The U.S. DOE Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program 2019 Annual Merit Review Awards

By May 1, 2019 6   min read  (680 words)

May 1, 2019 |

DOE Merit Review Awards 2019

Each year, at the Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting, the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program presents awards for contributions to the overall efforts of the Program and to recognize achievements in specific areas.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Awards


This award recognizes Glenn Scheffler for his outstanding contributions to the hydrogen and fuel cells domestic and international codes and standards communities. He has been an irreplaceable part of the community for over 40 years, including 37 years of service at United Technologies Corporation before joining the Safety, Codes and Standards program as a consultant. For four decades, Glenn has played a pivotal role in helping to pave the way for safe and timely deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Glenn chaired the SAE Fuel Cell Committee’s Safety working group that developed technical standards for fuel cell electric vehicles (J2578) and hydrogen vehicle fuel systems (J2579). Glenn has also contributed heavily to the international regulations, codes and standards community. As the lead delegate for the United States for ISO Technical Committee 197, Glenn is the convener for Working Group 24, which created the first international standard for hydrogen refueling stations. He serves as the U.S. Technical Expert for the UN Global Technical Regulation (Phase I and II), which will ultimately inform the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. Glenn’s expertise is well respected within the safety, codes and standards community, both domestically and internationally. That expertise has also been instrumental to the Hydrogen Safety Panel, where he has served as an active member for more than 10 years, further ensuring the safe deployment of hydrogen technologies.


This award is presented to Dr. Dave Edwards of Air Liquide for outstanding leadership in advancing hydrogen technologies, particularly hydrogen global analysis, infrastructure, and DOE’s H2@Scale initiative. Dr. Edwards’ presentations at high-profile technical events, such as the 2019 Transportation Research Board annual meeting, H2@Scale workshops, and other global venues, are routinely exceptional, are well received, and facilitate the development of strong industry partnerships. Moreover, DOE program managers rely on Dr. Edwards often to review and inform technical analyses relevant to the H2@Scale concept. His technical guidance has helped shape key DOE roadmaps and targets, particularly in the area of hydrogen and fuel cells for heavy-duty transportation. He was instrumental in initiating a national U.S. study on the market potential and impact of hydrogen and fuel cells across multiple industries and sectors. Over the last several years, he has demonstrated outstanding leadership and dedication to strengthening collaboration and communication to help advance DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program.

Hydrogen Fuel R&D — Storage

  • Thomas Gennett, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Philip Parilla, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Katherine Hurst, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

This award recognizes Tom Gennett, Phil Parilla, and Katie Hurst of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for their years of leadership and excellence in managing the Hydrogen Storage Program’s adsorption validation laboratory. This group has not only provided reliable adsorption data for accurate comparisons of material properties, but they have also been instrumental in publishing measurement protocols and standards to enable improved reliability of adsorption measurements across the field. They have recently completed an international, multi-laboratory round robin study on volumetric capacity measurements, for which the results demonstrate a marked improvement of measurement consistency and reliability across the storage community.

Fuel Cell R&D

  • Jacob Spendelow, Los Alamos National Laboratory

This award recognizes Dr. Jacob Spendelow of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) for outstanding leadership demonstrated in conducting the fuel cell project “Advanced Electrocatalysts through Crystallographic Enhancements.” Jacob led a large team of scientists from LANL, State University of New York Buffalo, Brown University, University of Pennsylvania, and EWII Fuel Cells. Jacob and his team developed new intermetallic platinum-cobalt (PtCo) catalysts with atomic-level ordering that stabilizes cobalt (Co) atoms within the catalyst nanoparticles, reducing the leaching rate of Co and maintaining high Co content even after durability testing. The key innovation in 2018 was the development of a new synthetic method that enables simultaneous achievement of small nanoparticle size (<4 nm) and a high degree of ordering. Previous efforts to develop intermetallic PtCo nanoparticles were limited by excessive particle growth that occurs during the ordering process. By avoiding this particle growth, the LANL catalyst maintains high surface area and high catalytic activity while also exhibiting improved durability. The catalysts achieved a mass activity of 0.56 A/mgPGM after 30,000 voltage cycles, which corresponds to a loss of only 20% after 30,000 cycles (Target: <40%).

Fuel Cell R&D

  • Shawn Litster, Carnegie Mellon University

This award recognizes Dr. Shawn Litster of Carnegie Mellon University for outstanding leadership in conducting the fuel cell project “Advanced PGM-Free Cathode Engineering for High Power Density and Durability.” Shawn is leading a large team of scientists from Carnegie Mellon, State University of New York Buffalo, Giner, and 3M. In the first year of the project, the team achieved kinetic performance of 28.5 mA/cm2 at 0.90 V, exceeding the second-year target of 25 mA/cm2, and 113 mA/cm2 at 0.8 V in H2/air, which is the highest PGM-free electrode performance reported at this time. The success of the project is due to the team’s strength in catalyst development, membrane electrode assembly fabrication, and characterization, and to the well-organized collaboration of industry, academic, and national laboratory partners led by Shawn.

Technology Acceleration

  • Kevin Centeck, U.S. Army, Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center

This award recognizes Kevin Centeck for leadership and excellence in developing hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles and fueling systems. Kevin has worked to ensure close collaboration with DOE and national labs. He was responsible for the development of the collaboration agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) between the U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center (formerly known as the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, or TARDEC) and DOE. Kevin also led three interagency workshops on hydrogen and fuel cell topics.

Safety, Codes and Standards

  • Kevin Simmons, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Nalini Menon, Sandia National Laboratories
  • Barton Smith, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Mike Veenstra, Ford Motor Company

This award recognizes Kevin Simmons, Nalini Menon, Barton Smith, and Mike Veenstra for their outstanding work in the area of polymer materials compatibility for hydrogen service. This ongoing partnership between national laboratories and industry has met a critical need in the R&D community, developing new standards and test methodologies that will help to provide improved polymer material durability and reliability for the hydrogen industry.

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