The University of Birmingham - Co-ordinator

University of BirminghamThe School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham (UoB) hosts one of the leading research groups on fuel cells in the UK, the Centre for Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Research (HFCRC). Integrated Planar, planar and micro-tubular (μSOFCs) have been studied at the HFCRC since 2000. Former PhD students have gone on to work in the fuel cell industry, at, for example, Rolls Royce (UK), Acumentrics (USA) and Nanodynamics (USA). Between 2007 and 2008 the local development agency Advantage West Midlands awarded more than £6million to Birmingham and Warwick Universities to create an R&D facility for hydrogen and fuel cells within the Science City Initiative. UoB in collaboration with Loughborough University and the University of Nottingham forms the Midlands Energy Consortium (MEC). 

This consortium has a critical mass of faculty specialising in hydrogen and fuel cell technology, with 30 academic staff - more than any other UK location - with one of the main topics being vehicle applications of fuel cells. The HFCRC leads the Centre for Doctoral Training in Hydrogen and Fuel Cells (CDT) to train 50 doctoral students (with intake of around 10 a year since 2009) together with Loughborough and Nottingham universities and also Imperial College London and University College London since 2014.

The University of Birmingham has a dedicated SOFC group working within the HFCRC. The SOFC group has extensive expertise in thermal cycling and thermo-mechanical characterisation. It can also draw on further resources of the university in the way of microscopy, materials characterisation, high temperature testing etc.

Role in consortium and relevant experience:

The University of  Birmingham offers its extensive experience in managing European R&D projects. In the area of materials research, the corrosion, manufacturing, and testing (cells, SRU, stacks and single samples) expertise are offered to the work programme.

Co-ordinator: Prof. Robert Steinberger-Wilckens obtained a Physics degree in 1986 and a Ph.D. degree from The University of Oldenburg in Germany in 1993 holding the chair for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research. He has a long-standing history of research and engineering in the areas of fuel cells and hydrogen and has conceived and coordinated numerous EU projects in the field. From 2002 to Feb. 2012 he managed the SOFC research at Research Centre Jülich (FZJ).

Main scientific contact person: 

Dr Jong-Eun Hong completed his DEng with research on alternative materials for SOFCs at Kyushu University in 2012 and joined UoB as a Research Fellow in 2014. His current research interests include to improve long term durability of SOFC stack systems by reducing Cr poisoning in cathode via developing suitable combinations of metallic interconnect steels and protective coatings, to develop a portable micro tubular SOFC stack system to charge an electrical device battery, and to understand reaction kinetics and degradation behaviour in SOFC under operation with alternative fuels.

Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT

VTT logoVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd is the leading research and technology company in the Nordic countries (turnover 316 M€, personnel 2600).  From its wide knowledge base, VTT can combine different technologies, create new innovations and a wide range of world-class technologies and applied research services, thus improving its clients’ competitiveness and competence. Through its international scientific and technology networks, VTT can produce information, upgrade technology knowledge, and create business intelligence and added value for its stakeholders. VTT has 70 years of experience in addressing the needs of industry and the knowledge-based society. Over the years, VTT has participated in more than 1000 European R&D Framework Programme projects. VTT is a member of N.ERGHY Research Group.

VTT fuel cell research supports industry product development by maintaining a development platform comprising of a large selection of research facilities, a selection of developed modeling tools and know-how encompassing different technologies throughout the entire business chain. Most of the fuel cell projects at VTT are co-funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, the European research programs, industry, and VTT. At present, more than 30 different companies are involved in the various projects. The main research areas today are PEFC and SOFC, including systems, applications, demonstrations, stacks, components, and materials. The purpose of the SOFC research at VTT is to develop new technology and to provide information for industrial enterprises in order to support development work on SOFC-based power plants. It also supports the development of stacks, development of balance of plant (BOP) components, and application of SOFC power plants. One purpose is also to increase the understanding of the fundamentals of SOFC science and systems. VTT SOFC team has 12 members all having higher academic degrees and five of them have doctoral degrees.

VTT’s role in the consortium is to contribute to WP4 in the deployment of thin film ALD coatings. In WP5 VTT is participating through testing of the samples produced in the project. In WP 6 VTT participates in post analysis of the tested samples. VTT has in previous projects successfully developed and tested several types of protective coatings on SOFC metallic interconnects.

Main scientific contact persons:

Dr Jari Kiviaho ( has graduated from the University of Joensuu with the following degrees: MSc, 1990, Ph.Lic, 1992, Ph.D 1996. His major subjects were physical and inorganic chemistry. At VTT Dr. Kiviaho has worked in various projects related to heterogeneous catalysts and fuel cells. He has held several positions from development manager to research manager. In his current position he is Chief Research Scientist and Team Manager for VTT Fuel Cell Team.

Dr. Mikko Pihlatie (, Senior Scientist. He holds a D.Sc (Tech) from Aalto University in the field of engineering physics and has several years of international experience in nuclear and fuel cell materials research. He is project manager at VTT and his current research is mostly related to materials in electrochemical energy conversion systems, including high temperature corrosion of metallic SOFC components, protective coatings, chromium evaporation, stack development and cell testing, as well as Li ion batteries and battery systems.

Maija Mäkinen ( graduated in 2011 from Aalto University School of Chemical Technology with a master’s degree in inorganic chemistry. She did her master’s thesis at VTT in the field of corrosion protective coatings on solid oxide fuel cell interconnects. Currently she is working as a research scientist on solid oxide fuel cell protective and contact coating development.

Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne

SCOREDepfllogoThe Laboratory of Industrial Energy Systems (LENI) is part of the Faculty of Engineering Science & Technology (STI) at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. LENI staff teach thermodynamics, combustion, energy system modelling and fuel cells, and currently comprises of 25 people (the majority being PhD students) and a faculty mechanical workshop. The two mainstream R&D activities are “Energy System Modelling/Optimisation” headed by Dr François Maréchal (FP6 : CONCERTO and TETRA-ENER projects) and “(Solid Oxide) Fuel Cells” headed by Dr Jan Van herle. Smaller activities including simulation are in (bio) gas engines, heat pumps/small compressors, an organic Rankine cycle and a thermal solar installation. The SOFC group was established in 2001 and has since published 70 papers and is involved in collaborations with industry (CH and EU) and in R&D projects both national (from fundamental research to demonstration) and transnational (FP6, RealSPFC, FlameSOFC, 525, 543, JTI RobAnode, SOFCLife, DeSign, SOFCOM). The group has a dedicated SOFC testing laboratory equipped with 3 rigs for stacks (20W to 1 kW, H2 and hydrocarbon fuels), 3 for component evaluation (sealing, interconnects), 2 for single cells and 2 for catalysis, including the usual electrochemical stations, high current loads and power supplies, gas analysis and automated control & data acquisition. SOFC modelling and simulation is performed from micro-level (electrodes) to macro-level (system) with a particular effort on the repeating unit level (cell + interconnects), developing and using a variety of tools and software both in house and commercially. A particular strength at LENI is the iterative coupling between modelling (for both design and performance) and experimental stack work (validation; locally resolved measurements; components (e.g. MIC) testing for model input and calibration). In addition, detailed analysis diagnostics (post test) such as SEM/EDX, TEM, XRD, XPS/Auger/SIMS,GDOES, are carried out in collaboration with partner laboratories at EPFL (Chemistry and Materials Science Sections). A just concluded PhD thesis (A. Schuler, 2012) has been dedicated to Cr detection and quantification in cathodes. It has developed and established a number of microscopy and chemical tools especially for contaminants in electrodes that will be put to use in this project.

EPFL-LENI’s role in this project is to be one of the 4 testing partners (with UBHAM, ENEA and SOFC power) for interconnects bearing coatings, as coupons (WP5), in repeat elements and in stacks (WP7), including long term testing (10’000h); to perform post test analysis on tested samples and perform part of the accelerated testing procedures (WP4); finally to elaborate a SRU model for lifetime prediction including interconnect degradation (WP6).

Main scientific contact:

Dr. Jan Van herle has (co)authored 110 papers and (co)managed 32 projects on SOFCs since 1992. He is the EPFL responsible in all SOFC FP and JTI projects.



Enea logo

The mission of ENEA’s High-temperature fuel cells Operating and Testing Lab is to carry out advanced testing, characterization and evaluation of HTFC components and systems, making use of cutting-edge experimental approaches and measurement techniques, for the benefit of industries interested to apply HTFC technology and for the advancement of scientific knowledge in the field.

The specific competences of the High-temperature fuel cells Operating and Testing Lab consist of:

  • Electrochemical characterization of HTFC materials, coatings and components
  • Advanced in-operando characterization of HTFC (cell and stack) performance through electrochemical impedance spectroscopy deconvolution and localized gas analysis
  • Experimental evaluation of complex fuels and fuel contaminant effects on HTFC and long-term durability
  • Stack module and micro-CHP (small-scale combined heat and power) performance characterization
  • High temperature electrolysis and co-electrolysis for energy storage with fuel cells operated in reversed mode

For Scored 2.0, the HOT Lab works in collaboration with the ENEA Unit for Material Technologies for the development of advanced powder compositions for wet coating techniques, as well as for the adaptation of the patented conversion coating process to SOFC interconnects.

In addition to this, support is provided in the Technology Transfer to industry and the market by active involvement in topical standardization and regulatory processes, interaction with relevant policy makers, organization of conferences and workshops and building of public awareness.

ENEA’s High-temperature fuel cells Operating and Testing Lab, with its far-reaching national and international collaborations, is a point of reference in Italy and Europe as regards the realization and enabling of fuel cell deployment, through mediation between developers and customers, providing platforms for entrepreneurs and policymakers in the field, building awareness, exploring market opportunities and pointing out gaps in knowledge and regulation.

For this project, ENEA will contribute with the corecompetences of the Laboratories of Material Technology and of Hydrogen and Fuel Cells, with expertise on innovative processes of synthesis and treatment of new ceramic and metallic materials in stable and meta-stable forms. In particular in the last decade focus has been on materials for energy applications both in micro- and nano-structured configurations. The laboratory for Material Technology has thus joined in collaboration with the Laboratory for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells (devoted to electrochemical characterization and development of MCFC and SOFC components, cells and stacks) to take on the material challenges facing especially high temperature fuel cells. Years of experience have been matured on corrosion prevention and protection of steel components in MCFC stacks resulting in numerous publications and patent applications. Competence has been developed on X-ray Diffraction (in controlled atmosphere and temperature, also with simultaneous 120° XRD apparatus) and Rietveld analysis of samples.Electrochemical characterization of samples in-cell and out-of-cell is carried out with conductivity measurements, EIS and cyclic voltammetry, as well as chemical characterization and morphological analysis. Through recent acquisition of a microfluidizing apparatus, activities have been focused towards the development of nanofluids and suspensions for coating processes. ENEA is actively involved in National and EU Platforms for implementation of fuel cells and hydrogen, and outside of Europe in IPHE and IEA Implementing Agreements, including Bioenergy, Advanced Fuels Cells and Electric/Hybrid Vehicles. ENEA participates in several topical EU fundedprojects, among which HYCO, FC-EUROGRID, MCFC-CONTEX, COMETHY.

Profile of key staff members:

Franco Padella, Material Chemist, senior researcher with 30 years’ experience in high-energy ballmilling and synthesis and characterization of meta-stable nanocristalline metallic and ceramic compounds.

Stefano Frangini, Electrochemist, corrosion expert with 20 years’ experience on corrosion phenomena and corrosion protection of metals

Stephen McPhail, Mechanical Engineer, heads the laboratory for electrochemical characterization of SOFC cells and stacks.

Teer Coatings Ltd

Miba LogoTeer Coatings Limited (TCL), Miba Coating Group TCL employs 56 staff in Droitwich, UK. Founded in 1985 TCL was taken over by Miba AG in April, 2010 and is now an integral part of the Miba Coating Group. In total Miba is a >€500M turnover, 4200 employee, international company, headquartered in Austria. TCL’s main activity is advanced Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) surface coatings for many applications, deposited primarily, but not exclusively, by magnetron sputtering. Its quality system is ISO 9001:2008 certified. Around 1/3 of TCL’s resources are devoted to R&D, 1/3 to the provision of a production coatings service and 1/3 to the design, development & supply of advanced coating & related test equipment. TCL’s strategy is continual investment in modern equipment and R&D, maintaining a worldwide lead in thin film coating technology, which is then exploited commercially. TCL pioneered Closed Field Unbalanced Magnetron Sputter Ion Plating (CFUBMSIP) technology and its key intellectual property, covering both technology & coatings, is protected by patents. TCL has a proven track record of innovation & successful industrial production at the cutting edge of Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) technology. For Hydrogen and Fuel Cell applications, TCL offers a proven ability to deposit relevant thin film coatings, including electrically conductive, corrosion resistant films, catalytic materials, etc. onto a variety of substrates and components, from bipolar plates to particulate catalyst supports. TCL is also engaged in collaborative R&D including high temperature abrasion and erosion resistant coatings for steel strip mill rolls (RFSR-CT-2010-00009 LPROLLCOAT), as well as its more traditional development of low friction and wear resistant coatings for engineering surfaces. TCL has over 14 PVD batch coating machines to supply its contract coating to customers. A further 16 coating units are dedicated to coating development and research. In 2010 TCL acquired an industrial PVD, load-locked in line coating system under Phase I of the UK DECC/TSB FC & Hdemonstrator programme (ref TP AE209D 200089) as part of its contribution to the future Low Carbon Economy industrial supply chain, which will allow the company to investigate semicontinuous, air-to-air processing. TCL has a well-equipped Testing Laboratory, able to characterisethe deposited coatings, particularly in respect of their physical attributes, tribological properties, etc. In additional to conventional hardness testing and optical microscopy, TCL has a Nano Test instrument for nano indentation and nano hardness measurements, and a SEM equipped with EDX for chemical composition analysis.

Role in consortium and relevant experience: TCL will develop and optimise protective coatings for the steel interconnector components, based on its industrial CFUBMSIP technology. It will perform preliminary characterisation of the coatings (thickness, adhesion, hardness, wear/abrasion resistance, etc.) at room temperature, in its existing Tribological Testing Laboratory. TCL will assist in the economic assessment of the coating of the interconnector components, including future scale-up and process capability, with particular relevance to its magnetron sputtering technology. TCL has thirty years experience of the development of industrial, magnetron sputtering based processes and equipment. The Company has also engaged widely in collaborative research activities, both in the UK and EC. It is a partner in two FCH JU JTI projects starting in 2012, as well as an existing RFCS project and two UK multi-partner collaborations, and lead another UK national project that commenced later in 2012.

Main scientific contact persons:

Dr Joanne Hampshire (Special Coatings Manager) has extensive experience of developing novel PVD coatings, including noble metals, complex alloys and graded materials.

Dr Xiaoling Zhang (Senior Researcher) has been working in the field of material and surface engineering (PVD andPACVD processes) for more than 20 years. She joined the R&D Department of Teer Coatings in2003 and has been responsible for three EC projects, and many UK projects.

Dr Shicai Yang Designed a 3 fold rotation system for the uniform application of CFUBMSIP and multilayer hardcoatings (Patent Application GB2385062) for machining tools. He also developed a coating process for highly polished coin die forming tools in minting industry and hard coatings for high temperature applications, including CrN based hard coating process for massive industrial coating products for machining tools.

Dr Kevin Cooke (R&D Technology Centre Manager) will facilitate compliance with reporting requirements and will address future scale-up and commercial/exploitation issues. He has over 30 years’ experience in applied thin film research and development and is responsible for TCL’s collaborative research portfolio (which currently includes3 EC projects and 3 UK projects) and numerous University interactions, including 2 supported PhDstudentships (one of which is hosted by the Doctoral Training Centre for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells at the University of Birmingham).

Turbocating S.P.A.

Turbocoating logoTurbocoating has four decades of experience in the thermal spray industry, continuously advancing in research, development, innovation and manufacturing techniques. Today, Turbocoating operates two facilities, one in north America (NC) and one in Europe (Italy), with the capability to provide coating and post-coating treatments for OEM land based gas turbine and aircraft engines.

We have developed throughout the years from a typical coating job shop to an excellence center for manufacturing gas turbine parts in an engine ready configuration. In fact Turbocoating is able to provide all the treatments on turbine parts after casting and machining.

In 1999, Turbocoating initiated its development with a large investment to offer vacuum plasma spray, air plasma spray and heat treatment services to serve OEMs. In the following years further coating technologies were introduced such as HVOF and diffusion coatings to complete the range.

Our commitment and philosophy to quality has earned the company numerous OEM approvals, while complying to ISO 9001 as well as ISO 14001 certifications.


Our core business is the development and manufacturing of special processes, in particular protective coatings and post-coating treatments for components used in Industrial Gas Turbines (IGT) and Aero engines.

Commitment, determination and ambitions of a customer driven team will deliver performances and your satisfaction.

Our role in the project

Our role in the SCORED 2:0 EU founded project is to provide protective coatings for SOFC components.

Using the know-how acquired during the daily operations we develop and deposit thin and dense coatings by Atmospheric Plasma Spray. The deposition process and the spraying equipment are finely tuned to provide the best coating quality with the new selected materials.

Main scientific contact persons:

Dr. Andrea Scrivani; R&D Manager and Vice President EQPM & Dev. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Parma in 1996 and attained the PhD in Materials Science and Technology from the University of Florence in February 2002. He started his activities in the R&D department of Flametal SpA and joined Turbocoating SpA in January 2000 as R&D Manager. His main interests focus on coatings and surface treatments for several applications: antiwear and anticorrosion, thermal barrier coatings, aeronautic, biomedical. He is author of several papers and presentations about surface engineering and author of a patent.

Dr. Andrea Giorgetti graduated in Chemistry at the University of Florence and he achieved a PhD degree on “Material Science and Surface Engineering”. In 2009, he started to work in the R&D department at Turbocoating SpA.


SOFCpower is a dynamic and rapidly progressing Italian SME that develops and manufactures high temperature electroceramic devices based on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) technology for stationary applications, including micro-cogeneration and remote power. SP was created in 2006 by carving-out the SOFC activities started in 2002 within the Eurocoating -Turbocoating Group, a privately-held group active in the fields of coatings and processes for gas turbines, machinery and biotechnology. In early 2007, SP acquired 100% of HTceramix SA inYverdon (Switzerland), a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). For the industrialization of its products, SP built a pilot manufacturing plant for cells, stacks and SOFC generators in Mezzolombardo (TN, Italy) with a production capacity of 2 MW/year. The company is comprised of a young and motivated team of about 30 people.

Previous experience relevant to the role in the proposal: Has a proprietary knowhow on SOFC cell and stack manufacturing , including unique expertise on the following processes relevant for the proposal: Water-based tape casting process, either for ceramic and metal powders, including thin and thick layer used in manufacturing anode supported cells; sintering, co-firing and oxidationprocesses; deposition of protective coatings to limit Cr evaporation; SOFConnex-based stack technology, including design, manufacturing and testing.

Main scientific contact person:

Massimo Bertoldi, CTO, Ph.D. in Materials Engineering attained at the University of Trento in 2004. From 2004 to Feb 2007, he was employed in Eurocoating’s R&D Dpt. as project leader of SOFC research. Since Feb 2007, he has been employed as CTO of SP with responsibility for R&D activities, product development, setup of a pilot production plant in Italy, team selection and coordination and has worked as project leader of several National and European research projects. He has more than 15 International scientific papers and patents published and was a member of The Scientific Committee for the European Fuel Cell Forum 2008 in Lucerne (CH).