Dr. Robert W. Fletcher, PhD
Associate Professor and Director,
Robert W. Fletcher joined the faculty of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Lawrence Technological University in the summer of 2003, after two decades of continuous industrial research, product development and manufacturing experience.
Dr. Fletcher earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington, in Seattle, Washington, a Master of Engineering in Manufacturing Systems from Lawrence Technological University, in Southfield, Michigan, and the Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering focusing on Electrochemical Engineering, both from the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. Prior to coming to LTU he worked with AMPS, a research company developing Advanced Radioisotope Power Supplies for use by NASA in their deep-space missions. Previous employers include Siemens, Mallinckrodt, and Cordis Dow (a subsidiary of Dow Chemical).
He teaches a number of alternative energy courses and is leading LTU's efforts to establish a full energy engineering program that addresses both alternative and renewable energy systems, as well as energy conservation and optimization of traditional energy systems. He also is the Director of the Alternative Energy program at Lawrence Tech. Because of his firm belief that the first experience students have with engineering education is critical and needs to be a challenging, engaging and positive one, Dr. Fletcher in 2004 began actively working with other engineering faculty to reconfigure the Introduction to Engineering courses at LTU. This has lead to a strong Department of Mechanical Engineering partnership with LTU's 1st Year Programs and the LTU Academic Achievement Center as well as the LTU Office of Career Services and International Programs to expand and enhance the learning potential and academic success for all of LTU's 1st year engineering students.
Active collaborative research by faculty with students is foundational to the mission of a university and is vital towards the full education of any institution's students. Dr. Fletcher and his student research team are currently conducting long-term performance durability and reliability on multiple PEM fuel cell research used under a wide range of operational conditions for the US Army. He is also working with his students supporting DTE Energy in the operation and optimization of their Hydrogen Power Park in Southfield, Michigan, a photovoltaic, biomass, water electrolysis, hydrogen storage, hydrogen vehicle fueling station and fuel cell power demonstration project, funded by the Department of Energy. Other research efforts include the study of solar concentrators and solar water heaters, as well as temperature effects on solar photovoltaic system performance. He is also establishing an alternative energy laboratory at LTU that contains integrated fuel cell and hydrogen generation systems, as well as equipment for solar (thermal and photovoltaic), biomass, wind and other alternative and renewable energy generation equipment.
Dr. Fletcher is an active supporter of the State of Michigan in its efforts to expand renewable energy production within Michigan and serves on the State Energy Office's State Wind Outreach Team, a group of university faculty and professionals from agencies and reputable non-profit organizations from across Michigan who are working to help accurately and factually educate lawmakers, industry, professional organizations and the general citizenry about the issues involved with bringing wind energy to the State of Michigan. Recently Dr. Fletcher was appointed to the Wayne County Commission Global Warming Task Force. Though now a US citizen he serves his former homeland as a peer reviewer for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
Courses taught by Dr. Fletcher:
* EGE 1012 - Introduction to Engineering
* EGE 3003 - Engineering Thermodynamics
* EGE 3903 - Alternative Energy fundamentals
* EME 5163 - Fuel Cells and Hydrogen
* EME 5193 - Solar and Wind Energy Generation
* EGE 5303 - Energy and Environmental Management 1
* EME 5313 - Biofuels & Biomass Energy Engineering
* EME 6413 - Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics
* EME 6163 - Fuel Cells and Hydrogen