Murray State University (MSU) professors Dr. Aleck Leedy and Dr. Kevin Miller recently received funding from KY NSF EPSCoR for the establishment of a Fuel Cell Laboratory on the MSU campus. The laboratory will support research and training of undergraduate engineering physics and chemistry students. Research studies will focus on the performance and durability of PEM (proton-exchange membrane) fuel cells which will employ novel, ion-containing polymeric membranes synthesized at Murray State.
Dr. Leedy, a professor of electrical engineering, and Dr. Miller, a professor of chemistry, decided to collaborate in establishing a Fuel Cell Laboratory that will provide students with the necessary equipment and environment to develop their much-needed practical skills in electrical engineering and chemistry. Over the past five years, Murray State has seen a significant rise in the number of students interested in pursuing careers related to materials and energy science, in part due to the Polymer and Material Science degree track offered by the Department of Chemistry. The Fuel Cell Laboratory will provide students in both engineering and chemistry with the opportunity to work on multidisciplinary research projects which focus on the chemical synthesis of membranes as well as their fabrication and testing. This hands-on experience will greatly enhance Murray State students’ abilities to enroll in competitive graduate programs and/or gain meaningful employment in energy-related industries.
“We have more students in our engineering physics program that are going to graduate school. These students need more opportunities at Murray State to conduct undergraduate research in prevalent areas such as fuel cells. The Fuel Cell Laboratory will provide those opportunities to our students. The laboratory has the potential to help students find employment in the power electronics industry, or provide more research opportunities in graduate school,” Leedy said.