Professor, Mechanical Engineering
BioProfessor Litster’s research focuses on sustainable energy conversion technologies that leverage nano- and micro-scale transport phenomena for enhanced performance and new functionality. He is particularly interested in research that combines electrochemistry and electrokinetics with the mechanical engineering fundamentals of fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, and design. Hydrogen fuel cell technology is poised to become an important bridge between sustainable energy resources and end-user services (i.e. transportation). Litster’s research addresses technical obstacles to wide-spread adoption of fuel cells, such as effectively utilizing the costly platinum catalyst used in the electrodes. Unique capabilities in his group include microstructured electrode scaffold diagnostics, which have enabled the first through-plane potential measurements through the thickness of operating fuel cell and aqueous battery electrodes. These measurements assist researchers in pinpointing the loss the mechanisms that reduce energy conversion efficiency as well as assist in elucidating fundamental phenomena. These experimental methods are combined with advanced computational models of the micro-/nano-scale phenomena to identify directions for future material and device development.
- B.Eng. 2004, University of Victoria
- M.A.Sc. 2005, University of Victoria
- Ph.D. 2008, Stanford University
ResearchLitster’s research focuses on sustainable energy conversion technologies that leverage nano- and micro-scale transport phenomena for enhanced performance and new functionality.
Litster's current projects include:
- The micro-structured electrode scaffold (MES) explores transport through the thickness of electrodes through direct measurements.
- Characterizing the 3D microstructure of porous electrodes using nanoscale X-ray CT scans.
- S. Komini Babu, R.W. Atkinson, A.B. Papandrew, S. Litster, “Vertically-Oriented Polymer Electrolyte Nanofiber Catalyst Support for Thin Film PEM Fuel Cell Electrodes”, ChemElectroChem, in press, (2015).
- H. Liu, W.K. Epting, S. Litster, “Gas Transport Resistance in Polymer Electrolyte Thin Films at the Active Site in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells,” Langmuir, 31, pp. 9853-9858 (2015).
- A.T. Naseri, B.A. Peppley; J.G. Pharoah, P. Mandal, S. Litster; N. Abatzoglou, “X-ray tomography-based analysis of transport and reaction in the catalyst coating of a reformer,” Chemical Engineering Science, 138, pp. 499-509 (2015).
- A. Kumar, P. Mandal, Y. Zhang, and S. Litster, “Image Segmentation of Nanoscale Zernike Phase Contrast X-ray CT Images,” Journal of Applied Physics, 117, pp. 183102 (2015).
- H. He, S. Averick, P. Mandal, H. Ding, S. Li, J. Gelb, N. Kotwal, A. Merkle, S. Litster and K. Matyjaszewski, “Multifunctional Hydrogels with Reversible 3D Ordered Macroporous Structures”, Advanced Science, 2 (5), (2015).
Mechanical Engineering Professor Shawn Litster discusses his research on fuel cells and how they may be used for electric vehicles in the future.