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Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) Lab News

HYPER lab partners with Ultramet to win NASA 2015 SBIR Phase 1 award

NASA announced the winners of the 2015 SBIR Phase 1 competition. We partnered with Matthew Wright of Ultramet, an advanced material solutions company based in Pacoima CA, to win the Cryogenic Fluid Management for In-Space Transportation sub-topic with a proposal titled, “Parahydrogen-Orthohydrogen Catalytic Conversion for Cryogenic Propellant Passive Heat Shielding.”  As stated in the citation abstract, “The Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) laboratory at Washington State University (WSU) recently demonstrated a Cryocatalysis Hydrogen Experiment Facility (CHEF) to characterize parahydrogen-orthohydrogen catalysts for passive heat shielding.” This work builds off of Ron Bliesner’s graduate work during his Master’s Thesis that eventually built CHEF.

A hydrogen economy for Jefferson County Washington

Jefferson County Washington is embracing their sustainable energy future. I recently gave a presentation at their Clean Energy luncheon in Port Townsend and was both proud and amazed by the level of engagement combined with a sense of urgency from the community. Video from the full talk starts at 5:00 here: A major part of humanities sustainable energy future will rely on local county and community efforts to work together for mutual benefit. Good luck Jefferson County!

UK report quantifies need for cryogenics research

A report by the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the United Kingdom was just released that emphasizes and quantifies the benefit of cryogenics to the UK economy. Here are a few statistics from the full report:

-Total direct and indirect annual contributions to UK economy is $492 million.

-Between $2.4-$5 billion generated in next 10 years.

To place this into context, the US economy is 2.5 times the size of the UK’s. If it scales, that could mean $1.5 billion/year generated in the US from a field that produces less than a handful of graduate engineers/year across the US. NASA and other organizations have said publicly that they are desperately hiring new engineers to try to train them in-house through an apprenticeship system. While that’s better than nothing, it does not meet the definition of a professional. We need more folks trained in cryogenic engineering through our research institutions and the National Academies should take action. We definitely do not need more intellectual in-breeding occurring in a field that’s desperate for a renaissance.

Victor wins VCEA Outstanding Junior Award

HYPER lab member Victor Charoonsophonsak just won the Voiland College of Engineering Outstanding Junior Award for 2014. A writeup is posted at the following link:

He joins Melissa Street and Patrick Gavin bringing the total number of HYPER lab members to 3 over the last 4 years that have won the highest award the college can offer. Congratulations Victor!

Washington State University