A Message from the Director

Peter Lehman

Peter Lehman, SERC Director

The big news for the Schatz Center this month is the official opening of the HSU hydrogen fueling station. As reported by Richard Engel in this issue, we had a joyous grand opening ceremony on a beautiful Humboldt County day. After almost two decades of installing hydrogen projects scattered all around the U.S., it has been especially rewarding for us to bring our technology home.

Support for our hydrogen work governments, transit agencies, and local citizens are all enthusiastic. We hope this will be the beginning of a hydrogen transportation infrastructure in Humboldt County and that we can serve as a role model for other regions.
Richard also reports on our highly successful UNPEPP interns who worked with Redwood National and State Parks to improve the energy efficiency of park headquarters in Crescent City. This is the sixth year we’ve had an UNPEPP program and the three undergraduate engineering students did a bang-up job researching and reporting on efficiency improvements.

Also in this issue, grad student Kristen Radecsky reports on her work with fellow student Peter Johnstone to research off-grid lighting in Kenya. Working with Professor Arne Jacobson, Kristen and Peter are trying to determine the extent to which very efficient LED lights can replace dirty and costly kerosene lighting. Such a change would have both health and global climate benefits. You’ll also find updates about our efforts to develop wind and hydropower for the Yurok Tribe and our ongoing gasification research.

As I write this, our presidential race is in full swing. Both candidates have taken serious and responsible positions on the need to address climate change and it seems that our nation is poised to finally take meaningful action. We look forward to working with the new administration to advance clean and renewable energy technologies.

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.