In much the same spirit as the national Solar Decathlon, where student teams construct a self-sustaining solar home, a contest from the National Hydrogen Association (NHA) will challenge student teams to build a hydrogen fueling station, adding to the collective national effort towards a future hydrogen economy.Washington, D.C., February 13, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The National Hydrogen Association (NHA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and ChevronTexaco have reached a new milestone in the First Annual University Student Hydrogen Design Contest. More than 20 teams have registered to submit their designs for a customized hydrogen fueling station. The competition requires that students plan their design with current technology so that, if built, the station could conceivably open by March 2006. Entries are due by March 3, 2004. “From what we have heard from the teams so far, we expect some very innovative designs from several highly motivated teams,” said Jeff Serfass, President of the NHA. “In comparison, many companies are investing real dollars in professional teams to design hydrogen fueling stations,” he added. “We are all very curious to see what the teams produce.” The Hydrogen Design Contest requires interdisciplinary teams of students to develop the technical design; conduct necessary safety, economic, and environmental analyses; and outline a marketing/education campaign to raise public support for hydrogen as a vehicle fuel. The Grand Prize-winning team will present their design to the public at the 15th Annual U.S. Hydrogen Conference and Hydrogen Expo U.S.A, held April 26-30, 2004, in Los Angeles, California. Four Honorable Mention teams will also present their designs as exhibition posters and receive free conference entry. All winning designs will be published for attendees in the conference proceedings. To date, the 20 teams of up to 10 members represent more than 140 graduate and undergraduate students from the United States and Canada who are engaged in helping our nation achieve the vision of a hydrogen economy. President Bush communicated the hydrogen vision in his 2003 State of the Union address, proposing $1.2 billion in research funding to overcome technical barriers so that “the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen and be emission-free.” TheHydrogen Design Contest will connect students with government and industry in pursuit of hydrogen development. “Public-private partnerships play a critical role in shaping the hydrogen pathway,” said Rick Zalesky, president of hydrogen for ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures. “That is why we are proud to join with the National Hydrogen Association and the Department of Energy to sponsor the 1st Annual University Student Hydrogen Design Contest. This generation plays an influential role in developing the transportation technology and fueling solutions of tomorrow. This forum provides an opportunity for students to share their vision and for industry to learn more about what’s on the minds of students today.” In addition to the title sponsors, Natural Resources Canada will participate as a Hydrogen Mentor. Hydrogen Mentors have an active seat on the contest judging panel and support the registration of 10 additional students to the April Hydrogen Conference. For more information about becoming a Hydrogen Mentor, the contest, including contest guidelines and important deadlines, please visit the following link.