Hydrogen Community Loses a Dear Friend
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by Lara Neer, Program Manager, National Hydrogen Association
Dr. Zweig receiving the NHA Education and Outreach Award from Venki Raman in 1998.
On February 15, 2002 Dr. Robert M. Zweig, a leading hydrogen advocate since the late sixties, died. The hydrogen community has lost a strong proponent and friend. Dr. Zweig died of complications from leukemia at the Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center, where he was a founder and board member. 

Dr. Zweig’s passion was to improve the air quality in Southern California, and in this pursuit he became one of the greatest advocates of hydrogen energy in the world. Dr. Zweig was a founding member of several influential hydrogen organizations including Clean Air Now (CAN), the Clean Air Institute and the International Association for Hydrogen Energy. Under his leadership these organizations promoted hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels and as the pathway to a pollution-free environment. 

He was among the first to actively advocate a hydrogen energy policy at local, state and federal levels. Jeff Serfass, NHA President, said “Dr. Zweig‘s pulmonary basis for his hydrogen interest, combined with his medical data on the harm of air pollution to our health and economic well being, made him among the most effective in urging changes to our transportation systems. His convictions were based only on his medical judgement about what is best for us all.” 

He received many accolades for his endeavors. In 2000, SunLine Transit Agency dedicated the Zweig Education Building at their Thousand Palms, California headquarters, and he received the Jules Verne Award for his lifetime contribution to hydrogen energy development at the 13th World Hydrogen Energy Conference in Beijing, China. In 2001, the Riverside County Medical Association presented the Outstanding Contribution to Medicine and the Community Award to Dr. Zweig. 

In 1998 the NHA presented Dr. Zweig its Public Education and Outreach award for his tireless efforts in advocating hydrogen energy systems to mitigate the health effects of auto emissions. In recognition of his life and achievements, the NHA Board of Directors has resolved that the award shall hereafter be known as the Dr. Robert M. Zweig Public Education and Outreach Award. 

Clean Air Now has established the Zweig Memorial Scholarship Fund in Dr. Zweig’s memory. If you would like to make a donation to the fund, you may send it to Clean Air Now, 4075 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, California, 92501.

©2002. All Rights Reserved. A Publication of the National Hydrogen Association.
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