A Message from the Director

Peter Lehman

Peter Lehman, SERC Director

We at SERC have been working hard for over 15 years to advance our mission to “promote clean and renewable energy.” But, despite writing many research papers and technical reports, securing patents, and making conference presentations all over the world, we’ve never had a newsletter.

Now we do and you are holding our first issue in your hands. We will publish it quarterly and hope it will keep our friends and colleagues up to date on our activities and connected with us and SERC.

In this issue Richard Engel describes our work teaming with the Redwood Coast Energy Authority to develop the energy element of Humboldt County’s General Plan and our work with the Yurok Tribe to install clean power on their reservation. Richard also writes about installing a fuel cell test bench for Kettering University in Michigan. Our bench and the training we provided will jump-start Kettering into the fuel cell research and education world. Jim Zoellick covers our hydrogen safety training for first responders and Allison Oakland and Doug Saucedo describe our docent program in which HSU engineering students educate school children, university students, and the general public about energy issues. Finally, Juliette Bohn explains why she’s chosen to be a SERC docent.

I am writing this after Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast. As gas shot up beyond $3/gallon, we were all reminded of how vulnerable we are depending on a fossil fuel energy supply. The fact is, oil is becoming scarcer and oil shocks in the future will last longer and be triggered by smaller disturbances. We here at SERC will keep working to diversify our energy sources and lessen our vulnerability to dwindling fossil fuels. This newsletter will keep you informed about our efforts.

About Peter Lehman

Director of SERC and a professor of Environmental Resources Engineering at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. Dr. Lehman received a B.S. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley where he conducted research on the aerochemistry of photochemical air pollution. Before coming to HSU, he has been a member of the faculties of Sacramento State University; California State University, Northridge; and Deep Springs College. While at HSU, Dr. Lehman has served as chair of the Environmental Resources Engineering Department, co-chair of the International Development Technology masters program, and faculty advisor to the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology. His research interests include renewable energy systems, especially solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies. Dr. Lehman's work at the Schatz Center includes the development of solar hydrogen generation systems, development and production of fuel cell personal utility and neighborhood electric vehicles, and research and production of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Most recently, the Center is involved in integrating electrolyzers into complete hydrogen generation and dispensing facilities, and developing and producing fuel cell systems for telecommunications, portable power and uninterruptible power supply applications.