A Message from the Director

Peter Lehman

Peter Lehman, SERC Director

It was a great thrill for us at SERC to finally have a signed contract in place for the construction of our new lab/office building. After years of planning, we now have a design we can dream about and a date we can look forward to for completion of our new home. I walked up to the site the other day. The building corners are marked and I was able to imagine what it will be like to walk into a modern, energy-efficient facility right in the middle of the HSU campus. Our cover story shows the building rendering so you can dream along with us. We’ll keep you informed with updates in each forthcoming issue.

We are also very encouraged by the energy related appointments in the Obama administration. With Nobel laureate Stephen Chu leading the Department of Energy and John Holdren as the President-elect’s science advisor, our country will have two experienced energy experts in the government to help shape a new energy policy. It augurs well for a shift in course so that we begin taking climate change seriously and developing renewable energy. It’s an exciting time to be doing energy work.

In other news at SERC, Greg Chapman reports on progress with our gasifier experiment. After much installation and construction work, fuel preparation, and debugging, we are now running smoothly. It feels good to be opening up this new line of renewable energy work at the lab. Also in this issue, Jim Zoellick reports on our work in helping AC Transit plan and site their new hydrogen station in the Bay Area. Jim also reports on the latest news from our HyTEC project. Finally, Richard Engel describes working with UC Berkeley to introduce hydrogen and fuel cell topics into the undergraduate engineering curriculum.

Yesterday was the longest night of the year. As the light returns to our northern hemisphere, best wishes to you and yours for a festive holiday season and a healthy and happy 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.