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The California Council on Science and Technology, a nonpartisan advisory group chartered by the state Legislature in 1988, has identified “energy supply” as one of the top-10 science and technology issues facing California. At UC Irvine, scientists are leading a team to design the world’s first zero-emission, fossil-fuel-fired central power plant. Another project studies the use of biomass – including agriculture crop waste – to generate electricity in central plants. Researchers also are studying distributed generation, a relatively new trend toward producing power from a variety of sources such as stationary fuel cells closer to the end user to improve energy efficiency.

March 2006

Researchers with the Advanced Power and Energy Program work closely with the state and federal government to address the need for a reliable, cost-effective and environmentally acceptable energy supply. With this goal, researchers target increasingly safe and efficient forms of environmentally sustainable energy production. The program, affiliated with The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, has three components:

* The National Fuel Cell Research Center, established by Southern California Edison in 1992 and relocated to UCI in 1997, is recognized worldwide. The center was the first university fuel cell research program established in the United States and is recognized as the foremost fuel cell systems research program in the nation. For more information, visit

* The UCI Combustion Laboratory was founded in 1970 and is recognized as the most comprehensive university gas-turbine-combustion research program in the world. Combustion technologies used in centralized power plants produce more than 80 percent of the nation’s electricity. For more information, visit

* The Pacific Rim Consortium on Energy, Combustion and the Environment was established in 1992 to advance the evolution of energy- and environmental-control technologies and to encourage informed decision-making on issues relating to energy production, economic development and the environment. For more information, visit

Faculty experts:

Studying Fuel Cell Technology

Scott Samuelsen
, a professor of mechanical, aerospace and environmental engineering, directs the National Fuel Cell Research Center and the Advanced Power and Energy Program. His research focuses on combustion for stationary applications and propulsion. Samuelsen also studies fuel cell systems and hydrogen infrastructure for mobile hydrogen-fueled combustion and fuel cell vehicles. Samuelsen directs research on advanced coal and natural gas power plants for the co-production of electricity and hydrogen for the U.S. Department of Energy. He also serves on the Implementation Advisory Panel for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s California Hydrogen Highway Network. Samuelsen can be reached through Kathy Haq at 949-824-1999, ext.118, or
Additional contact: Jason Mednick at 949-824-5951 or

To Regulate or Not to Regulate

Peter Navarro, an associate professor of economics and public policy, researches growth management, industrial policy, public policy, electric utilities regulation, international regulation, trade advantage and computer-based learning. He wrote The Dimming of America, a critique of the electric utility industry and its regulators. He also authored The Policy Game , which examines issues ranging from rent control and protectionism to farm policy and the defense budget. His analysis of gas and oil prices, utility regulation, the energy crisis, and other economic issues have appeared in national newspapers. Navarro can be reached at 949-824-6225 or
Additional contact: Jason Mednick at 949-824-5951 or

Related Links

Advanced Power and Energy Program


National Fuel Cell Research Center


UCI Combustion Laboratory


Pacific Rim Consortium on Energy, Combustion and the Environment


Jason Mednick


NEWS RADIO: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. The use of this line is available for a fee to radio news programs/stations who wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is limited by availability and approval by the university.

EXPERTS: UCI maintains an online directory of faculty available as experts to the media. To access, visit Experts.
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