Ron Bliesner (’11, ’13 MS Mech. Eng.), fluids and propulsion lead at space exploration company Blue Origin, knows liquid hydrogen⁠—a go-to fuel to launch rockets.

He studied it at the Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) laboratory at Washington State University, led by mechanical engineering associate professor Jacob Leachman. It’s the only cryogenic hydrogen lab at a US university.

Headshot of Ron BliesnerRon Bliesner (Courtesy LinkedIn)

Bliesner and fellow HYPER Lab alum Chelsea Crabb (’20 Mech. Eng.), fluid systems engineer at the Kent-based Blue Origin, bring their liquid hydrogen expertise to projects such as Blue Origin’s Artemis V moon lander contract with NASA, which was announced in April.

“WSU is working on things that nobody else is working on in academia,” Bliesner says. “If you understand hydrogen, you have a future.”

Blue Moon lander model at Blue OriginBlue Moon full-scale model (Courtesy Blue Origin)


Alumni stories from the HYPER Lab


Read more

Circling back to hydrogen (Spring 2021, Washington State Magazine)

Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research lab blog (Jacob Leachman)