University H2 Curriculum Project Gets Underway

The H2E3 fuel cell/electrolyzer kits in ENGR 115

The H2E3 fuel cell/electrolyzer kits in ENGR 115 (Photo credit Kellie Jo Brown).

In our last issue, we announced that SERC was selected for funding by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop hydrogen curriculum and teaching tools for use in California’s public universities. We now have a contract in place with DOE, and on October 30 we held a kickoff meeting with our project partners at the University of California at Berkeley. We have named the three-year project “Hydrogen Energy in Engineering Education” (H2E3).

We have identified introductory engineering courses at UC Berkeley and Humboldt State University that already incorporate fuel cells. We consulted with instructors from these courses to get their input on how to enhance their curricula and incorporate our fuel cell learning hardware into their lesson plans. SERC engineers are also experimenting with improvements to our existing benchtop electrolyzer/fuel cell kits that will be used in the freshman engineering classes and have begun design of portable fuel cell test stations for use in advanced engineering labs. We are also scanning the market for commercially available fuel cell stacks we can use with the student test stations.

Stay tuned for announcement of a project website that will host curriculum modules to be made available for download. If you are an engineering instructor in the CSU or UC system interested in using fuel cells in your courses, please contact us to see how you can get involved in this exciting new project.