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Guido Bender

Researcher IV-Electrical Engineering | 303-275-3810

Dr. Bender is involved in R&D activities of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells and water electrolysis. Dr. Bender has over 15 years of experience in PEM fuel cell research and development, and is the author of many journal and conference papers. He has a broad research experience in fuel cell and electrolysis, including the development of spatial in-situ diagnostics, the development of quality control diagnostics for mass produced materials, the characterization of contaminant effects, and the characterization of performance and durability effects induced by coating inhomogeneities. Dr. Bender is an active contributor to the International Energy Agency’s Annex 30 and co-leads their benchmarking and protocol harmonization effort for PEM water electrolysis with domestic and international participants. Dr. Bender is managing the fuel cell and electrolysis testing capabilities at NREL, which offers small scale single cell to large scale stack testing capabilities. He is further a PI for water electrolysis related R&D.

Research Interests

Impact of coating irregularities on PEMFC performance and lifetime

Contamination of PEMFC and PEMEC

Degradation processes of PEMEC

Reduction of PEM water electrolysis catalyst layer loading


Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Technical University of Munich, Germany, graduated magna cum laude 

M.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Stuttgart, Germany 

B.S. Electrical Engineering, University of Stuttgart, Germany

Featured Publications

A. Phillips, M. Ulsh, J. Porter, G. Bender, “Utilizing a segmented fuel cell to study the effects of electrode coating irregularities on PEM fuel cell initial performance,” Fuel Cells, February 2017, DOI: 10.1002/fuce.201600214

P. Clark, G. Bender, “3D printing applications in lockout/tagout,” The Synergist, November 2016,

I.V. Zenyuk, N. Englund, G. Bender, A.Z. Weber, M. Ulsh, “Reactive impinging-flow technique for PEFC electrode-defect detection,” J. Power Sources, 332, 372‒382 (2016).

B.A.T. Mehrabadi, H. Dinh, G. Bender, J. Weidner, “Effect of system contaminants on the performance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell,” Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 163(14) F1527‒F1534 (2016).

M. Ulsh, J.M. Porter, D.C. Bittinat, G. Bender, “Defect detection in fuel cell gas diffusion electrodes using infrared thermography,” Fuel Cells, 16, 170–178.

G. Bender, W. Felt, M. Ulsh, “Detecting and localizing failure points in proton exchange membrane fuel cells using IR thermography,” J. Power S., 253, 224–229 (2014).

G. Bender, M. Angelo , K. Bethune, R. Rocheleau, “Quantitative analysis of the performance impact of low level carbon monoxide exposure in proton exchange membrane fuel cell,” Journal of Power Sources, 228, 159–169 (2013).

Y. Zhai, G. Bender, S. Dorn, R. Rocheleau, “The multi-process degradation of PEM fuel cell performance due to sulfur dioxide contamination and its recovery,” Journal of Electrochemical Society, 157, B20 (2010).

G. Bender, M. Angelo, K. Bethune, S. Dorn, T. Thampan, R. Rocheleau, “Method using gas chromatography to determine the molar flow balance for proton exchange membrane fuel cells exposed to impurities,” Journal of Power Sources, 193, 713‒722 (2009).

G. Bender, T.A. Zawodzinski, A.P. Saab, “Fabrication of high precision PEFC membrane electrode assemblies,” Journal of Power Sources, 124, 114‒117 (2003).

G. Bender, M.S. Wilson, T.A. Zawodzinski, “Further refinements to the segmented cell approach in diagnosing performance of polymer electrolyte fuel cells,” Journal of Power Sources, 123/2, 163‒171 (2003).

View all NREL publications for Guido Bender.