Dr. Bender is a senior scientist at NREL in the Chemistry and Nanoscience Center. He is currently involved in R&D activities addressing contamination in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells from internal and external sources, the effect and development of defects in PEM fuel cells, and the development of quality control diagnostics for mass-produced single and multi-layer fuel cell materials and components. Dr. Bender is further responsible for the fuel cell testing capabilities of the team. Bender has more than 10 years of experience in PEM fuel cell research and development, and is the author of many journal and conference papers. During this time he has contributed to the American chapter of ISO TC197 / Working Group 12 for the development of hydrogen fuels purity standards for fuel cell vehicle applications. Prior to joining NREL, he was the lead scientist at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii. His research activities ranged from fuel and oxidant contaminant research to studying spatial phenomena within PEM fuel cells. He performed his graduate research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, on novel aromatic hydrocarbon membranes and the development and utilization of a segmented cell system. Bender holds a master's degree and a doctorate in electrical engineering, received from the Technical University of Stuttgart and the Technical University of Munich, respectively.