The Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Collaborative (RHFCC) was established in 2016 through a collaboration with the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) and The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research. The RHFCC operates out of the Center for Automotive Research.
Who We Are
The Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Collaborative is a regional ambassador for the advancement and adoption of hydrogen-powered, zero-emission vehicles and infrastructure in the Midwest.
Why We Exist
Our goal is to establish the Midwest as a national leader in the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles through education, advocacy and research to take our region and world closer to a sustainable, zero-emission future.
What We Do
- Educate and inform about hydrogen fuel cell technology and its benefits
- Support and encourage the deployment of vehicles and refueling stations throughout the Midwest
- Educate legislators about the significant advantages in economic development and job creation by encouraging the growth of the hydrogen fuel cell supply chain in the region
- Aid in R&D to remove barriers to adoption and make hydrogen-powered vehicles a viable option in the Midwest region
Leadership & Staff
Jim Durand, Ph.D.
Dr. Durand is the director of the Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Collaborative and a research specialist at The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research. He is an expert in the design, modeling and optimization of energy systems and has over 40 years of industrial and academic experience with a focus on alternative energy and automotive systems. Dr. Durand has been very involved with solar thermal, passive solar and underground home design, photovoltaics, wind energy, biogas production, electric vehicles and CNG vehicles. Dr. Durand also has a strong background in policy with a degree in technology & policy from MIT, as well as practical policy experience in a state energy office and a public utility commission.
Andrew Rezin, Ph.D.
Dr. Rezin is the director of the Midwest Hydrogen Center of Excellence and emeritus chair of automotive and applied technologies at Columbus State Community College. He has extensive management experience in the automotive service industry and automotive and skilled trades education. Dr. Rezin has a long history of involvement in alternative fuels education and has served on the board of Clean Fuels Ohio for more than a decade. Dr. Rezin earned a master’s degree and doctorate from The Ohio State University.
Don Butler is the administrative manager of the Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Collaborative and Midwest Hydrogen Center of Excellence. Mr. Butler previously served as the assistant director and administrative manager for The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research and spent 30 years in the automotive industry. Mr. Butler holds bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering and business administration from The Ohio State University and master's degrees in electrical engineering and business administration from the University of Dayton.
Executive Director/CEO, Stark Area Regional Transit Authority
Kirt Conrad has been the executive director/CEO of SARTA in Canton, Ohio since 2009. SARTA is a leader in alternative fuels, with CNG, diesel electric hybrids, biodiesel, and dual fuel GNC/DIESEL vehicles in operation throughout their service area. SARTA is currently working with FTA, Ballard, BAE, and El Dorado to deploy 11 fuel cell buses, which will be the largest fleet in the country outside of California.
Mr. Conrad is president of the Transit Health Pool of Ohio and the Ohio Public Transit Association, treasurer of the Ohio Transit Risk Pool, and serves on the board for Clean Fuels Ohio, the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition and CALSTART’s fuel cell infrastructure advisory board for public transit.