A multidisciplinary course on fuel cells: Their science and engineering

Govindasamy Tamizhmani, Bradley Rogers, Raji Sundararajan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


The Arizona State University Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory (ASU-PTL) is one of only three accredited labs in the world for the design qualification of photovoltaic modules per IEC and other standards. The ASU-PTL is currently positioning itself to carry out independent performance and design evaluation of fuel cell systems as well. In addition to this, curricula are being developed that provide students with both theoretical and practical knowledge of fuel cell systems and their operations. This paper presents the details about the first introductory, multidisciplinary course that was developed and taught at ASU for the first time in the spring of 2003. The course is at the advanced undergraduate and graduate level. The goal of the course is to provide graduates with up to date knowledge and understanding of fuel cells and their supporting systems. In this course, students are exposed to concepts from electrochemistry, material science, chemical engineering, polymer science, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, manufacturing and electrical and electronics engineering as they apply to fuel cell systems. This is a true multidisciplinary course. The interdisciplinary nature of the course necessitates a team-teaching approach, and faculty with backgrounds in electrochemistry, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering deliver portions of the course. The course includes a theoretical portion, and a comprehensive practical portion in which the students build a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) and assemble, test and characterize this assembly as a single stage proton exchange membrane fuel cell. The lab training also consists of making bipolar plates needed for the interconnection of the cells for normal operations. The course was very well received and more work to refine the course is ongoing. Feedback from the students indicates a tremendous interest generated by the course, and several students intend to concentrate their graduate work in the fuel cell area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2004
EventASEE 2004 Annual Conference and Exposition, "Engineering Researchs New Heights" - Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Duration: Jun 20 2004Jun 23 2004


OtherASEE 2004 Annual Conference and Exposition, "Engineering Researchs New Heights"
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySalt Lake City, UT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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