Educating Engineers and Scientists of the Future

Our laboratory considers teaching and advising as key ingredients in advancing our students’ objectives. The laboratory is affiliated with several Stanford undergraduate and graduate courses:

  • ME260 Fuel Cell Science and Technology
  • ME420 Applied Electrochemistry at Micro- and Nanoscale
  • ME440 Electronic States and Transitions in Quantum Confined Structures
  • ME113 Mechanical Engineering Design Capstone Course
  • ME232 Additive Manufacuring from Fundamentals to Applications
  • ME 403 Quantum Field Theory (QFT) for Engineering Applications
  • ME413 Quantum Confinement Structures


Mechanical engineering design is experienced by students as they work on team projects. During the Spring Quarter ME113 course, the students on the Roof Rack Design team focused on mounting solar cells to a car roof rack without permanent attachment or damage to the roof, with favorable aerodynamic performance, and with compliance to high margins of safety when the product encountered high winds or driving speeds. Equipping vehicles with solar panels can provide a valuable source of power while both driving and stationary.

Students in the ME113 class with their presentation and prototype for easier car access for individuals with more limited mobility.
Student teams built the solar panel and the frame to support it. The rack was built to maximize the number of solar cells on the roof and aerodynamic properties. Two systems operated the frame, which allowed for rotation to maximize exposure to the sun.

A Design Thinking Process

This Design Thinking process first defines the problem and then implements the solutions, always with the needs of the user demographic at the core of concept development. This process focuses on need finding, understanding, creating, thinking, and doing. At the core of this process is a bias towards action and creation: by creating and testing something, you can continue to learn and improve upon your initial ideas.

This design thinking process consists of these 5 steps:


Work to fully understand the experience of the user for whom you are designing. Do this through observation, interaction, and immersing yourself in their experiences.


Process and synthesize the findingsfrom your empathy work in order to form a user point of view that you will address with your design.


Explore a wide variety of possible solutions through generating a large quantity of diverse possible solutions, allowing you to step beyond the obvious and explore a range of ideas.


Transform your ideas into a physical form so that you can experience and interact with them and, in the process, learn and develop more empathy.


Try out high-resolution products and use observations and feedback to refine prototypes, learn more about the user, and refine your original point of view.


For more information on this process check out the the way of working.

Instructors for Spring Quarter 2016-17 are Fritz B. Prinz and Bernie Roth. ME 113 is a Capstone course.

Fuel Cell Fundamentals

3rd Edition, May 2016

Authors: Ryan O’Hayre, Sun-Won Cha, Whitney Colella and Fritz B. Prinz

A complete, up-to-date, introductory guide to fuel cell technology and application

Fuel Cell Fundamentals provides a thorough introduction to the principles and practicalities behind fuel cell technology. Beginning with the underlying concepts, the discussion explores fuel cell thermodynamics, kinetics, transport, and modeling before moving into the application side with guidance on system types and design, performance, costs, and environmental impact. This new third edition has been updated with the latest technological advances and relevant calculations, and enhanced chapters on advanced fuel cell design and electrochemical and hydrogen energy systems. Worked problems, illustrations, and application examples throughout lend a real-world perspective, and end-of chapter review questions and mathematical problems reinforce the material learned.

Fuel cells produce more electricity than batteries or combustion engines, with far fewer emissions. This book is the essential introduction to the technology that makes this possible, and the physical processes behind this cost-saving and environmentally friendly energy source.

  • Understand the basic principles of fuel cell physics
  • Compare the applications, performance, and costs of different systems
  • Master the calculations associated with the latest fuel cell technology
  • Learn the considerations involved in system selection and design

As more and more nations turn to fuel cell commercialization amidst advancing technology and dropping deployment costs, global stationary fuel cell revenue is expected to grow from $1.4 billion to $40.0 billion by 2022. The sector is forecasted to explode, and there will be a tremendous demand for high-level qualified workers with advanced skills and knowledge of fuel cell technology. Fuel Cell Fundamentals is the essential first step toward joining the new energy revolution.