November 3, 2011 | 2:42pm
A UCI professor got a White House nod today.
Scott Samuelsen, who teaches mechanical, aerospace and environmental engineering, was honored as a "Champion of Change" in D.C for his innovations in hydrogen power and smog reduction.
The honor comes after Samuelsen and others at the National Fuel Cell Research Center,
where he's the director, created a system that turns excrement into hydrogen fuel. (We might need to rethink the phrase, "This isn't worth crap.") For a more detailed explanation of how the system works, check out the Navel Gazing post from August.
And, Samuelson isn't shy about lauding the creation.
"This is the epitome of sustainability, where we are taking an endless stream of human waste and transforming it to transportation fuel and electricity," Samuelsen said in a written statement. "We'll be truly fuel independent, and not held hostage to other countries."
At least five big car companies plan to produce hydrogen-fueled cars by 2015, according to a UCI press release, so Samuelsen's system could be put to use on a fairly large scale within the next few years.
Janet Wilson, a UCI spokeswoman, said although Samuelsen had to squeeze the trip in during the middle of the semester, he was happy to do it.
Samuelsen, who met with White House officials today to chat about the system and possibilities of future partnerships with the government, called today's visit "a wonderful honor and opportunity."