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Fuel cell experts to discuss initiatives

Fuel cell experts to discuss initiatives

Sep 16, 2002

Dr. Geoffrey Ballard and General Hydrogen executive staff will be on campus Monday, Sept. 23, to tour campus, meet with students and discuss initiatives between General Hydrogen and Kettering University.

Dr. Geoffrey Ballard and General Hydrogen executive staff will be on campus Monday, Sept. 23, to tour campus, meet with students and discuss initiatives between General Hydrogen and Kettering University. The presentation will be at 2:30 p.m., Room 1-817, Academic Building.

Among the hosts will be K. Joel Berry, chairman of the Mechanical Engineering department and Eugene W. Kettering Chair of Power Engineering. Berry said the list of visitors includes Dr. Geoffrey Ballard, chairman of General Hydrogen, vice chairman Paul Howard; government affairs and corporate secretary Bob Clendenan; and vice president of finance and treasurer Lisa Coltart.

Berry said Kettering is working to help prepare and build a Michigan-based hydrogen fuel workforce. "We seek to improve engineering education for 21st Century fuel cell engineers," Berry explained, "and support an engineering fuel cell research initiative that advances Michigan's leadership in manufacturing efficient hydrogen powered vehicles and stationary power plants, as well as, positions our state as the world leader in fuel cell technology."

Kettering University, in cooperation with Mott Community College and Henry Ford Community College, will partner with business, government and academic institutions to provide:

  • Prototype fuel cell testing and powertrain integration services.
  • Fundamental and applied research in the areas of math-based fuel cell modeling, simulation, safety and manufacturing, combined with power electronics and controls.
  • Educational and training programs that prepare the entire workforce (engineers, managers, technicians and manufacturing labor) for this new power generation system.
  • Pre-college and public education programs to promote both acceptance and excitement for a Hydrogen-fueled Michigan economy.
  • Service and maintenance programs to adapt the new technology to safe, everyday use.

A New Corporate Partner: General Hydrogen
General Hydrogen was founded in 1999 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The motivation to develop the company came from a desire to move the fuel cell industry to a position where it permeates the transportation infrastructure. Their web site sums it up best: "People do not buy technology. They buy services." The goal of General Hydrogen is to ensure that once fuel cell vehicles and power plants for homes and businesses are in place, the infrastructure is also developed and ready. Their partnerships include British Energy, Cameco, Court Holdings Company and General Motors.

General Hydrogen has met with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and will be opening an office in Michigan.

Berry and Vida Fisher, director of Corporate and Foundation Gifts, met with General Hydrogen in June in Canada to present the Kettering fuel cell vision. As a result of this meeting, General Hydrogen agreed to serve on Kettering's nationally-renowned advisory board, support its fuel cell initiative and support two undergraduate co-op students from Kettering's professional co-operative education program.

Dr. Geoffrey BallardGeoffrey Ballard, chairman of General Hydrogen, has been internationally honored for bringing fuel cells to commercial viability. He was named by "Time Magazine" as a Hero of the Planet in 1999, has received the Order of Canada and been awarded numerous honorary degrees for his achievements. He received the World Technology Award in Energy in 1999 and the Goteborg International Environmental Prize in Sweden in 2000. He was a founder of Ballard Power Systems where he served as chair until 1997.

For more information on the visit by General Hydrogen executive staff, call K. Joel Berry at (810) 762-7833 or Vida Fisher at (810) 762-9525.