An Experience of A Lifetime: Advising the Missouri S&T Hydrogen Teams

By Missouri S&T Faculty Advisor Dr. John Sheffield

Dr. John Sheffield

Starting in January 2008, at the suggestion of Kevin Martin, a team of students at Missouri S&T drafted a proposal for the EcoCAR: The Next Challenge.  Our Vice Provost for Research Dr. Krishnamurthy and I attended the start of the EcoCAR competition in May 2008.  Upon our return, we started the construction of the E-Cubed Commons, home of the Missouri S&T EcoCAR team.  In 2008 Missouri S&T Chancellor Carney initiated the “E3=C” challenge, i.e. Energy, Environment and Education equals Civilization. Chancellor Carney noted that Missouri S&T is well qualified to tackle the critical technological problems facing US and the World: Energy, Environment, and Education and is the only university in the United States that has over 90% of its student body majoring in engineering, the sciences, mathematics, or business.

Since 2008, it has been my honor to advise the Missouri S&T Hydrogen Teams, known as the “H2 Design Solutions Team”.  We have twice won the international Grand Prize for the Hydrogen Student Design Contest in 2008 and 2010 along with a Best Paper Award at the 3rd World Congress of Young Scientists on Hydrogen Energy Systems “HYSYDAYS 2009”  held in Torino, Italy in 2009. In addition, our S&T students had five hydrogen EcoCAR presentations at HYSYDAYS 2009 and I made a keynote lecture as well.

For me, it has been an experience of a lifetime working with our amazing Missouri S&T students to help make the hydrogen-powered society of the future a reality. We are evaluating the entire process of hydrogen production, compression, storage, dispensing and consumption in stationary and mobile applications such as the EcoCAR and we will continue to research on-board reformed logistic fuel to power our next hydrogen powertrain vehicle.