Research and projects

Industry-led research to support a transition to hydrogen

Strategic areas of focus

Hycel works closely with industry and government partners to provide tailored, timely research solutions. Our research,and projects are aligned to four areas of focus: mobility, materials, education and social licence.

Diagram of focus areas


Optimising fuel cells and energy systems to support a transition from fossil fuels to hydrogen.

We're developing solutions to support the transition away from fossil fuels for the hard-to-abate transport sector. Our current focus is on trucks and buses, poised to expand into aviation, shipping, rail, and heavy machinery.

The Hycel Technology Hub provides specialist hydrogen research labs and bespoke commercialisation spaces for fuel cell design, research, prototyping, assembly, and testing. Our research teams are drawn from Deakin’s School of Engineering, School of IT, and Institute for Frontier Materials. The team has strong expertise from small-scale materials design through to system integration and full vehicle testing and validation.

Current research includes:

Mobility focus area

Fuel cells and fuel cell material optimisation

  • Bipolar plate design and fabrication
  • Novel manufacturing and prototyping methods for metallic bipolar plates
  • PEM fuel cell multi-physics modelling
  • Membrane design and development
  • Multi-scale modelling

Testing, prototyping and manufacturing

  • Specialised PEM fuel cell testing capability from single cells to large stacks
  • Fuel cell balance of plant and componentry
  • Validation
  • On road trials
  • Air filtration

Energy systems

  • Power conversion systems
  • Power train modelling and validation
  • Fleet transition and operation
  • Route optimisation
  • Refuelling logistics and optimisation
  • Techno economic, including Total Cost of Ownership modelling, for hydrogen vehicle fleet transition
  • Digital twin development

Work with us

If you're interested in using the Hycel Technology Hub for research or education, would like to explore collaboration opportunities or join our team, please get in touch.

Materials and manufacturing innovations

Optimising materials for production, storage, containment and purification, and green chemicals to support hydrogen distribution, usage and infrastructure.

Hycel is optimising hydrogen storage, containment, and chemical applications to provide distribution solutions for hydrogen and extend the life cycle of existing gas infrastructure.

We draw on the research expertise and specialised facilities of Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials to develop carbon fibre composites, nanoporous hydrogen storage materials, energy materials, electromaterials and advanced alloys. We also leverage Deakin’s Carbon Nexus, which provides open-access industry-facing carbon-fibre research and pilot-scale production facilities.

Current research includes:

Storage material optimisation

  • Carbon fibre composites for H2 pressure vessels - design, development, processing and prototyping
  • Nanoporous H2 storage materials - design and development
  • Materials compatibility (nanotech)
  • Materials for hydrogen purification

Material durability

  • Polymers and 100% hydrogen, testing, evaluation, and new materials discovery and design
  • Metals/H2 exposure evaluation
Hydrogen: A clean future

Hydrogen: A clean future

Hydrogen has many different means by which it can be used to assist with the enormous challenge of de-carbonising the world’s economy.

Why is hydrogen a fuel of the future?

Why is hydrogen a fuel of the future?

Hydrogen can power cars, support our electricity system, is used in many industrial applications, and can even be used for energy storage.

This video has been reproduced with permission from CSIRO.


Developing hydrogen education and training pathways in the school, vocational, tertiary, and professional sectors to prepare Australia for the jobs of the future.

We're developing education research, programs and pathways to ready an Australian hydrogen workforce. We take a collaborative and cross-sector approach to education and training, exemplified in our partnership with South West TAFE. Our education research team is drawn from Deakin’s School of Education, REDI Institute and School of Engineering.

Current projects include:

Education focus area

Short courses and microcredentials

School curriculum

  • Hydrogen primary, secondary and VCE school curriculum
  • Hydrogen teacher professional development

Social licence

Understanding and implementing best practice approaches to social licence that build awareness and acceptance of hydrogen’s role in the transition to zero emissions energy.

We’re undertaking research, community education, and First Nations consultation to promote understanding of hydrogen.
Hycel’s research teams are drawn from Deakin’s Better Consumption Lab and the School of Communication and Creative Arts.

Initiatives include:

Perceptions and messaging

  • Hydrogen perceptions in community
  • Effective hydrogen messaging

Community engagement

  • Communication and engagement implementation
  • Demonstration tools

First Nations inclusion

  • Design and consultation considerations for hydrogen infrastructure
  • Connecting First Nations innovation and sustainability with hydrogen

Contact us

For all enquiries, please email the team at