PDRF in Fuel Cell Stack Development & Testing


HySA Systems Integration & Technology Validation Competence Centre, HySA Systems, co-hosted by the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the South African Institute for Advanced Materials Chemistry (SAIAMC), and directed by Dr Cordellia Sita, is one of three National Competence Centers that were initiated by the Department of Science and Technology’s National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies (HFCT) Flagship Project, also known as Hydrogen South Africa or HySA.  This long-term (15-year) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies (HFCT) Research, Development, and Innovation (RDI) strategy was officially launched in September 2008 by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) in South Africa. 

The main objective with HySA Systems is to: (i) develop HFC components, systems and prototypes, (ii) perform technology validation and system integration in two key HySA programmes: (1) Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and (2) Hydrogen Fuelled Vehicles (HFV).  HySA Systems is also responsible for the development, prototyping, testing, validating and commissioning of the following key technologies: Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) for High Temperature (HT) (≥120oC) Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, HT-PEM fuel cell stacks, metal hydrides for hydrogen storage and compression, and system integration of Energy Storage Devices for domestic and automotive applications.

Scope of Work

The PDRF with a background in electrical/electronic or mechanical/mechatronic engineering and an interest in fuel cells, will be involved in the development, integration and testing of alternative energy systems, principally in HFV programs. Scope of the work will also include testing of fuel cell systems, researching and modeling aging mechanisms and developing systems that monitor the State of Health of fuel cells.


The specific tasks will include assembling and testing fuel cell stacks for Hybrid Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles, in-depth characterization of the fuel cell stack system and specific sub-units, characterizing sub-units and components for their integration into modular systems, to be extensively involved in the bench-top integration of the FC module and sub-units and testing of the integrated power module for mobile applications. Sourcing and testing components for ‘Balance of Plant’ for integration into complete systems will form part of the PDRF’s tasks.  


The PDRF will normally be working in a team consisting of Technicians, Engineers, and Scientists.  Her/his direct managers will be Dr. Sivakumar Pasupathi and Dr Cordellia Sita.  The fellow will work closely with national and international experts in the field, and will also be expected to co-supervise MSc/PhD students at HySA Systems and HySA Systems spokes.  The successful candidate will be strongly encouraged to (i) publish patents and papers in high impact factor journals and disseminate her/his results at national/international conferences, events, workshops etc and (ii) develop, commission and validate novel state-of-the-art hydrogen & fuel cell Products (from concept, drawings, construction and prototyping).

Contract Period

In return HySA Systems will offer an exceptional internationally competitive salary (tax FREE upon completion of a 3-month probation) together with a strong motivation for UWC to employ the Fuel Cell Scientists or Engineers on a long-term contract.  A minimum contract period of 1 year is recommended for this position which is available immediately.

How to Apply: Please email your full CV (inc. a list of publications) together with a covering letter (inc. list of achievements, success etc) to:

Dr Cordellia Sita

Director of HySA Systems Competence Centre

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