G. Scott Samuelsen Honored at the White House

Samuelsen met with officials as part of “Champions of Change” initiative

Professor G. Scott Samuelsen, Ph.D., Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, was selected to discuss his groundbreaking work, including the conversion of sewage gas into fuel for hydrogen cars, with White House officials as part of the “Champions of Change” program.

Samuelsen, director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC) at UC Irvine and director of the Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) in The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, was part of a “Make it in America” roundtable with other honorees and key White House administration leaders regarding the importance of fuel cell technology in enabling a transition to clean energy for the United States market and in creating of thousands of jobs in manufacturing, installation, operation and servicing throughout the U.S. and around the world.

“As founder and director of the NFCRC, I compliment the administration in recognizing the critical role that the NFCRC has played in training the next generation work force of energy engineers, bringing to market a key clean energy technology and positioning the United States as the world leader in stationary fuel cells and hydrogen infrastructure for fuel cell electric vehicles,” Samuelsen stated.

The NFCRC was established at UC Irvine in 1998 for the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission with the goal to accelerate the development and deployment of fuel cell technology. Since that time, stationary fuel cell technology has entered the commercial market, is now cost-competitive with other power generation technologies with incentives and is projected to be cost-competitive without incentives in less than five years.

The NFCRC has engaged American industry, government agencies and policy leaders to enable the development, demonstration and market adoption of American-based stationary fuel cell products.  At the same time, the NFCRC has involved scores of undergraduate and graduate students in these activities as a way to educate and train the next generation work force with the tools and perspectives required to maintain the lead in fuel cell technology and worked with university engineering programs around the country to establish fuel cell courses and mission-oriented research.

To further American prominence in fuel cell technology and the creation of thousands of jobs in the energy sector, the NFCRC engages U.S. companies in strategic alliances to lead as well the evolution of next generation clean energy fuel cell systems.  The NFCRC is leading the development and implementation of strategic planning tools in order to prescribe the number and location of hydrogen fueling stations in a given region.   Major partners in this activity include General Motors Company and Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., both leaders internationally in the design of the next generation of vehicles and the fuel to power them.

The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Barack Obama’s “Winning the Future” initiative. Each week, a different issue is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community activists, are recognized for the work they are doing to better their communities.

The entire “Make it in America” roundtable discussion at the White House can be viewed online here.