Education and Outreach Efforts of the NHA Make a Difference

by Lara Neer, Program Coordinator, The National Hydrogen Association
The NHA’s 1999-2000 Education and Outreach (E&O) grant came to a close on 30 June 2000. All work on the six tasks within this funding cycle was completed and a Final Report including all deliverables is being written. The project, “ Developing a Partnership with Government and Industry to Accelerate the Commercialization of Hydrogen Technologies” continues to thrive under the direction of Robert Mauro and Karen Miller. Mr. Mauro and Ms. Miller attended the Department of Energy’s Hydrogen Program Peer Review in San Ramon, California the week of May 8th to promote and represent the NHA and its important outreach efforts. The NHAs E&O work was reviewed by a panel of independent experts selected for their technical expertise. The response from these experts regarding the NHA’s contributions and program elements was a resounding “YES, Keep up the Good Work!” The NHA ranked second among the thirty - three projects in the Storage, Utilization, Safety and Analysis, and Technology Transfer category. The consensus statement from the reviewing panel stated that “The Panel feels that the NHA is effectively providing important linkages between government and industry through its work in the areas of information exchange, codes and standards development, and commercialization/implementation planning. The Panel supports the NHA’s specific plans for next year in these areas.” There can not be a more powerful indication that the NHA’s program is serving a vital need in the hydrogen community.

Success was the name of the game for the NHA this year. From the unveiling of the brochure at the 11th Annual Meeting to the launching of the new Members’ Only website, NHA rose to the occasion. The brochure was a major accomplishment that brought together information on the members and the hydrogen community as well as the codes and standards work of the NHA. The brochure was so well received that many members requested copies in bulk for their own distribution purposes. NHA staff gave away more than 1,000 of the brochures at the EarthFair held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. during Earth Day celebrations. Education of the public through the NHA website was another key element of the program. The website received approximately 8,765 hits per week and this trend shows no sign of ending. “Correcting History: Hydrogen and the Hindenburg” is now available through streaming video. Back issues of the NHA News are also available to any interested party on the Internet.

Members were kept informed through quarterly issues of the NHA News as well as bi-monthly issues of the H2Digest. A PowerPoint slide library was developed for the exclusive use of members of the NHA. Members can access this library by going to the Members’ Only section of the website. There are currently two presentations available for use and they cover NHA activities in codes and standards and hydrogen’s role in the future of energy. Additional presentations will be added as they are developed.

An Industry Perspective Workshop was held on 26 October 1999 to address revisions to the Hydrogen Commercialization Plan, and therefore the Implementation Plan. In light of progress made towards reaching the near term goals of the Commercialization Plan, the objective was for participants to recommend changes to the goal and non-goal recommendations of the Commercialization Plan that would then be passed on to the Industry Perspective Committee for review. The workshop drew twenty-three attendees and significant review of the documents was accomplished. The changes recommended by the workshop participants were then passed on to the Industry Perspective Committee and subsequently to the Board of Directors. On 1 March 2000 the membership of the NHA voted to approve the changes to the Plans. Proceedings were produced and are available to members.

The NHA plans to continue E&O efforts through a recently-awarded grant that will fund NHA programs through 15 July 2001. Most importantly, NHA’s website will be upgraded and expanded to accommodate our vision and the requests of member organizations. The addition of the Members’ Only section on the website has proved very beneficial for NHA staff and membership. If you have not been to that section please check it out soon. If you don’'t remember the password, contact Brian Schorr at 202.223.5547 or at [email protected] for information. Currently, the site posts ISO documents that are for the review and comment of the membership. This information and your response to it is necessary if safety codes and standards with broad consensus are to be developed. Mr. Mauro and Ms. Miller take member responses to the ISO meetings thereby giving U.S. manufacturers and developers of hydrogen technologies a voice in the international standards arena.

Reports that the NHA sends to DOE will be posted on the Members’ Only website so that everyone is kept abreast of progress being made. Our goal is to steadily increase the breadth and depth of the information posted in this section. If any member believes that there is information not presently on the site that would be beneficial, please contact NHA staff at [email protected] or via the phone at +202.223.5547.

Without our members, none of the NHA’s Education and Outreach efforts could have progressed as they did this past year. Your support has enabled the NHA to contribute in varied areas such as international standards and near-term hydrogen technology implementation scenarios. NHA will continue to represent our members’ interests in every way possible. We would like to thank all of our members for the sponsorship, participation, and assistance that allows us as an organization to champion the cause of hydrogen as the energy for today and the next millennium.

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