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New director named for Global Fuel Cell Center

by Nan Cooper - November 10, 2008

Prabhakar Singh, a researcher with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., has been named director of the University’s Connecticut Global Fuel Cell Center, following an international search.

He will have a faculty appointment as the UTC Chair Professor of Fuel Cell Technology in the Department of Chemical, Materials, & Biomolecular Engineering.

Singh, who will begin at UConn on Jan. 1, currently directs advanced solid oxide fuel cell development activities at the laboratory. He also works with government and industrial clients on fuel cell product development.

“We are delighted to welcome Singh, a world class researcher and visionary in the field of fuel cell science, who will help to transform the Connecticut Global Fuel Cell Center into an international leader in the design, development, and commercialization of fuel cells,” says Mun Choi, dean of the School of Engineering, who announced the appointment.

As director, Singh will oversee operations and guide the Center’s research and educational activities. He will be responsible for attracting resources and developing collaborative partnerships among the Center, government, and industry. He will also lead a team developing fuel cell technology and applications.

Singh is widely recognized for his technical expertise involving the accelerated corrosion of metals and alloys under bi-polar exposure conditions, as happens in advanced fuel cell electrochemical power generation systems.

Before joining the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Singh held several technical and management positions at Ford Motor Co., Westinghouse Electric Corp., and FuelCell Energy. While at Ford’s Visteon Corp. arm, he managed proton exchange membrane fuel cell research and development.

At Westinghouse Electric, he developed cell and stack component materials for solid oxide fuel cells, large-scale manufacturing processes, hydrocarbon processing, and ‘on anode’ reforming.

Prabhakar Singh
Prabhakar Singh. Photo supplied by the School of Engineering

At FuelCell Energy, he led the development work on corrosion tolerant materials, creep tolerant electrodes, and process scale up.

Singh earned his Ph.D. in metallurgy at the University of Sheffield, England, and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. He holds more than 50 U.S. patents and trade secrets, and he has authored or co-authored more than 100 technical reports and papers, as well as three book chapters.

He is a Fellow of ASM International, the American Ceramic Society, and the National Association of Corrosion Engineers, and serves as chairman of the ASM Energy Committee.

He has received a number of honors and awards. He serves on the ASM Executive Committee and the editorial boards of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Ceramic Society.

The Connecticut Global Fuel Cell Center, established in 2001 with significant investment from Connecticut Innovations Inc. and Connecticut industries, is housed at Storrs.

Its mission is to become the world’s premier academic resource for advanced research, development, and technology transfer in fuel cell technologies.

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