Preparing the clean hydrogen workforce

Oct 18, 2023

3 min

Yushan Yan

The University of Delaware will play a leading role in workforce development efforts associated with the Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub (MACH2), which has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to receive up to $750 million in funding through the historic Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program.

MACH2 was chosen as one of seven hydrogen hubs, totaling up to $7 billion in grants, announced by the Energy Department on Oct. 13. In stiff national competition, MACH2 ranked among the most pro-labor and greenest hubs in the nation, according to the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance (DESCA), which brokered the proposal, involving industries, academic institutions, local governments and community partners from across Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey.

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, and the Energy Department is working to accelerate its use as a clean energy source and as a means to decarbonize heavy industry, transportation and energy storage to meet President Biden’s goal of a 100% clean electrical grid by 2035 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, with the regional hydrogen hubs leading the way.

MACH2 will encompass a network of hydrogen producers, consumers, local connective infrastructure for hydrogen deployment, and the education and training needed to develop the region’s clean energy workforce. UD will lead the higher education component of MACH2’s workforce development with Cheyney University, Rowan University and the University of Pennsylvania.

MACH2 is projected to create 20,000 well-paying jobs in the production, delivery and use of zero-emission hydrogen to repower the region’s industrial facilities, transportation systems and agriculture sectors.

What kinds of jobs will MACH2 help prepare people for? There will be a need for technicians for hydrogen-powered vehicles, construction workers for installing hydrogen pipelines, fuel cell power system operators, hydrogen production plant managers, and directors of research and development (R&D) programs, to name a few.

Some of these roles may require a high school diploma and an apprenticeship or specific credential; others may require a college degree, from bachelor’s to master’s to Ph.D.

Yushan Yan, the Henry Belin du Pont Chair in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UD, will direct the hub’s higher education workforce development efforts. This work will complement high school, vo-tech and community college training programs in energy and construction that will be expanded through the hub, along with pre-apprenticeship programs, particularly those that recruit from underserved communities, offered by building trade unions.

“The University of Delaware and our collaborators at Cheyney, Rowan and Penn are well-poised to prepare students for rewarding careers in the new hydrogen economy,” Yan said. “Several engineering, energy and hydrogen programs are already in place at our institutions and will be expanded through the hub, offering students exciting opportunities.”

UD will enhance hydrogen technology training at the master’s level through a new “4+1” master’s degree in electrochemical engineering, which would allow highly qualified undergraduate students to earn a bachelor’s degree in an area such as chemical and biomolecular engineering or mechanical engineering and then continue on to earn a master’s degree in electrochemical engineering in the fifth year.

Connect with:
Yushan Yan

Yushan Yan

Henry Belin Du Pont Chair of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Prof. Yan is an expert in electrochemical engineering for sustainability.

Electrochemical Energy EngineeringEnergy Conversion and StorageFuel CellsElectrolyzersFlow Batteries

You might also like...

Check out some other posts from University of Delaware

1 min

Researchers find ‘narrow’ depictions of fatherhood in children’s literature

When children read picture books, they are often greeted with depictions of family and life lessons their young minds soak up. What happens then, when those depictions don’t offer a thoughtful image of gender or family as they have changed over the years? That is one of the questions University of Delaware Professor Bill Lewis and Social Science Research Analyst and UD alumna Laura Cutler explored in their recent paper, published in the quarterly journal Children's Literature in Education. In “Portraits of Fatherhood: Depictions of Fathers and Father–Child Relationships in Award-Winning Children’s Literature,” Lewis and Cutler looked at more than 80 children’s books to analyze how authors and publishers depicted fathers and fatherhood. What they found was that over a span of nearly 20 years, from 2001 to 2020, these books presented "a narrow view of fatherhood," both in what roles fathers have in familial units and which types of fathers are presented. They also noted that these portrayals have remained relatively static over the last two decades. Lewis, a professor in the College of Education and Human Development’s School of Education, broke down what spurred the research and what he and Cutler hope changes as a result of the research in a new Q&A. Contact to set up an interview with Lewis.

1 min

Professors address students' climate anxiety

Professors at the University of Delaware preparing students for careers working on climate change are making sure to consider mental health issues as they send them out into the world. UD's Climate Change Science and Policy Hub, led by director A.R. Siders, is starting a series of initiatives – on campus and in the region – to tackle the challenge of what is known as climate anxiety. This involves traditional trainings but also innovations with creativity, art, video games and play. "Learning about and working on climate change causes climate anxiety, ecogrief, solastalgia – there’s a whole new set of terms being created just to describe the problem," said Siders, also an associate professor in UD's Disaster Research Center and Biden School of Public Policy and Administration. "This is a real mental health concern." This new way of approaching climate education has become even more critical as universities expand climate education – such as new climate schools, degrees, courses and even embedding it in general education courses, Siders said. The U.S. government is supporting a growing climate workforce, and it is expected that more people will work in climate-related careers. To reach Siders and set up an interview, visit her profile and click on the "contact" link. This will automatically send an email directly to her.

1 min

Those flying spiders are harmless; don't tell that to arachnophobes

A breed of flying arachnids known as Joro spiders are headed to the northeast this summer, specifically Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Experts say there's nothing to fear, but that doesn't make them any less scary to those who have an issue with the eight-legged bug eaters. Two University of Delaware experts can provide insight and (some) comfort regarding any potential risk to humans. Brian Kunkel, an expert in landscape and household insects and entomology for ornamentals with UD's Cooperative Extension, confirmed the yellow and black spider will be making its arrival in the Tri-State area but said it isn't likely to be noticed until the fall, when it grows to visible size. Regardless, there is no need to be concerned. In the unlikely event that it bites, you would feel something akin to a bee sting, Kunkel said. Doug Tallamy, professor of entomology and wildlife ecology, confirmed the spiders are on the way but echoed Kunkel's assessment that there is nothing to be worried about. To set up an interview with Kunkel, send an email to If interested in an interview with Tallamy, visit his profile and click on the contact button.

View all posts