On January 14, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy appointed Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering professor and chair Mohsen A. Jafari as a member of the recently established New Jersey Fuel Cell Task Force.
“This appointment is a real honor for me as it aligns both my research interests in clean energy advancement and my desire to help the state explore opportunities associated with fuel cell initiatives,” says Jafari who also leads the Laboratory for Energy Smart Systems (LESS) at Rutgers. “I’ve worked for the state on a number of related projects, and now being a member of this task force will enable me to continue to help New Jersey reach its clean energy goals.”
As both a professor and researcher, Jafari has long focused on green and renewable energy. His experience includes serving as project director for Rutgers’ New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJ-BPU) funded program on CHP (combined heat and power) Fuel Cell Evaluation in 2017.
In the years since, he has also directed other NJ-BPU-funded projects on energy storage, town center microgrids, and off-shore wind energy.
The 15-member task force within the NJ-BPU was established by law in 2020 with a mandate to increase the adoption of clean energy alternatives and boost the market for fuel cell technologies. Fuel cells convert chemical energy into electricity by facilitating the combining of hydrogen and oxygen to make water -- and power everything from generators and laptops to forklifts and motor vehicles.
According to a statement released by the sponsors of the bill that established the task force, it is expected to speed the state’s adoption of fuel cell technologies by developing policy recommendations and a course of regulatory action. By expanding the applications of fuel cell technology, the task force will be able to help power New Jersey’s transition from fossil fuels to cleaner power sources – and enable it to meet its goal of 100% clean energy by 2050.