A Message from the Director

Peter Lehman

Peter Lehman, SERC Director

There have been several firsts at the Schatz Center recently and you can read all about them in this newsletter. We are all very proud of our first Fulbright Scholar, Richard Engel. Richard won his prestigious award competing against many PhDs and as he describes in his article, will be helping Don Bosco University in El Salvador to establish an energy efficiency and renewable energy curriculum. We wish Richard all the best as he extends our promotion of clean and renewable energy to Latin America.

Another first is the arrival of the Toyota Highlander fuel cell vehicle. As Greg Chapman describes, he, Jim Zoellick, and I picked up the car recently from UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC). Tim Lipman, co-director of the TSRC, arranged for us to test drive the Highlander as part of their program to evaluate its performance and consumer acceptance. It’s been great fun to drive a fuel cell car that performs so well and to give rides to family, friends, and neighbors. And along with the hydrogen Prius we’re already driving, we can now say that the addition of the Highlander is the beginning of a hydrogen fleet on the North Coast.

A third first is the delivery of our first Stack-Outside-the-Box™ to SERC alumna Denise McKay at Smith College. Mark Rocheleau reports on our design and production of the system, which is now in use in the engineering program at Smith. I had a chance to visit with Denise this fall, see their brand new $85M Ford Engineering building, and Denise’s labs in the new building. It is heartening to see one of our ex-colleagues doing so well.
In other articles, Richard Engel reports on our trip to UC Berkeley to deliver equipment and present a lecture in our DOE education project. And Jim Zoellick reports on progress with the RESCO project. We have great hopes that RESCO will enable Humboldt County to be a renewable energy pioneer.

I write this column as we are about to begin a new decade. The ten years that just passed were not the greatest, with wars, terrorist attacks, market meltdowns, and little progress on reducing carbon emissions. As we wish each other happy new year, let’s hope that the next ten years brings a greater commitment to protect this beautiful planet of ours.

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.