News Release| Fulbright Scholar; Cal State L.A.

Note to news desk and reporters: To request a photo or to schedule an interview with Professor David Blekhman, please call the CSULA Public Affairs office in advance at (323) 343-3050. 

CSULA technology professor receives Fulbright award

Blekhman to compose textbook, launch educational program on ‘green’ technologies in St. Petersburg, Russia

Los Angeles, CA -- David Blekhman, associate professor of technology at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach and conduct research in Saint Petersburg, Russia, during the 2011-2012 academic year.

Blekhman was selected for the honor by the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

As a Fulbright scholar, Blekhman will focus on helping Saint Petersburg State Polytechnic University (SPbSPU) launch an educational program in fuel cell technologies, fuel cell vehicles, and hydrogen infrastructure. The newly-developed program will also reach out to students and instructors at the high school level.

Additionally, Blekhman will prepare the curriculum and supporting materials, which will be bases for his collaboration on a textbook on fuel cell and hydrogen technologies in Russian.

“The Fulbright scholarship is an honor and another significant step in professional development that enthusiastically supported by our administration and colleagues,” said Blekhman. “I will be sharing with students and instructors in St. Petersburg, the know-how in alternative energy, fuels and transportation that I have gained at CSULA in the past four years. CSULA has been a wonderful place to work, learn, educate and grow professionally.”

Blekhman is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2011-2012. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as having demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

Blekhman is an expert in alternative and renewable energy, fuel cells, automotive applications, thermal and fluid systems, and combustion. A director of the Power, Energy and Transportation Lab at CSULA, Blekhman is also a principal investigator of the University’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Education project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. He earned his B.S./M.S. in thermal physics from SPbSPU and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

“Another exciting aspect of the Fulbright project is being a cultural ambassador. When I used to walk to high school, I would walk by the American Consulate in St. Petersburg. I remember the big poster with late President Ronald Reagan and the seven-member crew of the Challenger displayed after the tragedy,” said Blekhman. “I never imagined back then that I would go to the U.S. and then come back to share what I had learned about the people, traditions, history and educational system in the last 15 years.”

“I look forward to forging new collaborations with colleagues and students to promote education, research, green projects and exchange programs for years to come,” added Blekhman. “St. Petersburg is a city of 300 hundred bridges—small and large. I would like to build more.”

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. 

Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and athletics.  Forty Fulbright alumni from 11 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 75 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes.

For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please visit

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