Skip to main content
Reuben Sarkar Visit

Reuben Sarkar, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation at the United States Department for Energy, visited the University of Birmingham on Thursday 1 December 2016 to see latest developments in energy research.

Professor Andy Schofield, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, and Professor Martin Freer, Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute at the University of Birmingham, welcomed Mr Sarkar to discuss fuel cell, hydrogen and energy storage research, alongside latest developments on campus and future opportunities.

Mr Sarkar was given a guided tour of the Birmingham Centre for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Research laboratories that house several state-of-the-art fuel cell test stations. Research at the Centre covers a wide range of areas from developing polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC), solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), low-cost electrolysers, through to full scale hydrogen fuel cell demonstrators such as hydrogen fuel cell hybrid cars. During his visit, Reuben had the opportunity to test out the Hyundai iX35 hydrogen fuel cell car, the world’s first vehicle powered by renewable energy.


Mr Sarkar visited the Birmingham Centre for Vehicle and Engine Technology Research, a world-leading research profile in combustion engines and low–carbon vehicle technology. He was shown around the engine research laboratories, regarded as some of the best academic facilities in Europe, which house ten engine test cells for the development of engines and fuels, including next generation engine control methodology, biofuels and catalysts.

Professor Freer also gave an overview of the Institute’s involvement with Energy Capital, a project with Birmingham City Council and stakeholders to transform Birmingham into a beacon of best practice associated with its energy, waste and transport infrastructure.


  • Reuben Sarkar is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation at the United States Department for Energy. He oversees the Sustainable Transportation area, which includes the Vehicle, Fuel Cell, and Bioenergy Technologies offices. He oversees annual investment of more than $600 million with a focus to reduce oil dependence, avoid pollution, and create jobs by designing and manufacturing petroleum alternatives and more energy efficient cars and trucks.
  • The Birmingham Energy Institute is a focal point for the University and its national and international partners to create change in the way we deliver consume and think about energy. Co-ordinated research, education and the development of global partnerships is at the heart of the Birmingham Energy Institute vision, drawing on recognised centres of excellence in Energy Storage, Nuclear Energy, Fuel Cells and their Fuels, Railway and Automotive Systems and Energy Policy and Economics.