Robert Rose: an obituary

Robert Rose
Robert “Bob” Rose

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Robert Rose, a pioneering force and a strong proponent of a future hydrogen economy. He passed away peacefully in the morning hours of October 17, 2018, at his home in Woodbridge, Virginia, after battling a long illness.

He was a highly sought-after expert in hydrogen and fuel cells and a frequent speaker at events not just in the United States but also Europe and Asia.

Born Nov. 6, 1946, in Newport, Rhode Island, Robert “Bob” Rose was a working journalist for the United Press International in New England before moving to Washington, D.C., in 1972, to work as press secretary for then-Senator Edmund S. Muskie of Maine. During a career spanning more than 35 years, he served as an adviser on hydrogen and fuel cells to United States government agencies, nonprofit organizations and the private sector. He also founded Breakthrough Technologies Institute, an independent nonprofit promoting technologies that carry environmental benefits. He launched the institute’s Fuel Cells 2000 education program in 1993.

Bob received widespread acclaim for his book titled “Fuel Cells and Hydrogen: The Path Forward.” He founded the U.S. Fuel Cell Council, a fuel cell trade association, in 1998, and served as its executive director for 10 years. He later helped merge the council with the National Hydrogen Association to form the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association. His tireless efforts on behalf of the industry earned him the Fuel Cell Seminar Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Hydrogen Association.

A renowned expert in the global hydrogen and fuel cell community, Bob started writing for Hydrogeit Verlag in the summer of 2015. He regularly provided our readers with reports about the United States and Asia. Despite his ailing health, Bob was, up until his final days, committed to introducing hydrogen technology to the market. He last contributed to the German HZwei and the English H2-international magazines in July 2018.

Fortunately, he was still among us to see the American Councils for International Education create the Fuel Cell Rose Education Award in his honor in 2018. The award will be given to doctoral or master’s students, or recent graduates, to help them build leadership skills and advance global partnerships and community building in this promising field. Lorne Craner, the president of American Councils, said that “fuel cells ‘rose’ through Bob Rose and, given his contributions, it’s an honor to be able to launch this award in his name.” At the time, Bob said it was “gratifying to see all the progress in fuel cell and hydrogen technologies,” adding that he was “happy to have been a part of the community behind that progress.”

We will miss him dearly.

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