A Message from the Director

Peter Lehman

Peter Lehman, SERC Director

This issue of our newsletter chronicles a milestone event for the Schatz Center. After years of work designing and installing hydrogen technology for organizations all across the U.S., we’re finally getting to build a hydrogen station here at home. SERC engineers will soon be installing a hydrogen energy station on the Humboldt State University campus. The first vehicle to gas up at the station when it is completed this Spring will be a hydrogen-fueled Prius from the California Hydrogen Highway Program. HSU President, Rollin Richmond, will use the car to commute to work. President Richmond has been an enthusiastic supporter all along; when first told of this project, he said, “This is a fabulous idea!”

And along with the new, we’re fixing up the old. As Scott Rommel explains in his article, our original, flagship project, the Schatz Solar Hydrogen Project, is undergoing a major overhaul. Once complete, our venerable solar hydrogen energy system, the first of its kind in the U.S., should be working better than ever. Michael Winkler reports on the installation of a fuel cell test bench at Auburn University, the third time SERC has provided a test bench and fuel cell to jump start a university into fuel cell research. Professor Ben Choi and his grad students will be using our equipment to develop models for automotive fuel cells. And Richard Engel describes his energy conservation work at the Siskiyou Field Institute, another example of SERC helping out a local, non-profit agency.

With the landmark election behind us, we at SERC are looking forward to working with the new Congress to pass meaningful legislation to promote renewable energy and address climate change. And with the holiday season just beginning, all of us here wish all of you a healthy, happy, and energy efficient new year.

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.