Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

Georgetown/UTC Fuel Cell Bus
Georgetown/UTC Fuel Cell Bus

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News Release

Contact: Joe King, NIU Office of Public Affairs
(815) 753-4299

September 19, 2006

Fuel cell-powered bus to visit NIU Sept. 22-27

DeKalb, Ill. — The Northern Illinois University College of Engineering and Engineering Technology will showcase one of the most promising forms of alternative energy with displays in and around DeKalb and Sycamore during the week of Sept. 22-27.

During that week, the college will be hosting representatives from the Advanced Vehicle Development program at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., who will display and demonstrate a fuel cell-powered bus.

Visitors will learn how fuel cells work and about their potential as a pollution-free source of power that can help reduce future dependence upon fossil fuels, which are believed to contribute to environmental problems like global warming and acid rain.

The visit by the bus is part of a week-long series of activities to highlight ongoing work at NIU to create stronger, more durable and less expensive fuel cells. Researchers at NIU are working closely with the world-class fuel cell research team at Argonne National Laboratories on those projects and have received nearly $1 million in federal funding to support their work.

Opportunities to view the bus will include:

  • Friday, Sept. 22, 11 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m., on the east side of the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, on Kishwaukee Drive, in DeKalb.
  • Saturday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., NIU Convocation Center, Entrance 2
  • Sunday, Sept. 24
    • 12:30 to 2 p.m., on the west side of the DeKalb County Courthouse, on Maple Street, downtown Sycamore.
    • 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Wal-Mart Super Center, 2300 Sycamore Road, DeKalb.

NIU also is making the bus available for tours to NIU students as well as local high school students during the week. It also will be displayed at the university’s Naperville campus.

“This is an exciting opportunity to get a first-hand look at one of the most promising alternative energy technologies under development,” said Promod Vohra, dean of NIU’s College of Engineering and Engineering Technology. “The efforts of NIU researchers, who are working with some of the top people in this field at Argonne National Laboratory, will no doubt make fuel cells a clean and dependable source of energy in the not-so-distant future.”

Those interested in learning more about fuel cells and other forms of alternative energy, also are invited to attend a seminar from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22, in the auditorium of the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology. Those who attend will have the opportunity to tour and ride the bus following the seminar.

For more information on the Advanced Vehicle Development Program’s fuel cell bus, visit For more information on local events involving the fuel cell bus, contact the NIU College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at (815) 753-0651.

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