Shawn Litster is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University (2008) and his Bachelor Engineering and Master of Applied Sciences degrees from the University of Victoria. His current research focus is micro- and nano-scale transport phenomena in energy conversion technologies where electrochemistry and electrokinetics play a dominant role, including fuel cells, batteries, and ultra-capacitors. His research interests also include multiphase flow in porous media and micro-channels, non-linear dynamics, catalytic gasification, and microfluidic pumping.

Litster has received Carnegie Mellon’s George Tallman Ladd Research Award, a National Science Foundation CAREER award, the University of Victoria’s Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal, and best paper/presentation awards from The Electrochemical Society and the American Society for Mechanical Engineers. He is an author of over 30 journal papers and three book chapters. He is also an inventor for two US patents on fuel cell design.

5107 Scott Hall
Google Scholar
Shawn Litster
Laboratory for Transport Phenomena in Energy Systems

Advancing Transportation Technology: Electrification of Vehicles with Fuel Cells and Batteries

Fuel Cells for Electric Vehicles

Behind the Researcher


2008 Ph.D., Stanford University

2005 Master of Applied Sciences, , University of Victoria

2004 Bachelor of Engineering, University of Victoria

Media mentions

CMU Engineering

Litster sub-awardee on $50M of new DOE hydrogen projects

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded 52 projects $750 million to dramatically reduce the cost of clean hydrogen and reinforce American leadership in the growing hydrogen industry.

Scott Institute

Scott Institute announces 2022 seed grants for five projects

The Scott Institute has announced its latest seed grant awards worth $1.42 million to five research projects led by CMU Engineering faculty.

CMU Engineering

Jaramillo on transportation, IPCC report for policymakers

Paulina Jaramillo served as coordinating lead author of the transportation section of the newly released IPCC report for climate-policymakers.

CMU Engineering

A disruptive approach to fuel cell tech

A research collaboration led by Shawn Litster receives $3.2M from ARPA-E’s OPEN 2021 program to develop ionomer-free electrodes for ultra-high power density fuel cells.


Litster interviewed on on virtual cycling program

MechE’s Shawn Litster was interviewed in VeloNews on Zwift, the largest virtual cycling game.

Associated Press

Litster quoted on hydrogen fuel cell market

MechE’s Shawn Litster was quoted in the Associated Press on the expansion of the hydrogen fuel cell market.

AP News

Litster mentioned on hydrogen fuel

MechE’s Shawn Litster was mentioned by AP News about hydrogen generators entering the market.

Multiple sources

Litster quoted on hydrogen-powered vehicles

MechE’s Shawn Litster was quoted by AP News about the feasibility of hydrogen-powered vehicles as a step toward clean transportation.

CMU Engineering

Behind the Researcher

The College of Engineering is known for our cutting-edge research, academic rigor, and amazing students, but you might be surprised by some of the other talents of our award-winning faculty.

Scott Institute

CMU Engineering faculty awarded Scott Institute seed grants

Eight research projects lead by CMU Engineering faculty have been awarded 2020 Seed Grants for Energy Research by the Scott Institue for Energy Innovation.


Litster on fuel cell-powered cars

MechE’s Shawn Litster was interviewed in a Bloomberg article about Toyota’s upcoming second-generation Mirai vehicle, a hydrogen fuel-cell powered sedan. Fuel cell vehicles have been outsold in the U.S. and make up a small part of the market. In the past few years, improvements have been made, but according to Litster, there is still much to do, including finding a cheaper replacement for platinum.

Department of Energy

DOE awards Litster and partners $3.7M for fuel cell tech research

MechE’s Shawn Litster is involved in two new projects on fuel cells for heavy-duty vehicles, which are both funded by the Department of Energy (DOE).