Student research fuels the future
This model car - a prototype hybrid motor vehicle using a hydrogen fuel cell - was one of the many fine examples of student research on display at the University of Adelaide last month.
Four Schools within the Faculty of Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Sciences all held their final-year student project exhibitions last month, showcasing dozens of amazing works to the general public and members of industry.
The model hydrogen hybrid car was designed and built by Chemical Engineering students Tim Kenefick, Kong Jin Lee, Sanjeet Marwah, Girish Prem Kumar and George Zabanias, under the supervision of Dr Chris Colby.
Mr Kenefick said hydrogen storage had presented a challenge to commercial carmakers looking at hydrogen as an alternative fuel supply, but the student team had got around this by storing the gas in solid form, instead of in a compressed-gas tank.
"We've learnt a lot from the project, and we hope it's been a step in the right direction for the use of hydrogen fuel cells in cars. With the right backing and investment, hydrogen really could be the basis for the next generation of vehicles," Mr Kenefick said.
The model car was one of many student research projects in the engineering exhibitions that dealt with alternative energy and fuel sources, with new ideas and innovations that could impact on our everyday lives in years to come.
"The breadth of student talent and the potential implications of this work for the future are always fascinating to see," said the Head of the School of Chemical Engineering, Professor Keith King.
He said the final-year exhibition "brings the students in even closer contact with members of industry and government, some of whom have already become new employers of these students".
Story by David Ellis