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


“Learn one, do one,
teach one.”
– Hannah Gardner

Learning in many ways

There are a couple of sayings Jake uses in Thermo — “Once you know entropy, it’s irreversible.” “The irony of entropy is that there are so many ways of understanding it.”

In this section we’ve included links to the course materials in many of his classes. But that’s just the beginning. We came to a research university not for the classes, but to apply those classes through real hands-on research. The learning curve to get involved in HYPER research is steep. So we’ve included a lot of the information and trainings here.

Featured Posts

There is so much to be learned from HYPER and our lab members. From thermodynamics to research tips and tricks, cryogenics to rocket design, and much more, we love to share with you what we have learned.


  • How to Build a Cryogenic Plumbing Manifold

    Plumbing manifolds on a cryogenic system are just as essential for functionality as proper electrical wiring from a simple light switch to an overhead light. Just like a wire sends current from point A to point B, a plumbing manifold can send hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, and other gasses from point A to B. The number of complex functions performed by plumbing manifolds leads to complexity that approaches integrated circuit boards. However, much less information, not to mention engineering standards, are available on how to reliably construct custom plumbing manifolds for research purposes. This post overviews the systems we have developed at HYPER for academic research … » More …

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  • Mounting a Strain Gauge to Composite Surfaces Utilizing High-Performance Epoxy Resins

    If I learned anything from my internship with Unitech Composites, it is that surface preparation is essential in all operations of composite layup and assembly. This is true for bonding as well. Surface preparations, although tedious and seemingly unimportant, are key in establishing properties that their subsequent specifications claim. To ensure that an epoxy resin can perform at a specified temperature range for a long time, adherence to the following procedure is required.

    This procedure is specifically written for the application of Vishay’s M-bond 43-B, 600, and 610 adhesives in bonding strain gauges to a composite surface. These adhesive systems are a product of Vishay … » More …

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  • You had an idea! Now what?

    It’s awesome when it happens. A new concept or idea for something to solve a problem for yourself or someone else just popped into your head (more on that here). For me the hair stands up on my neck and I want to run to the nearest person and tell them the idea and why it’s important. Evidently I have a crazy look on my face when this happens because it’s scared people before. Here’s the deal — excitement like this is contagious, and unless you’re careful to get your ducks in a row, it could lead to false hope/promises and unmet expectations.

    What … » More …

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  • Visualizing density changes with a DSLR Camera

    “Tell me what this image is.” I peered closer at the amazing image Jake was showing me. “Displacement?” I guessed nervously, glancing furtively at the inquisitor. “Not quite. Density,” Jake said. This was my interview, to which I had been 15 minutes late and in which I was already sweating profusely. I was in the deep end. Here is the image he showed me:


    I was hired to the HYPER Lab despite my blunder, and worked on the Core Team (previously the General Team). By the time this project opportunity surfaced, nearly 6 months had passed since my interview, and the concept of Schlieren … » More …

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  • How to Procure Parts Easily and Efficiently – The HYPER Way

    Have you ever had a $45,000 piece of equipment show up in your facility, and thought: “I don’t remember what this is for…”? Well, I had this exact thing happen to me. I was fortunate in that the 900 pounds of equipment sitting in the shipping bay was a simple mix-up with the company delivering our equipment. Crisis averted! However, in many instances mistakes like this can lead to the loss of funds, and sometimes even jobs. The responsibility often falls to project managers to have a crystal-clear picture of the flow of parts and equipment coming in for their systems.

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  • How to make cryogenic Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) shields

    MLI Basics

    The Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) Shield (aka thermal radiation blanket) is very important in cryogenic systems. MLI shields insulate components from thermal energy transferred via light on rockets, satellites, and cryogenic experiments. The shield consists of 10s of alternating layers of polymer mesh and reflective mylar (metalized nylon) film. For a 2.5cm (1″) thick blanket at 1×10^-4 torr vacuum level, equivalent R values of ~1440 can be obtained (Technifab). Typical insulation of a building wall is in the equivalent R of 10-60 ( It’s no wonder engineers in the Linde Devision of Union Carbide named it “superinsulation” in the 1950s (McIntosh). To understand how … » More …

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