North Dakota.
The first year of executing the educational program has overlapped with interesting developments in the government and industry. The 2010 FY DOE budget proposal significantly reduced the funding for the DOE’s hydrogen programs following Secretary Chu’s skepticism in the readiness of HFCTs to reach the mass market in the near future. The DOE website2 cites “Dr. Steven Chu, distinguished scientist and co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics (1997), was
Blekhman, D., & Keith, J., & Sleiti, A., & Cashman, E., & Lehman, P., & Engel, R., & Mann, M., & Salehfar, H. (2010, June), National Hydrogen And Fuel Cell Education Program Part I: Curriculum Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16037
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