For the past three months, Dr. John Sheffield, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla, has been living in Istanbul, staying out of the classroom but remaining focused on hydrogen energy.
Sheffield joined the $40 million International Centre for Hydrogen Energy Technologies (ICHET) staff in January and will stay for a full year. The ICHET, established in October 2003 by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the Turkish government, acts as a bridge between developed and developing countries to stimulate hydrogen energy applications.
One of the ways ICHET plans to promote the development of hydrogen energy applications is through various demonstration projects that will be located in five regions of the world. For example, one project will involve generating hydrogen from solar energy to meet the energy needs of a small community in Libya. Another project will involve replacing polluting diesel buses with a hydrogen bus in Turkey.
As associate director for projects and development, Sheffield is responsible for securing financing for the ICHET through these demonstration projects, research contracts, and fund-raising.
"Hydrogen energy technologies may not be commercially available yet; however, through subsidized demonstration projects, the manufacturers may establish their niche markets and gain valuable experience," Sheffield says.