Neal Sullivan

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Neal SullivanProf. Sullivan’s research focuses on experimentation of electrochemistry, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, transport phenomena, chemical kinetics, and combustion processes found in solid-oxide fuel cell systems and balance-of-plant components, microchannel reactors, and heat exchangers.

In his current position as Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, Professor Sullivan leads experimental operations within Colorado Fuel Cell Center Laboratory. This 3600-ft2 facility acts as the focal point at the Colorado School of Mines for research and development activities in the fields of polymer-electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), high-temperature proton-conducting ceramics, and balance-of-plant component development for fuel-cell, heat-transfer, and chemical-processing applications. Professor Sullivan was named Director of the Colorado Fuel Cell Center in August of 2007.

Prof. Sullivan received CSM’s Alumni Teaching Award in April of 2008. Graduating seniors have voted Prof. Sullivan as the Outstanding Teacher for the Mechanical Engineering Department six times.


Brown Hall W410H

Labs and Research Centers

Research Areas

  • “Low-Cost, Intermediate-Temperature, Fuel-Flexible Protonic Ceramic Fuel Cell Stack”, Department of Energy, Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (DOE ARPA-E). Awarded August 2014. In collaboration with Prof. Robert Braun (Mechanical Engineering Department) and Prof. Ryan O’Hayre (Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department).
  • “Advanced Manufacturing of Intermediate Temperature Direct Oxidation Solid Oxide Fuel Cells,” National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  Awarded August 2014. In collaboration with ITN Energy Systems (Littleton, Colorado).
  • “Geothermic Fuel Cells for Unconventional Oil and Gas Processing,” Industrially funded program; Awarded November 2012; follow-on award July 2014; collaboration with Delphi Powertrain Systems (Fenton, Michigan), Precision Combustion, Inc. (North Haven, Connecticut), and IEP Technologies (Parker, CO).
  • “Proton-Conducting Ceramic Membranes for Conversion of Natural Gas into Higher-Value Chemicals,” collaboration with CoorsTek, Inc. (Golden, Colorado).
  • “Ceramic Microchannel Reactors and Heat Exchangers for Fuel Processing,” collaboration with CoorsTek, Inc. (Golden, Colorado).


  • S. Babiniec, S. Ricote, N.P. Sullivan, “Infiltrated lanthanum nickelate cathodes for use with BaCe0.2Zr0.7Y0.1O3-δ proton conducting electrolytes,” Journal of the Electrochemical Society 161 : 6 (2014) F717-F723.
  • D.M. Murphy, M. Parker, N.P. Sullivan, “The interplay of heat transfer and endothermic chemistry within a ceramic microchannel reactor,” ASME Journal of Thermal Science and Engineering Applications, (2014) 6 031007 (2014) DOI: 10.1115/1.4026296.
  • N.P. Sullivan, R.J. Braun, B. Haun, M. Daubenspeck, G. Anyenya, J.V. Bonadies, B. Fischer, A. Wright, M. Wall, A. Forbes, M. Savage, “Geothermic Fuel Cells – An exciting new application of solid-oxide fuel cell technology,” Proceedings of the ASME 2014 12th Fuel Cell Science, Engineering & Technology Conference, Paper Number ES-FuelCell2014-6402, Boston, MA, USA, June 30 – July 2, 2014.
  • D.M. Murphy, J. Blasi, M. Parker, A. Manerbino, R.J. Kee, N.P.Sullivan, “Methane steam reforming in a novel ceramic microchannel reactor,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (2013) DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2013.05.014
  • A.E. Richards and N.P. Sullivan, “The interdependence of macro- and microstructure on internal-reforming performance in Ni-YSZ anode supports,” Fuel Cells: From Fundamentals to Applications (2013) DOI:10.1002/fuce.201200193.

Recent Courses

  • MEGN 501 – Advanced Engineering Measurements
  • MEGN 451 – Fluid Mechanics II
  • MEGN 351 – Fluid Mechanics I
  • MEGN 361 – Thermodynamics I
  • MEGN 569 – Fuel Cell Science and Technology