Dr Shaun Chan, Associate Professor at the UNSW School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, has been officially endorsed as a Mid-Career Fellow in the CSIRO International Hydrogen Research Program. The program is designed to support research in areas of critical national importance, by providing early to mid-career researchers in Australia the valuable opportunity to collaborate with overseas counterparts.

The program has so far awarded 22 fellowships to researchers across Australia, in two rounds. The third and possibly final round will be held later in the year.

Dr Chan's focus during this fellowship will be on advancing an innovative clean hydrogen solution developed at UNSW, known as hydrogen diesel dual-fuel direct injection (H2DDI) technology. This technology holds promise for stationary power generation, particularly in the context of grid-firming scenarios.

“My efforts will be dedicated to advancing the technology's capacity to adapt swiftly to changing energy demands and fuel supply conditions. This adaptability will be achieved through precise control of hydrogen and diesel fuel injection timing and energy proportions, ultimately bolstering operational flexibility and grid stability,” says Dr Chan.

The anticipated outcomes of this fellowship are aligned with the objectives of the International Hydrogen Research Collaboration Program. They aim to address challenges and opportunities in the clean hydrogen industry, particularly concerning grid-firming operations, which are expected to gain increasing significance with the growing integration of variable renewable energy into the grid.

Furthermore, the advancements in this technology are expected to broaden the spectrum of hydrogen's applications, potentially reducing production costs through economies of scale. This development aligns with the program's overarching goal of advancing low-emission technology in Australia, simultaneously enhancing value and reducing costs across the entire hydrogen value chain.

“During the course of the fellowship, I will have the privilege of visiting esteemed researchers at Shanghai Jiaotong University in China, the Technical University of Denmark, and MAN Energy Solutions, which is a global engine developer and manufacturer for power generation and marine applications in Denmark,” says Dr Chan.

“This collaborative endeavour is geared towards strengthening partnerships and fostering long-term knowledge-sharing mechanisms and networking opportunities. Such collaboration resonates with the program's aim of positioning Australian clean hydrogen research to harness global innovations and investments, thus promoting Australian interests.”