The German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (DWV) has reelected its board members to serve in their current capacities for another two years. Efforts undertaken in the last two had borne fruit, its chairman, Werner Diwald, said at the annual meeting, held May 30. He added that much had been accomplished in Germany and throughout Europe. The next goal was to professionalize the organization as soon as possible.
He said that hydrogen and fuel cells were mentioned seven times in the coalition agreement signed by the governing parties in Germany and that the European Union was taking note of them, too, both developments he attributed to the lobbying efforts of his organization, also known as DWV. Continuing those with the same vigor would require some restructuring, he explained.
It was for this reason that the board of the association, which has grown to over 100 organizations and around 230 individuals, had been in talks with prospective association partners, such as the BVES for energy storage and the DVGW for gas and water, to establish a shared office.
Its members seem to trust current management to tackle the challenges ahead, as they reelected the entire board at the meeting. This means that changes in personnel will have to wait for at least another two years.
Junior researchers get recognized for their work
This year, the award for the best dissertation went to Matthias Breitwieser, who invented a new technique to produce membrane electrode assemblies. Breitwieser, a recent PhD graduate, who works at the University of Freiburg’s microsystems engineering department, and Matthias Klingele, one of his colleagues, had received an f-cell award as early as 2015, after developing an ionomer membrane that, in liquid form, can be ink-jet printed or sprayed onto a fuel cell (see H2-international, April 2016). Based on that research, he improved the process, further reducing the platinum loading while increasing stability, to create a new multilayer composite membrane (more on this in the October issue).
Marius Holst was presented with the award for the best master thesis. He explored options to use waste heat from power-to-gas systems, investigating several ideas for pipeline injection to heat homes and design an integrated energy system that combines electricity generation, heat production and transportation (see October issue).
Karsten Maybee received an award for his bachelor thesis about industrial membrane coatings. Professor Birgit Scheppat, the association’s vice chairwoman, stressed the fact that the young researcher had taken the exam as a part-time learner, that is, he had studied and worked a regular job.
The event was hosted by Salzgitter Flachstahl, which invited attendees to tour its factory after the end of the agenda. And Alstom Transport Deutschland, also based in Salzgitter, offered a test ride on its new Coradia iLint fuel cell railcar.