The University of Alabama

UA in the News: September 22, 2009

Opinion: Research often overlooked part of UA’s mission
Tuscaloosa News – Sept. 22
…the research component of the university’s goals is usually quietly hidden in laboratories, classrooms and professors’ offices on campus. It is only when there is a remarkable discovery, groundbreaking scholarship or the development of a cutting-edge technology that the public spotlight is turned on that research mission. Such was the case earlier this month when UA researchers, working in conjunction with counterparts at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, announced a breakthrough in the development of fuel for hydrogen-powered vehicles…Ironically, the breakthrough comes at a time when the new Obama administration has shifted the nation’s priorities from hydrogen technology, as championed by the previous Bush administration, to developing electric battery technology and finding more efficient ways to use fossil fuels. But while the emphasis shift means there will not be as much federal money available for hydrogen technology researchers, it is likely that the advances announced this month by UA and Los Alamos will bring new attention to the development of hydrogen fuel cells. ‘Ultimately, if we are going to go to an individual vehicle transportation system much like we have today that is greenhouse neutral, it’s either going to have to be batteries, or it’s going to have to be hydrogen,’ says Clark Midkiff, an engineering professor and director of the UA Center for Advanced Vehicle Technology. And it appears that the research being done at the center will be one of the keys to that green future we should all desire.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.