Electric Aviation Group launches Megawatt Stack Fuel Cell Systems Development Business to Accelerate Decarbonisation of the Aviation Sector

Press Release

Monday, 17th January 2022

The Electric Aviation Group (EAG) aims to develop the world’s first ‘True Zero i.e. targeting zero Carbon and NOx emissions’ 90-seater hydrogen hybrid-electric regional aircraft (H2ERA). To enable this, EAG’s immediate focus is on developing key enabling technologies at the right size and scale without which future green aircraft platforms cannot be delivered.

EAG is pleased to announce today another achievement in the development of such enabling technologies, through the creation of Smart Megawatt Stack (SMS) Fuel Cell Systems Ltd.; a spin-off company to develop and commercialise Megawatt-class fuel cell stack systems for aerospace and non-aerospace applications.

SMS Fuel Cell Systems Ltd. brings together best in class complementary capabilities of its founders: EAG will contribute its unique patent portfolio, commercial leadership and access to a live aircraft programme; while other co-founders will bring deep subject matter expertise and track record in developing technology companies in the hydrogen sector.

SMS Fuel Systems Ltd. will develop Smart Megawatt Scale (SMS) fuel cell stack systems for large aircraft applications. This megawatt scale fuel cell stack systems can also be used in other sectors, such as HGV, Shipping and Rail, offering a significant technology permeation potential, further enabling the decarbonisation of the transportation sector

SMS Fuel Cell Systems’ Founding Team includes Kamran Iqbal, CEO of Electric Aviation Group, and world leading experts from Imperial College London:

  • Professor Nigel Brandon, Dean of Engineering, Founder of AIM-listed Ceres Power and Co-Founder of RFC Power
  • Professor Anthony Kucernak, Professor of Chemical Physics and Co-Founder of Bramble Energy, RFC Power and SweetGen
  • Dr Billy Wu, Senior Lecturer in the Dyson School of Design Engineering with expertise in electrochemical devices and manufacturing and manages a multi-million pound portfolio of research projects with partners such as: Shell, Aston Martin, Johnson Matthey, ANSYS, Williams Advanced Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, Dukosi, Arcola Energy (Ballard) and others.
  • Dr Huizhi Wang, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a group leader of the Electrochemical Science & Engineering Group. She holds an EPSRC fellowship and is a Principal Investigator/Chief Investigator of research projects worth more than £10M.

Kamran Iqbal, Founder and CEO of EAG, said: “The megawatt scale fuel stack system to be developed by this new venture is yet another key step to make EAG’s aircraft a reality. Our aircraft and its enabling technologies will become a blueprint for future larger and smaller green aircraft. It is the foundation to secure a leading share in the sustainable mass air transportation market. We have assembled the ‘best in class’ team with complementary capabilities to turn our vision into a reality”.

“There are great opportunities to develop new fuel cell solutions for aerospace applications,” said Professor Nigel Brandon, “And we are looking forward to working with Electric Aviation Group to put these into practice”.

Professor Anthony Kucernak said “Electrification of air transport using MW-class hydrogen fuel cell technology represents an exciting and transformative area which will accelerate the deployment of greener transport options".

EAG has been working with Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, since 2021. This collaboration provides EAG with multi-layered support, from specialist strategy advisory to safety assessments and specification, integration and certification. Julian Fielden-Page, Atkins Market Director Future Flight said “EAG is a high-profile disruptor at the forefront of driving innovation in Net Zero aerospace. The formation of SMS Fuel Systems is yet another tangible step that brings EAG closer to achieving their vision”


Notes to Editors:

Electric Aviation Group’s vision is to develop the world’s first ‘True Zero i.e. targeting zero Carbon and NOx emissions’ 90-seater hydrogen hybrid-electric regional aircraft (H2ERA). EAG’s mission is to be the market leader in developing disruptive technologies for the transportation industry with an acute focus on Hydrogen Powered Aviation. EAG’s innovative technologies will pave the pathway for sustainable aviation and will become the blueprint for future green aircraft. More information is available at https://electricaviationgroup.com/.

Professor Nigel Brandon OBE FREng FRS is Dean of Engineering at Imperial College London, Chair of Imperial’s Sustainable Gas Institute and Director of the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell SUPERGEN Hub. He has a track record in developing technology companies in the hydrogen sector. He joined Imperial College in 1998 following a 14 years’ research career with BP and Rolls-Royce. He is a founder of the UK AIM listed fuel cell and electrolyser developer Ceres Power, and of the UK flow battery company, RFC Power.

Professor Anthony Kucernak (ARK) B.Sc., Ph.D., CChem. MRSC, is a professor of Chemical Physics in the Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, and has extensive experience in the study of various aspects of solid polymer electrolyte fuel cells, supercapacitors, and the design of new electrochemical techniques. His group currently studies a large number of aspects of fuel cell systems ranging from the development of new electrocatalysts, the development of new techniques to characterise and study electrocatalysts, the development of fuel cell electrodes, and the development of new methods to characterise fuel cells. His work has been used to found three companies, Bramble Energy (fuel cells), RFC Power (flow batteries), and Sweetgen (waste water treatment). He is theme leader for Polymer electrolyte fuel cells in the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Supergen Network.

Dr. Billy Wu is a senior lecturer at Imperial College London in the Dyson School of Design Engineering where he works on electrochemical devices and manufacturing. He jointly leads the Electrochemical Science and Engineering group and is on the editorial board of Scientific Reports, Energy and AI, HardwareX and the Journal of Power and Energy. His research activities focus at the interface between fundamental science and engineering application of electrochemical devices such as batteries, fuel cells and supercapacitors, with work including: energy materials, continuum level modelling, understanding degradation, thermal management system and control. Previously, he completed his PhD on modelling and testing of proton exchange membrane fuel cell hybrid powertrains in 2014 which was funded by Nissan. He has published more than 50 peer reviewed research papers on the topic of electrochemical engineering and manages a multi-million pound portfolio of research projects with partners such as: Shell, Aston Martin, Johnson Matthey, ANSYS, Williams Advanced Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, Dukosi, Arcola Energy (Ballard) and others.

Dr Huizhi Wang is a senior lecturer at Imperial College London in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and a group leader of the Electrochemical Science & Engineering Group. Her research lies at the interface between thermofluid science and electrochemistry. Relying on the multidisciplinary approach, she works on the coupled transport of heat, mass, species and charge at different length scales and links them up with new designs and performance improvement of electrochemical energy devices such as fuel cells, batteries and electrolysers. She has over 10 years’ experience in fuel cell modeling with the focus on new cell design, water and thermal management and degradation. She has more than 100 peer reviewed research papers, including a recent Nature perspective on the development of next-generation high-power-density PEM fuel cells. She holds an EPSRC fellowship and is a PI/CI of research projects worth more than £10M.


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