University of Delaware - College of Engineering


Dr. Ajay K. Prasad

Engineering Alumni Distinguished Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Director, Center for Fuel Cell Research
University of Delaware
302 Spencer Lab
Newark, DE 19716

Personal website:

Executive Summary

Dr. Prasad is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Delaware. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 1989 in the area of experimental fluid mechanics and heat transfer. Subsequently, he conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before joining the University of Delaware in 1992. Dr. Prasad's research interests lie in the area of clean energy including fuel cells, Li-ion batteries, wind and ocean current energy, and vehicle-to-grid technology. He is also interested in energy-efficient, solar-powered buildings.

As the Director of the UD Center for Fuel Cell Research, Dr. Prasad facilitates coordination amongst the approximately 20 UD faculty members working in this area, as well as companies involved in fuel cells and hydrogen infrastructure activities. Professor Prasad also directs the University of Delaware Fuel Cell Bus Program whose goal is to develop and demonstrate fuel cell powered transit vehicles and hydrogen refueling stations in the state of Delaware.

Key Publications

Prasad AK, "Analytical solution for the optimal spacing of wind turbines," ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering, 136:011107 (5 pages), 2014.

Cetinbas FC, Advani SG, and Prasad AK, "3D PEM fuel cell cathode model using a modified agglomerate approach based on discrete catalyst particles," Journal of Power Sources, 250:110-119, 2014.

Attia PM, Lewis MR, Bomberger CC, Prasad AK, Zide JMO, "Experimental studies of thermoelectric power generation in dynamic temperature environments," Energy, 60:453-456, 2013.

Wang L, Advani SG, and Prasad AK, "Degradation reduction of polymer electrolyte membranes using CeO2 as a free-radical scavenger in catalyst layer," Electrochimica Acta, 109:775-780, 2013.

Wang L, Advani SG, and Prasad AK, "PBI/Nafion/SiO2 hybrid membrane for high-temperature low-humidity fuel cell applications," Electrochimica Acta, 105:530-534, 2013.

Research Areas

Biomedical Engineering
Use of in-vitro models of the human nasal passage, bronchi, and alveoli to experimentally study flow patterns and mixing during breathing for pulmonary drug delivery.

Clean Energy
Fuel cells, Li-ion batteries, wind and ocean current energy, solar-powered energy efficient homes. Director of UD Center for Fuel Cell Research.

Use of carbon nanotubes in polymer electrolytes, and nanoengineered structures in PEM fuel cell electrodes for improved performance and durability

Fluid Mechanics
Development of PIV and stereoscopic PIV; industrial mixing flows, entrainment in jets and plumes, biofluid mechanics, reactant flows in fuel cells, optimal spacing of wind turbines.

Heat Transfer and Thermodynamics
Modeling and measuring heat transfer phenomena in fuel cells, metal hydride-based hydrogen storage, and Li-ion batteries; thermochemical reactor design for generating hydrogen from concentrated sunlight.

Materials Engineering
Novel polymeric materials for fuel cell membranes; novel electrocatalysts and catalyst supports for PEM and DMFCs; novel metal foil gas diffusion layers for PEM fuel cells.

Fuel cells for transportation; hydrogen generation using renewable solar-based methods; Li-ion batteries; wind and ocean current energy; solar-powered energy efficient homes.

Life & Health Sciences
Measurement of flow patterns and mixing in the human respiratory tract using anatomically accurate in-vitro models and imaging-based diagnostic tools for pulmonary drug delivery.

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