Neah Power's Leroy Ohlsen Named Top Young Innovator

September 20, 2004 by Jeff Shepard

Neah Power Systems Inc. (Bothell, WA), an emerging leader in direct-methanol micro fuel cell technology, announced that Leroy Ohlsen, the company's co-founder and chief technology officer, has been named to the 2004 list of the world's 100 Top Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT's Magazine of Innovation. The TR100 consists of 100 individuals under the age of 35 whose innovative work in technology has a profound impact on today's world.

Leroy Ohlsen co-founded Neah Power Systems soon after receiving his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Washington. Focusing on small fuel cells for portable devices, Ohlsen and his team concluded that the dominant industry design, centered around a proton-exchange membrane, had fundamental chemical and physical limitations, which would prohibit the systems from providing adequate power and energy in small physical form-factors. An innovative silicon-based electrode and fuel cell design were then developed, which promised to expand the chemical reaction surface area and provide high power in a small package. Prototypes are currently being developed, and if successful, have the potential to increase the operating time of notebook computers and other portable electronic devices multiple times beyond that of conventional batteries.