Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition

2019 Baker Award

2019 Baker Award

2019 Dr. Bernard S. Baker award

Are you a Student?  Apply for the Dr. Baker Student Award Today!

All students are invited to apply for the Dr. Bernard S. Baker Student Award for Fuel Cell Research.

Application Details

All applications must include the following:

  • Completed Application Form - Download PDF Form here

  • Curriculum Vitae (limited to 2 pages)

  • Synopsis of research performed and future plans in a fuel cell related field (limited to 3 pages)

  • Recommendation letter by a professor/advisor

  • Proof of academic performance (courses taken and grades)

About the Award

The purpose of the award is to encourage and recognize exceptional students in the field of fuel cell related technologies. Dr. Baker was a pioneer in the fuel cell industry, and was himself a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship as part of his graduate work in carbonate fuel cells in The Netherlands.

Selection of finalists will be based on quality of completed or proposed research work in a fuel cell related field. The applications will be received and evaluated prior to the kickoff of the 2019 Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition (FCS&EE) and the award will be announced and presented at the FCS&EE in Long Beach, California.

The awards consist of an award certificate, a cash award, as well as complimentary registration to the 2019 FCS&EE. The Grand Prize winner will be invited to present their research during the poster session.

Eligibility & Award Prizes

All currently enrolled graduate or undergraduate students pursuing research in a fuel cell related field are eligible for consideration. Applications from outside the United States are also welcome.

Prizes will be awarded as follows:

  • Baker Student Award (Grand Prize) – The student awarded the Grand Prize will receive a cash award, a certificate, one complimentary conference registration, and a poster on their winning research.

  • Second Place – The student awarded second place will receive a cash prize and one complimentary conference registration.

  • Third Place – The student awarded third place will receive a cash prize and one complimentary conference registration.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Quality of Work and Results (based on synopsis in application package), including level of student contribution to the work accomplished (ability of student to answer questions at the Fuel Cell Seminar)

  • Recommendation Letter

  • Academic Performance

  • Future Plans in a Fuel Cell Related Field

About Dr. Bernard S. Baker


Dr. Bernard S. Baker of Bethel, Connecticut, was a pioneer in the field of electrochemistry whose career spanned 45 years. He was a founder and served as president, chief executive officer and chairman of Energy Research Corporation (now called FuelCell Energy, Inc., Danbury, Conn.), developer and manufacturer of fuel cells used to generate electric power. Power plants based on his concepts are providing electricity in locations throughout the world.

Dr. Baker was known worldwide as an expert in electrochemical systems. He directed research in and development of various electrochemical power generation devices, including different types of fuel cells, batteries and hybrid systems. Dr. Baker’s expertise encompassed fundamental research as well as the technological, engineering, system and marketing aspects of these systems.

A vision of clean and quiet electric power

Most fuel cells require hydrogen to be extracted from the fuel source (such as natural gas) before it can be used in the fuel cell. Dr. Baker envisioned a system that bypassed this step, allowing fuel to be sent directly to the fuel cell. When Baker started work on these so-called “Direct Fuel Cells” they were no larger than a silver dollar and generated a few milliwatts. Today, systems based on his designs are powering commercial and industrial facilities throughout the world.

A lifetime of fuel cell research, development and commercialization

Baker received his bachelors and masters degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and was a Post-Graduate Fulbright Fellow at the Laboratory for Electrochemistry, University of Amsterdam, before earning a doctorate from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1969. His doctoral thesis was also on fuel cell heat transfer and internal reforming.

Before joining Energy Research Corporation, Baker was Director of Basic Sciences at the Institute of Gas Technology in Chicago, where he directed research in the area of energy conversion and fuel cells. Before that, he was Senior Scientist at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Missiles & Space Division, where he was responsible for research on Carbonate Fuel Cell systems and electrochemical kinetic studies.

Dr. Baker is a major contributor to the field of fuel cell research, development and commercialization. He was issued 20 U.S. patents relating to fuel cells and other electrochemical systems. He authored more than 100 publications, including technical papers, books and symposia proceedings on the subject of fuel cells. Dr. Baker was a well-known expert in fuel cell systems and actively contributed to many technology developments and breakthroughs in the field.

In 1999, he received the prestigious Grove Medal, which was presented in conjunction with the Sixth Grove Fuel Cell Symposium in London and is awarded to acknowledge an individual or company that has made valuable contributions toward the development and success of fuel cell technology.

At the time of the award, the Chairman of the Grove Symposium Steering Committee said: “Dr. Bernard S. Baker devoted his entire professional career to develop and promote fuel cells. In the beginning as a scientist, finally as a top manager he dealt with various fuel cells including alkaline, phosphoric acid and molten carbonate technologies. Dr. Baker personifies a remarkable combination of scientific capabilities and management skills. This unique blend enabled him not only to have many patents on fuel cell related inventions and to issue more than 100 fuel cell publications but to build up one of the world wide leading companies in the carbonate fuel cell technology.”

Dr. Baker received the Cecil J. Previdi Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit and Business Leadership in 1995. He was invited as a Ralph E. Peck Lecturer at Illinois Institute of Technology in 1994.

Biographical information

Bernard Baker was born in Philadelphia on June 26, 1936 and was the son of the late William Victor Baker and the late Bessie (Weinstein) Baker. Dr. Baker died on June 21, 2004. The DR. BERNARD S. BAKER STUDENT AWARD FOR FUEL CELL RESEARCH instituted by the Fuel Cell Seminar in 2005, to encourage and recognize exceptional students in the pursuit of fuel cell research, is a living tribute to the memory of Dr. Baker.

2017 Winners:   

1st Place: $3,000 - Su Jeong Heo, Ph.D candidate, University of Connecticut

Research is focused on developing knowledge base that will allow for obtaining longer life of fuel cell stacks and in particular mechanistic understanding of the growth mechanisms of LiAlO2 in molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) matrix.  Also the mitigation of electrode poisoning at solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC).

2nd Place: $2,000 - Abhishek Bagusetty, University of Pittsburgh

Designing and developing novel materials and a multi-scale proton transport theory and it's associated software to simulate engineering scale phenomena for anhydrous proton transport fuel cell membrane.

3rd Place: $1,000 - Yi-Lin Huang, University of Maryland

Work focuses on fundamental understanding of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and the hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) occurring on SOFC electrodes.