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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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Innovations

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.

Genii

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.

Get Involved

Interested in helping the lab? The HYPER Lab appreciates new partners for projects, on-campus work, and facility use. Get involved today.

Ways to get involved


Featured posts

  • 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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  • The Limit of Lean

    The 7 Wastes are so closely aligned with entropy generation that Lean is the manufacturing extension of thermodynamic law.

    .and I have not found a Lean Manufacturing system, even relics of the principles, anywhere on WSU’s campus.

    ..but modern industry requires knowledge of these core tenets.

    …so it was only natural for HYPER to go Lean.

    To adopt Kaizen (continuous improvement) as a core mantra.

    To poka-yoke (error-proof) production processes for repetition by many others (Learn one. Do one. Teach one.).

    To 6S systems until we achieve the level of safety maximized when the 7 Wastes are minimized.

    To fiercely add value in the pursuit … » More …

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  • The Thermodynamics of Possible

    The entirety of our beautiful universe is underpinned by physical law.

    Only one of those laws places limits on the possible: the second law of thermodynamics — the entropy, or disorder of the universe, must increase.

    That’s it.

    That’s the only universal regulator.

    I’m here today to teach you how little is really impossible.

    To ask you to turn off the opinions, the haters, the pundits, the gatekeepers.

    To remind you that we are nowhere close to having it all figured out.

    To demand you keep asking questions until you no longer find answers.

    To keep you looking until you find how no one else … » More …

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  • “We Need 3 New Workbenches”

    “I am a Hyperian. I am independent yet collaborative. I am fearless yet calculated. I seek to teach humanity new bounds of possible.”

    Shuffling into TFRB on an early Sunday morning starting dead week, introductions were made. A safety briefing was conducted and forming a line, a slip of paper was handed to each person. Utilizing the principles from HYPER’s “Learn One, Do One, Teach One,” mantra, the first person learned how to measure the part on their slip of paper. After they measured their part, they went on to teach the next person to measure the part on their slip. Down the … » More …

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  • Reflections on a decade of leadership in HYPER and the path forward

    I was recently asked to reflect on HYPER leadership since founding in 2010: What was I trying? What was working? What was not working? What do I plan to change coming back from professional leave into a new lab building? Emphasis on leadership and “NOT VISION”.

    What was I trying?

    It’s easy to look back on past leadership with a bias perspective, so here is the post from 2015 and updated in 2020 with my thoughts on leadership: https://hydrogen.wsu.edu/2015/08/28/21st-century-leadership/. Quite simply, I’m leading HYPER to develop the future technologies and professionals in clean cryogenic hydrogen. Many can say this. How is the key.

    To … » More …

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  • Lunar Dust and Dolls: Developing a Technological Breakthrough in Interstellar Fashion

    The Moon, an ashen Sahara marked with impact craters. As we look to the skies and observe the bright face of this celestial body, we marvel at the feats of engineering and perseverance that landed the first humans on its surface.

     

    Images of astronauts fumbling around as they struggle to function in lunar gravity sometimes resemble that of children playing in a sandpit, serving as evidence of success in Apollo 11’s primary objective: perform a crewed lunar landing and return to Earth. However, the face of the Moon is no playground and certainly not as innocuous as a child’s sandbox. In fact, it … » More …

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