By leading the first team in the world to use fuel cells to power a zero-emission vehicle, Paul Howard has brought distinction to himself and to his province.
The people at Ballard Power Systems knew they had the technology to revolutionize the energy world. They had made significant advances in fuel cell power density, efficiency and cost but no one was listening to this small, unknown company. To catch the attention of the public and of investors, they decided to leapfrog from a small demonstration model to a 125 horsepower fuel cell to power a nine-meter long transit bus.
Hundreds of people worked on the project, but Paul Howard was the key figure whose determination, detailed engineering excellence and perseverance made the operating nine-meter bus a reality. The project was completed on time and on budget in spite of skepticism from many experts. The design has been tested by B.C. Transit and the Chicago Transit Authority on city transit routes.
In 1996 Paul Howard received the meritorious achievement award from the Association of Professional Engineers of B.C. for his leadership and significant contributions to the development of an environmentally clean power generation alternative for the transportation industry. This remarkable engineering feat with the potential to clean up inner-city air pollution has allowed Ballard Power Systems to become the dominant company it is today.