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Program Overview

Energy professionals – current and future – have to be informed and equipped for an industry that is in transition. The Hydrogen Economy is an essential program to meet this need for an important component of the evolving global energy system. Designed and presented by leaders from industry and accomplished faculty from the University of Houston, the program provides a unique balance of industrial expertise and academic rigor.

The Hydrogen Economy is offered jointly by the University of Houston and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Successful candidates will receive digital badges from UH Energy for the completing each of the three course modules, and a certificate of completion from AIChE upon completion of the full program.

Why This Program?

The energy transition is in progress, and the world is grappling with the energy trilemma: How can we supply energy that is affordable, accessible & reliable, and environmentally responsible, for everyone? There is no single solution to this formidable challenge; but hydrogen is a key component of most credible sustainable energy scenarios, with up to 10-fold growth projected for a global energy system that will increase less than two-fold over the next 30 - 50 years.

Hydrogen is currently used heavily in the process industries, and it is seen as a significant future replacement option for the fossil fuels that are now used in power generation, transportation and industry. However, most hydrogen today is produced from fossil energy sources. It will need to be decarbonized if it is to take its place as a dominant player in sustainable energy.

This interactive, online educational program shares insights into the technology, economics, policy, and business drivers and barriers for hydrogen, both in the short term and in the long term. It examines hydrogen’s production, transportation, safety, use, and commercial opportunities, and considers both onshore and offshore applications. It also includes a capstone project to consolidate the learnings, and to better equip you, as an energy professional, with skills, knowledge and expertise to thrive in the Hydrogen Economy.

Hydrogen Production Scenario Global Image

Up to 10-fold growth in hydrogen demand is projected if adopted as an energy vector to decarbonize heavy duty transportation and other difficult-to-decarbonize industry sectors. 1-3

Who Should Attend?

The Hydrogen Economy Program has been designed with two distinct groups in mind:

  • Those of you already in the energy industries are seeing significant changes almost daily. The Hydrogen Economy Program will provide the new information, new insights, and new skills you need to manage the new demands that are placed on you as you play your part in the Energy Transition
  • Those of you readying yourself for an energy career need to prepare for a dynamic, exciting and challenging professional life. The Hydrogen Economy Program provides a unique perspective and skillset, giving you a competitively advantaged competence as you enter the energy marketplace

Program Pricing

COMPLETE PROGRAM PRICE (3 badge program):


Discounted price of $2,500 for AIChE Members and UH Alumni



Per Badge


The Fall 2023 cohort of The Hydrogen Economy is presented as a combined synchronous/asynchronous package. The synchronous (real time) segments are weekly 1-hour Zoom meetings, 6:00-7:00 pm US Central Time, on Monday evenings unless holidays or other scheduling factors dictate otherwise. These sessions include overviews, updates, course guidance, and Q&A. The first synchronous segment is an orientation session, which comes at the start of Badge 1 (Hydrogen Production Badge). The other weekly synchronous segments are for review of assigned asynchronous material and for Q&A.

The asynchronous segments consist of recordings, lecture notes, and pre-read documents. These are to be reviewed and studied between the weekly synchronous sessions. There are 2 x 2½-hour asynchronous sessions per week, together with weekly quizzes.

Dates for the synchronous segments are:

Orientation Session: AUGUST 21 

Badge 1 - Hydrogen Production: AUGUST 28 SEPTEMBER 6* SEPTEMBER 11

Badge 2 - Hydrogen Transportation, Safety & Use : SEPTEMBER 27* OCTOBER 2 OCTOBER 11* 

Badge 3 - Commercial Opportunity for Hydrogen: OCTOBER 23 OCTOBER 30 NOVEMBER 6 NOVEMBER 8* NOVEMBER 13**

*Wednesday Session

**Contingency Session

†Much of Badge 3 consists of a capstone project. Additional synchronous sessions may be needed for project reviews.

All dates are subject to change.

Credentialing Overview

This micro-credentialing program delivers a multi-disciplinary understanding of challenges and solutions to develop a viable hydrogen economy, and it is taught by world class instructors, including leaders from industry and the marketplace and accomplished faculty from the University of Houston, the Energy University, in the Energy Capital of the World.

The program is offered in 15-hour modules, each over a 3-week period. Digital badges are awarded for each module, and a set of 3 badges earns you a “Silver Belt” from UH Energy. You will also receive a certificate of completion from AIChE.

The Hydrogen Economy is a standalone program. However, it is also a Silver Belt Program within the Sustainable Energy Development portfolio. The introductory Sustainable Energy Development Bronze Belt, followed by two additional Belts (Silver or Gold) lead to the coveted UH Digital Certificate in Sustainable Energy Development. The badges and belts provide a permanent record, endorsed by UH Energy and the University of Houston, that can be made a part of your resume to credential your new skills.


This Silver Belt program builds upon the introduction to the energy transition given in the Bronze Belt in Sustainable Energy Development. It provides a deeper look at hydrogen – one of the most promising vehicles for decarbonizing the global energy system. The three badges explore hydrogen production, hydrogen transportation, safety and use, and the commercial opportunity for hydrogen. A capstone project is included, to consolidate the multidisciplinary learnings of this exciting new program.

The Hydrogen Economy Silver Belt Image
Hydrogen Production Badge Image
Hydrogen Transportation, Safety & Use Badge Image
Commercial Opportunity for Hydrogen Badge Image

Learning Objectives

After successfully completing this program, participants will be able to understand:

  • Key characteristics and drivers for hydrogen as the decarbonization fuel of choice
  • Fundamentals for the existing hydrogen market, and how it is poised to change
  • Policy and strategy: Critical factors in building The Hydrogen Economy
  • Hydrogen as a means for transporting and storing renewable energy
  • Current and emerging options for producing hydrogen, including offshore options
  • Basics of hydrogen safety
  • Technical options for storing and transporting hydrogen, including decision factors
  • Fuel cells and their roles in transportation, in the electric grid, and in domestic and commercial power supply
  • Hydrogen fueled vehicles – from forklifts, trains and ships to aircraft
  • Hydrogen as a fuel to decarbonize industry
  • Trade-offs for use of hydrogen vs. electrification vs. advanced renewable hydrocarbon fuels as vectors for decarbonization

Credentialing Program Prerequisites


  • Rising senior in a bachelor’s degree program or graduate student; business, engineering, or technology preferred.
  • Industry professional

Frequently Asked Questions

Applications are open here:

Currently we only accept credit card payments.
This program is presented as a combined synchronous/asynchronous package. Most of the content is provided asynchronously using recordings. The synchronous sessions provide real time interaction with instructors and other learners.
Yes. Each week in Badge 1 and Badge 2 you will have an online multiple-choice test, and you will have to achieve a passing grade to proceed to the next week. If you do not pass on the first attempt, you can review the course material and re-take the test as many times as you wish. In Badge 3, you will be graded on your Capstone Project.
The asynchronous material will be available to you for the duration of the course. The weekly synchronous sessions will also be recorded, and you will be able to view the recordings at your convenience. However, we strongly recommend that you attend the synchronous sessions, as the live interaction with instructors and other students is an important instructional component.
No. However, the later badges build on the content of the earlier ones, so it is much preferred to take the badges in the specified sequence.
If you miss a badge, you may be able to register for the badge by fully asynchronous delivery. The same registration process and fees apply whether you participate in real time, or if you only participate asynchronously.

Micro-credentials are certifications for mastery of specific topic areas or skillsets. To earn a micro-credential, you typically have to complete a certain number of activities, assessments, or projects related to the topic.

Digital badges (or ebadges) are a validated indicator of accomplishment, skill, quality or interest that can be earned in various learning environments. Digital badges are now commonly used as “digital transcripts,” and they can be incorporated in LinkedIn profiles. Many badge earners also display their badges through social media.

Use and Acceptance: Micro-credentials and digital badges are now widely accepted by employers as evidence of competency in specific skills. They have been in use for roughly ten years, notably in the IT arena, where IBM has been a leader. IBM needed to train personnel to support rapidly changing product needs. Rather than using extended training programs, they developed training for minimum skillsets, and deployed this through online media. They awarded micro-credentials to successful candidates, and issued digital badges to certify the awards. Many other companies, large and small, are now using digital credentials, as are many academic institutions, including the University of Houston, and also Harvard, Cambridge, and a large number of other universities.

If you cannot find the information you need on the webpage or in the other FAQs, please contact:

Additional Program Resources

The Hydrogen Economy Information Session - January 26, 2022

Recording Date: January 26, 2022

Information Session for The Hydrogen Economy held on Wednesday, January 26th from 2:00pm - 2:30pm


The Hydrogen Economy Information Session - June 1, 2021

Recording Date: June 1, 2021

Information Session for The Hydrogen Economy held on Tuesday, June 1st from 2:00pm - 2:30pm


Sustainable Energy Development Program Info Session - July 9, 2020

Recording Date: July 9, 2020

Information Session for the Sustainable Energy Development Program held on Thursday, July 9th from 10:00am - 10:45am

Info Session Slides DOWNLOAD SLIDES

Recent Program Capstone Project Highlights

The culmination of the The Hydrogen Economy program is the capstone project. The project is based on developing and defending a business plan for start-up and commercialization of a clean hydrogen venture, demonstrating knowledge of the principles taught in the course. This is augmented by additional independent research for the specific type of business model, technology deployment, and location chosen. Learners can choose either to work individually or form teams to evaluate their ideas, and then present them to the class and the panel of judges (aka the shark tank). There were some wonderful ideas and creative presentations, and the whole activity was great fun. Below are summaries of the winning projects.

Fall 2022

Spring 2022

Summer 2021