Thomas “Tom” Fuller is a professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His primary area of research focuses on the design, development, and testing of battery, fuel-cell, and hybrid power systems. “We know how to make really great fuel cells and batteries that minimize environmental impacts, but the costs of making these batteries are prohibitive for many applications,” he discloses. “My research focuses on helping understand how to make electrochemical systems more durable and longer lasting, which ultimately lowers their life-cycle costs.”
Fuller, along with colleagues David Taylor and Michael Leamy, are faculty advisors to EcoCAR, an international student competition organized by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors, and MathWorks. The program is managed by Argonne National Laboratory, and the most recent four-year competition, the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, started in 2018. Twelve university teams are tasked with applying advanced propulsion systems as well as connected and automated vehicle technologies to improve the energy efficiency, safety, and consumer appeal of the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer. This current round of the competition is specifically focused on the car-sharing market. “These competitions provide a rich educational opportunity for engineering students across departments to collaborate in the design of a vehicle and get their hands dirty trying out different solutions to balance environmental and performance objectives.”
Learn more about Fuller’s research here.