The announcement comes at a time when the United States is seeing record-high fuel prices from coast to coast.
"I'm very excited by this opportunity for Florida Tech, and I'm pleased to support this effort," said Rep. Weldon. "Florida Tech's expertise will be very useful as we try to move away from dependence on Middle Eastern oil and develop a pollution-free, hydrogen-based economy."
The university is looking forward to helping the nation meet a challenge made by President George W. Bush in his 2003 State of the Union address.
"Florida Tech is the right place, and this is the right time, for an advanced study of what it will take to make hydrogen fuel technology both practical and affordable for the mass marketplace," said Florida Tech President Anthony J. Catanese. "We are most appreciative of our friends at NASA and to Congressman Weldon for giving us this unique opportunity to contribute to the history of our nation."
The center will focus on several different aspects of hydrogen fuel usage, including production, safety, and performance. The center will look for ways to increase all three, making mass transportation using the technology both reliable and economically feasible.
Florida Tech research professor, Mary Helen McCay, Ph.D., is the center's principal investigator.