Make The Connection

August 13, 2021 | By Cole Hatcher

Myles Steed ’23 works in the laboratory as part of the Ohio Wesleyan Summer Science Research Program. Steed seeks to improve the creation of a chemical used in hydrogen fuel cells, a green-energy alternative. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

Greener Energy

Ohio Wesleyan Student’s Research Seeks to Improve the Efficiency of Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Myles Steed ’23

Name: Myles Steed ’23
: Marion, Ohio
Major: Pre-Medicine and Microbiology
Minor: Psychology
OWU Connection Experience: Ohio Wesleyan’s Summer Science Research Program (SSRP)

Myles Steed ’23 spent 10 weeks studying “The Development of Dipyrrin Platforms for Oxygen Reduction” under the mentorship of Allen Pistner, Ph.D., assistant professor of Chemistry.

What I’m Researching

“My work involves researching faster and more effective ways to create a chemical called a dipyrrin ligand. This ligand improves the usage of hydrogen fuel cells, one of the most promising green energy alternatives on the market today. It works by assisting in the chemical reaction of converting oxygen from the atmosphere into water, a necessary process in hydrogen fuel cell functioning.

A Self-Sustaining Fuel Source?

“I hope to learn more about hydrogen fuel cell functioning and how we can use inorganic and organometallic chemistry concepts to make hydrogen fuel cells a more efficient and more marketable green-energy alternative. In particular, I would like to know how we could pair a more efficient hydrogen fuel cell with a solar-driven water-splitting system to form a potentially self-sustaining fuel source.”

Lessons Learned

“This research experience strengthened my understanding of organic chemistry and its challenges in the real-world. This research experience has also made me more confident working in a lab-setting by the repetitive usage of various instruments and chemicals.

“This research has not only strengthened my research capabilities, teaching me to communicate effectively with the public by simplifying complex terms into something more palpable, but also my public speaking abilities. Both skills that I have learned through this research may serve me well down the road for my interest to get a Ph.D. in Microbiology and become a scientist.”

My OWU Mentor

“The most important lesson that I have learned from Dr. Pistner is patience and persistence. In research, I initially thought that results would be instantaneous and relatively successful. How wrong was I! Through this experience, I learned that it takes persistence and time to reflect on unsuccessful aspects of research to bring about successful results.”

Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan

“I chose to attend OWU because of their hands-on lab experiences and ability to form personal connections with faculty professors and staff.”

My Plans After Graduation

“I plan on attending grad school for Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and then become a researcher at a pharmaceutical or genetic therapy lab in the United States.”