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Australian Hydrogen Research Conference 2023

Australian Hydrogen Research Conference 2023 Conference committee
Conference committee (L to R), Aleks Kalinowski (Geoscience Australia), Andrew Dicks (AHRN), Dan O’Sulivan (CSIRO), Ken Baldwin (ANU), Andrew Feitz (GA), Paul Medwell (Adelaide University), Bahman Shabani (RMIT), Siva Karuturi (ANU, and conference chair), Mahshid Firouzi (Newcastles University).

After months of preparation, we had a hugely successful first conference earlier this month, the hall at the ANU Kambri Centre could barely take the 326 actual attendees. The conference was opened by Jenny McAllister, the Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy in the Albanese Labor Government, after which we were inspired by a talk given by Dr Alan Finkel, former Chief Scientist of Australia and architect of the National Hydrogen Strategy. Download his speech.

The conference program was a mixture of plenary sessions and four parallel sessions over the three days all of which illustrated both the breadth and depth of research being undertaken by participants in Australia and in other countries. We were especially pleased to welcome the ExCo members of the International Energy Agency Hydrogen Technology Collaboration Program, the DFAT delegation from ASEAN countries and other visitors from overseas.

Special thanks to co-chair Prof Ken Baldwin from ANU and the conference committee (above) for bringing the event together. A special mention to Andrew Feitz and the people at Geoscience Australia who facilitated site visits the day before the conference. These were greatly appreciated, especially by our overseas visitors.

Several people have remarked afterwards that this research conference had an amazing buzz from the opening reception right to the end. There was no drifting away of delegates that is often the case with other conferences. There was a lot to take on board, sessions were often filled to overcapacity (note for next time), but even so 219 of the delegates attended the dinner at the National Museum of Australia. This was a great location for researchers to interact and explore future cooperation in a relaxing setting. It was obvious to the organising committee that this was to be the first of many hydrogen research conferences.

AHRN to become a non-profit association.

During the AHRC2023 dinner it was announced that this year the AHRN will become a subscription-based non-profit association. Whilst maintaining our close associations with hydrogen stakeholders such as the CSIRO, this will give the research community greater freedom to organise its own events and other activities. Building on what has been achieved over the past 18 months, the new arrangements should promote greater collaboration both within Australia and internationally.

We propose the following grades of membership for hydrogen researchers and stakeholders: Member, Graduate, Student, and Retired/Emeritus.

Further details of the new association and rules will be published in a future newsletter but the following are the expected benefits that the new association will be able to provide members:

  • Monthly newsletters and research seminars
  • In-person seminars and site visits at reduced membership rates
  • Access to hydrogen activities such as Standards Australia, the Engineers Australia Hydrogen Technical Series, other training modules.
  • Opportunity to contribute to topical papers in hydrogen*
  • Reduced registration rates for Australian Hydrogen Research conferences.
  • A website CMS platform and blog for members
  • Access to international research fellowships, projects and funding
  • Links with other relevant organizations including clusters, hubs and government agencies
  • Establish industry standards (for example, the first Australian Community of Practice for Hydrogen Safety is being drafted by a AHRN Working Group) 
  • Annual peer nominated awards
  • Opportunity to apply for research governance committees and panels

* Our first topical status paper is “Hydrogen Production by Water Electrolysis – an introduction to the technologies and their status.

Anyone interested in taking an more active role in the AHRN as we move to a new association format should contact Andrew Dicks at or phone 0458077727.

Hydrogen R&D Status Report

The status of hydrogen R&D has now been summarised in a short status report that can be downloaded

In 2019 the CSIRO produced a report that summarised the status of Australian hydrogen R&D. Since then much has changed within the research community and the hydrogen industry. Readers will be aware of the HyResource and HyResearch online portals that contain up to date information on the various projects and research activities within Australia.

International fellowship program – still open!

The Australian government International Research Collaboration Program has selected the following research fellows in the first round of selections:

  • Hongjun Chen, The University of Sydney
  • Yi-Sheng (Eason) Chen, The University of Sydney
  • Christian Hornung, CSIRO
  • Yuhan Huang, University of Technology Sydney
  • Hao Liu, University of Technology Sydney
  • Tuan Nguyen, The University of Melbourne
  • Fatemeh Salehi, Macquarie University
  • Mahnaz Shafiei, Swinburne University of Technology
  • Helena Wang, Deakin University
  • Sam Xie, Curtin University
  • Zongyou Yin, Australian National University

These fellows are busy preparing to visit world class research institutions and labs across the globe to undertake between 3 to 12-month research. We wish them well!

A second-round selection will soon take place. We really encourage you to consider applying to take up this lifetime opportunity. Eligibility and selection criteria details

Research Seminar - 29 March 12pm AEDT

Engineering the Quantum Mechanics of Cold Hydrogen

We are pleased to announce that our next online seminar will be presented by Associate Professor Jacob Leachman from the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University (WSU), USA. Dr Leachman initiated the Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) laboratory at WSU in 2010 to advance cryogenic and/or hydrogen systems. To this day the HYPER laboratory remains the only US academic laboratory focusing on cryogenic hydrogen. His talk will culminate in a vision for the future of hydrogen technologies and an invitation for Australian researchers to participate.

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Future Hydrogen Events