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technical leadership

Professor Scott Samuelsen

Scott Samuelsen, Ph.D.
Director, Advanced Power and Energy Program

Dr. Samuelsen is the director of the Advanced Power and Energy Program, and Henry Samueli Endowed Chair and Professor of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Environmental Engineering. He also serves as director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center and the UCI Combustion Laboratory. Working closely with industry, public agencies and academic colleagues throughout the world, he leads research on combustion technologies for stationary and propulsive applications, fuel cells and fuel cell systems for stationary applications, and the development of hydrogen infrastructure for mobile hydrogen-fueled combustion and fuel cell vehicles. He also directs research on advanced near zero-emission coal and natural gas power plants that co-produce electricity and hydrogen. Samuelsen co-chairs the California Stationary Fuel Cell Collaborative and was an invited member of the advisory panel that developed the blueprint for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s California Hydrogen Highway Network Initiative. He holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Jack Brouwer

Jack Brouwer, Ph.D.
Associate Director, National Fuel Cell Research Center

Dr. Brouwer is Associate Director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. His expertise encompasses energy systems, fuel cells, thermodynamic and dynamic systems analyses, solid state ionics, combustion, turbulent reacting flows, computational fluid dynamics, detailed chemical kinetics, and the design and operation of advanced experimental facilities for emerging energy technologies. Brouwer is part of the executive committee that organizes the annual ASME International Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology Conference, and regularly presents workshops and short courses targeting the advancement of power generation technology utilizing fuel cell systems. Prior to joining the NFCRC, Brouwer was on the faculty at the University of Utah, served as a senior engineer at Reaction Engineering International, and as a staff scientist at Sandia National Laboratories. Brouwer holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering and chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Vince McDonell

Vincent McDonell, Ph.D.
Associate Director, UCI Combustion Laboratory

Dr. McDonell is Associate Director of the UCI Combustion Laboratory and an Adjunct Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He has more than 20 years experience in the design, operation, and characterization of continuous combustion and spray systems. His current research focuses on the study of auto-ignition, flashback and emissions, and the development, characterization and monitoring of integrated gas turbine systems. This work includes the development of fuel injection and combustion systems for fuel flexible low emission gas, the development and application of standard test protocols for microturbine generators, and field demonstration studies of combined-heat-and-power systems. McDonell is actively engaged in the Institute of Atomization and Spray Systems and the Western States Section of The Combustion Institute. He is co-director of the Pacific Clean Energy Application Center. McDonell received a doctorate in mechanical engineering from UC Irvine.

Ashok Rao

Ashok Rao, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist, Power Systems

Dr. Rao is Chief Scientist for Power Systems in the Advanced Power and Energy Program. He worked in industry for more than 30 years prior to joining UC Irvine. He previously was a director in process engineering and a senior fellow with Fluor. He has worked extensively in the design and development of coal and gas-fired power plants, gasification, synthetic fuels plants, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and use of biomass as feedstock for a sustainable future. Rao is the recipient of several patent awards in the area of energy conversion, including a patent for the Humid Air Turbine (HAT) cycle, an advanced gas turbine-based cycle. He is the author of several papers on advanced power cycles and improved Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) designs and engaged today with advanced Integrated Gasification Fuel Cell (IGFC) and oxy-combustion plant designs. He holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering from UC Irvine.

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