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Denise McKahn

Assistant Professor of Engineering

email Send E–mail office Office: Ford Hall 353 phone Phone: (413) 585-3780
Curriculum vitae (PDF)
Denise McKahn

Denise McKahn is a cross-disciplinary engineer who has studied environmental, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering through both research and formal coursework. She is dedicated to the development of renewably derived fuel and electricity generation technologies through the design, modeling and control of dynamic and complex systems. She is particularly interested in both fuel cell electricity and electrolytic hydrogen production. Her recent work has explored the modeling and experimental validation of mass and thermal dynamics in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, as well as reactant pre-treatment, for active water and thermal management. The applications for her work have targeted both vehicular scale (1-100kW) and miniature scale (1-10W) power systems.

While obtaining her bachelor of science in environmental resources engineering, McKahn worked on fuel cell design and optimization as a research engineer at the Schatz Energy Research Center, a group dedicated to the advancement of clean and renewably produced technologies. Receiving a tremendous opportunity to help establish the Fuel Cell Control Laboratory at the University of Michigan, McKahn explored the modeling and control of fuel cell power systems while obtaining a masters in mechanical engineering and a doctorate in environmental engineering.

As a member of the faculty in the Picker Engineering Program, McKahn deeply appreciates the opportunity to live at the intersection of science, technology and policy. For it is within a liberal arts context that a more holistic engineering education can propel students to not just solve technological problems, but to evaluate the social and environmental impacts of competing alternatives and explore the appropriate use of technology. McKahn is committed to encouraging all Smith women to play critical roles in both engineering and the sciences in search of unique solutions to the unprecedented challenges our society will face in the years to come.

Selected Publications

McKay, D.A., Stefanopoulou, A.G., and Cook, J., A Controllable Membrane-Type Humidifier for Fuel Cell Applications, PART A: operation, modeling and experimental validation, Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology, Vol. 7, Issue 4, 2010.

McKay, D.A., Stefanopoulou, A.G., and Cook, J., A Controllable Membrane-Type Humidifier for Fuel Cell Applications, PART B: controller design, analysis and implementation, Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology, Vol. 7, Issue 4, 2010.

Muller, E.A., Kolb, F., Stefanopoulou, A.G., McKay, D.A., and Guzzella, L., Correlating Nitrogen Accumulation with Temporal Fuel Cell Performance. Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology, Vol. 6, 2009.

Siegel, J., McKay, D.A., Stefanopoulou, A.G., Hussey, D., and Jacobson, D., Measurement of Liquid Water Accumulation in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell with Dead-Ended Anode, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol. 155, Issue 11, pp. B1168-B1178, 2008.

McKay, D.A., Siegel, J., Ott, W., Stefanopoulou, A., Parameterization and Prediction of Temporal Fuel Cell Voltage Behavior During Flooding and Drying Conditions. Journal of Power Sources, Vol. 178, No. 1, 2008.

Selected Honors and Awards