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Jacob Leachman Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) Laboratory

Cool. Fuel.

Cool. Fuel.

The only cryogenic hydrogen research laboratory in US academia.

Innovating electrofuels since 2010.

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Cryogenic Origami Bellows

Imagine the challenge of storing and reliably dispensing fuel at -421°F, the temperature of liquid hydrogen. Go one step further — try it in microgravity. Not hard enough? If a vapor bubble leaves the bottom of the tank you’ll explode the turbo of your engine.

Leidenfrost Dusting

Breakthrough innovations in spacesuit cleaning technology using liquid nitrogen. The Leidenfrost Effect has proven to remove lunar dust, making it a promising procedure in future long-term moon travel.


The first liquid hydrogen fueled drone by a University. Fourteen flights proved the airframe, electric propulsion, and guidance systems were working beautifully, and extensive ground testing and characterization of the hydrogen systems showed the fuel cell hydrogen powertrain was up to the task.

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Featured posts

  • Some Suggestions and Feedback

    I spent this morning combing through survey evaluations that included feedback from students, faculty, staff, external stakeholders, and administrators. It was amazing that many of the groups (save the administrative pool) demonstrated the same key feedback faults. Since quality  feedback is essential for continuous improvement, I have some suggestions for you who are about to complete end-of-semester evaluations (only if you want them to have an impact and cause change):

    Identify your goal — it’s often clear when someone is venting to try to help themselves feel better. But, I still believe that people feel better in the long run when they see decisive … » More …

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  • Just add water and electricity…

    We are excited to share the latest press release of our research. A team of WSU researchers including Caleb Stauffer, Yulia Gitter, Chelsea Crabb (now at Blue Origin), and Drew Boettner (now at Stoke Space Technologies) used our Mobile Hydrogen Generation Unit to make liquid hydrogen from water and electricity in a field. They then filled a 3D printed tank with liquid hydrogen, and flew a robot into the sky.

    A BIG thanks to our collaborators at MSU Raspet and Insitu who made it possible.

    University, industry collaboration allows liquid hydrogen-powered UAS to take flight

    <iframe class="wp-embedded-content" sandbox="allow-scripts" security="restricted" style="position: absolute; clip: ... » More …

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  • Cool Fuel — Hydrogen’s Massive Sensing Challenges

    This is a pre-print of my bi-monthly column ‘Cool Fuel’ for Cold Facts, the magazine of the Cryogenics Society of America.

    I had a realization the other day – most of us may be incorrectly measuring cryogenic hydrogen mass flows. Nearly all types of flow meters are affected: pressure-differential, sonic, thermal, etc. The differences arise from changing thermophysical properties of hydrogen at cryogenic temperatures and more complicated for flow metering than just adjusting for temperature and pressure. Hydrogen at room temperature sourced from a cryogenic dewar can also be affected, which covers the majority of hydrogen use. In response, this column covers the basics … » More …

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  • Celebrating the Summer of 2022

    Today is the completion of my first three months back at HYPER following professional leave. We are celebrating with a lab party in our new building. From graduations, to new additions, accomplishments and achievements, we have ample reasons to celebrate and reflect for the coming semester.


    The most recent round of HYPER alumni has formed, and despite my leave, shown that the lab community and culture is enough to realize dreams:

    Reece Adams was the first to graduate with his MS in Materials Science in May. Reece completed measurements on polymer matrix composites at liquid hydrogen temperatures necessary to determine the Factor of … » More …

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  • The Down Under on Liam Turner: HYPER’s New Fullbright Scholar

    Despite vast geographical distance, The U.S. and Australia have enjoyed over 80 years of strong diplomatic relations.

    80 Years of mutual understanding and camaraderie.

    80 years of research collaborations and expertise sharing.

    The long history of research collaborations between the U.S. and Australia has continued through Fulbright foreign exchange scholars, who conduct research exchange across the U.S. with other participating countries including Australia.

    Fulbright exchange partnerships are more than just research projects, they present the opportunity for:

    • exchanging research cultures between countries

    • Launching technology development through identifying technology use cases globally,

    • Fostering long term relations and trust between host and exchange organizations … » More …

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  • What is Engineering Anyway?

    I felt lost. It was my first semester at an out-of-state university where I knew exactly three people, one of whom quickly transferred. In high school, I was a part of the Idaho Space and Aerospace Scholars program which allowed me to learn about space and then visit the NASA Ames Research Center while designing a mock-mission to Mars. 

    I loved the experience. 

    Coming into college, I was a chemical engineering and honors student.  Dissatisfied with the general direction of the ChemE program, I began looking into alternative engineering fields. At the same time, my honors leadership course posed the question, “What do you want … » More …

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  • My MoonShot — On professional leave and change

    Today I returned to Pullman and my research laboratory for the first time since August 11th 2021, after over 8 months on the road for professional leave. While this leave doesn’t end until May 15th, it’s time for reflection. Faculty are typically granted professional leave once every six years (synonymous with the sabbath, or sabbatical). This was my first professional leave (I became eligible in 2017). I’m returning fundamentally changed. This post defines professional leave as nearly nobody understands it, describes some of the experiences that changed me with the hope that it inspires others to pursue new perspectives, and to convince those in … » More …

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  • The 1st Hydrogen Bank — Could zero-boil-off storage be easier than we think?

    [This is a preprint of my Cool Fuel column in Cold Facts Magazine from the Cryogenic Society of America.]

    I’m throwing in the towel on academia and starting my own bank. Let’s call it the 1st Hydrogen Bank. You invest your money and I’ll bank it as pure hydrogen energy for later use. It’s not only the coolest bank around but will be the greenest, fastest (10x), largest (10x), and have the lowest exchange rate among energy banks. Standard terms & fees apply:

    Open an account for as little as $500,000
    Reserve limit up to $50,000
    Compounding losses near … » More …

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  • My Starter Tool Kit for Engineers

    If you were about to be dropped in the wilderness, to survive on your own, what tools would you bring?

    If you were about to be hired into a company, to engineer on your own, what tools would you bring?

    If you were given the opportunity to practice with these tools before the event, would you?

    If you were watching a professional perform, in their element, with their tools, what would it look like?

    Ask any modern practitioner to see their tool kit and you might get a strange look. Not once in my career has a professor showed me their starter tool kit, the … » More …

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  • Envisioning HYPER’s Best by 2030

    Three principles form the foundation of the HYPER lab:

    What we learn (our curiosity),
    What we do (our engineering), and
    What we teach (our professionalism).

    This learn one, do one, teach one foundation is the cyclical heartbeat of HYPER’s continuous improvement today through 2030. It is this process that confidently maps learning experiences into our consciousness. Our 2030 vision is to be our best at developing engineering talent, and likely the best in the Western US. This will be demonstrated by breakthroughs we make to liquid hydrogen technologies, our training of hydrogen professionals, and the services we provide to industry.

    Few, if … » More …

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