Geoffrey Ballard

Geoffrey Ballard

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Geoffrey Ballard

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Geoffrey Ballard, CM, OBC (16 October 1932 – 2 August 2008) was a Canadian geophysicist and businessman. A long time advocate of replacing the internal combustion engine, in 1979 Ballard founded what would become Ballard Power Systems to develop commercial applications of the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEM). Acknowledged worldwide as the father of the fuel cell industry, Time named him a "Hero for the Planet" in 1999.Margot Hornblower, , Time Magazine, 8 March 1999

Early life and education

Ballard was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, to Jessie Marguerite Mildred of the Rowntree's family in York and Archibald Hall Ballard of Staten Island, New York. His father studied electrochemical engineering at the University of Toronto and later specialized in the area of radiation. He was working at Carborundum Corporation when the lab director fell overboard from a boat during a party and was washed over Niagara Falls, so Archibald Ballard was promoted to lab director at a relatively young age in his mid-40s. He spent most of World War II at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, working on the atomic bomb.

After high school in Niagara Falls, Ballard attended Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, studying geological engineering. Here he met his future wife, Shelagh,...
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