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This conference has had great success as the premier conference bringing together the polymer community and fuel cell scientists. Our objective is to engage a broad spectrum of the polymer community in meeting the needs of this technology. Thus, we have generally scheduled talks that present the vision of the funding agencies and industry to provide perspective followed by talks from leading researchers in proton-conducting electrolyte synthesis, characterization, processing and application. In 2017, we maintained our historical key focus on polymer membranes for fuel cells but broadened our interests to include anion exchange membranes, lithium and flow battery membranes, water electrolysis membranes, hydrogen electrolysis membranes, photoelectrochemical cell membranes and related areas. To attract the attention of a broader cross section of researchers, the title of the conference was modified to represent this expanded view. Many of the challenges in these related areas are the development of new polymers for membranes, structure and morphology investigations, structure-property relationships and effects on ionic conductivity, durability and lifetime studies. These interests are common among researchers and the conference will look to build overlaps and synergies across the efforts to find new polymer membranes with improved properties and performance. Finally, extensive poster sessions presented an opportunity for students and newcomers to ‘show their stuff’ to the community. The poster sessions have historically been an extremely active part of the conference. In 2019, we plan to use the same successful format as in the past, but more extensive advertising on the scope is expected to draw attendees from a broader pool of scientists and engineers.
Brian Benicewicz, Ph.D.
University of South Carolina
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
541 Main St., Horizon I Building
Columbia, SC 29208
Michael Hickner, Ph.D.
The Pennsylvania State University
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering
405 Steidle Building
State College, PA 16801
Tom Zawodzinski, Ph.D.
University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
442 Dougherty Engineering Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-2200
Organizing team also includes
Steve Hamrock, 3M Fuel Cell Components Program
Andy Herring, Colorado School of Mines
John Kerr, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Yu Seung Kim, Los Alamos National Labs
Cortney Mittelsteadt, Giner Electrochemical Systems
Robert B. Moore, Virginia Tech
Bryan S. Pivovar, National Renewable Energy Lab