American Councils Announces Fuel Cell Rose Education Award

October 08, 2018

WASHINGTON—In celebration of National Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Day, aptly named for the atomic weight, 1.008, of element number one—hydrogen—American Councils for International Education announces its plans to establish the “Fuel Cell Rose Education Award.”

This award is a tribute to Robert Rose, who founded the US Fuel Cell Council in 1998, the national trade association for fuel cell technologies in the US, which ultimately became the Fuel Cell Hydrogen Energy Association. Mr. Rose served as its executive director for over a decade and as an advisor to its successor and to the US Department of Energy. He is well known worldwide for his Fuel Cells 2000 program, launched in 1993 through his education nonprofit Breakthrough Technologies Institute, and for his leadership over 35 years as an advisor to government agencies, congressional members, and NGOs as one of the first advocates for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, paving the way for the US Department of Energy’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Program in the 1990s.

Aligned with American Councils programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education—and its motto “we prepare citizens, institutions, and nations to succeed in tomorrow's world,”—the Fuel Cell Rose award will help prepare global leaders of the future in the emerging technology areas of hydrogen and fuel cells.

The education award program, administered by American Councils, plans to solicit doctoral and master’s students or recent graduates to spend nine months to one year at a Department of Energy national laboratory or other organization engaged in hydrogen or fuel cell research. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) plans to host the first award recipient and other host organizations may follow in future years.

In the spirit of both international education and providing opportunities for US citizens, the award will be open to doctoral/master’s students or recent graduates from an accredited institution so they can gain leadership skills and valuable information that will improve global collaboration and community building in this emerging field. In the first year, the award recipient will focus on hydrogen safety research at PNNL, the lead lab for, an internationally recognized portal for hydrogen and fuel cell related information. Exposing the next generation of scientists and engineers to cutting-edge capabilities and tools for hydrogen fuel cell infrastructure and safety R&D will allow them to apply best practices and lessons learned as they enter the workforce and propel the industry forward.

“It’s gratifying to see all the progress in fuel cell and hydrogen technologies,” said Mr. Rose. “More than 70,000 commercial fuel cells were shipped worldwide last year and there are now more than 5,000 fuel cell cars and 20,000 fuel cell-powered forklifts in the US. Thirty-five retail hydrogen stations are open today and 200 more are planned. I’m happy to have been a part of the community behind that progress.”

American Councils will also work with Breakthrough Technologies Institute (BTI) to implement the Fuel Cell Rose award.

“Given Bob Rose’s seminal role in BTI, its Board of Directors is changing the organization’s name to Rose Institute of Strategic Energy (RISE),” said JoAnn Milliken, the president of BTI. “RISE will continue to promote clean energy technologies through education and outreach activities, with a focus on fuel cells and hydrogen infrastructure.”    

American Councils President Lorne Craner was thrilled to announce the new award. 

“Fuel cells ‘rose’ through Bob Rose and, given his contributions to American Councils as a board member, it’s an honor to be able to launch this award in his name – especially on National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day,” he said.