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Energy Department Awards NREL Staff for Exceptional Achievement

May 21, 2013

Each year at the Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program presents "Program Awards" for contributions to overall program efforts and "Sub-Program Awards" to recognize achievements in specific areas. This year, the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program honored four National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) staff for their outstanding achievements. See the full list of award winners.

Hydrogen Production – Chris Ainscough and Kevin Harrison
This award recognizes NREL’s Kevin Harrison and Chris Ainscough for their exemplary dedication and commitment to research and analysis of integrating wind power and hydrogen production. The NREL wind-to-hydrogen team—through noteworthy partnerships with Xcel Energy, Proton OnSite, Giner Inc., and other industry partners—has produced valuable data on electrolyzer performance and first-of-its-kind analysis to characterize the performance and costs of integrated renewable electrolysis systems. Their work has provided essential technical groundwork for further investigation of producing hydrogen from variable renewable sources such as wind and solar, and for the use of hydrogen for energy storage. They have demonstrated their dedication on multiple occasions—most notably in their efforts to meet DOE milestones by working round the clock to overcome unforeseen weather, equipment supply, and technical challenges. In addition to their many technical contributions, Kevin and Chris have also been proactive in their outreach on behalf of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, providing information and technical assistance to numerous individuals, industry groups, and state organizations.

Hydrogen Storage – Philip Parilla
This award recognizes Philip Parilla of NREL and Karl Gross of H2 Technology Consulting for their vital contributions to standardizing measurement of the hydrogen storage properties of materials. Their work has helped reduce erroneous results from inappropriate techniques and experimental errors. Karl produced the “Recommended Best Practices for the Characterization of Storage Properties of Hydrogen Storage Materials,” an invaluable document that defines key material properties related to hydrogen storage and provides guidance on how to measure those properties. This publication has been a valuable asset to new researchers and to established researchers looking to expand their measurement capabilities and ensure reliability and quality in their measurements. In addition to working with Karl on the Best Practices document, Philip has developed a thorough understanding of the intricacies and sources of error in hydrogen sorption measurements. This understanding and his ability to educate other researchers on how to properly carry out accurate and precise hydrogen sorption measurements have dramatically improved the reliability of results produced by researchers within the hydrogen storage R&D community.

Technology Validation – Leslie Eudy
This award recognizes NREL’s Leslie Eudy for the valuable contributions she has made in support of the DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program's technology validation efforts over the last 10 years. Leslie has developed strong relationships with the Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Transit Administration and numerous transit authorities that operate fuel cell buses. She began at NREL evaluating advanced diesel, hybrid, natural gas, bio-fuel, and fuel cell buses, and she later chose to concentrate her career on fuel cell buses, reporting extensively on their superior fuel economy and emissions reductions. She is acknowledged internationally for her leadership in organizing workshops that have brought together the world's experts on fuel cell bus development and deployment. She is also recognized for publishing six annual reports summarizing the status and progress of demonstrations of fuel cell transit buses in the United States. DOT, DOE, the California Air Resources Board, and other agencies rely on her expertise for evaluating proposed projects—not only for fuel cell buses, but also for other energy efficiency measures at transit sites.


—Julia Thomas