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Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) Laboratory Cool. Fuel.

Cool Fuel: The class I needed

(This is a preprint of my column “Cool Fuel” for Cold Facts, the magazine of the Cryogenic Society of America.)

Flash back for a moment to that time in college when the professor had a typo on the assignment that caused you to lose a night in frustration. Anger, fatigue, and disrespect come to mind as you stormed to class the next day, handed in the assignment, and pointed out the mistake, now corrected. The professor, unmoved by the display, proceeds to pull up the original research publication on which the assignment was based, where the same error appears, an error, sans erratum, that … » More …

A key difference between science and engineering

… is practice.

We have a rule in the lab that any demonstration must first be trialed at least 5 times without error before being made public.

Why 5? 5 is a common threshold to begin using statistical methods to establish confidence (a.k.a. coverage factors and uncertainties).

In science, a single test can show a phenomena, verify a theory, and increase understanding of the Universe.

Engineering though, doesn’t care so much about understanding, as much as reproducibility. That that something, based on science, can be done over and over again, including by the public, without fail.

A key difference between science and engineering is practice. … » More …

Codependence in the development of people and teams

WSU may be the best developmental engineering program in the Western US. Nowhere else will you find a more rural Research 1 class institution that is typically viewed as the #2 school in the state. These two defining traits are directly aligned with our Land-Grant founding mission to bridge the technoeconomic urban versus rural divide. Where some schools just process through people who were already performers, WSU must reap the seeds we sow. Said simply, we’re going to do our best to develop you into your best. Since we’re the only liquid hydrogen research focused lab in US academia, everyone coming in the door … » More …

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 …

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

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 …

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.

Graduations

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …