Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells' main components are the anode, cathode and the membrane. A conventional membrane used in today's PEM fuel cells is the Nafion 117 membrane. In this project, the Nafion 177 membrane is discussed in detail to demonstrate its ability to absorb water and the capability to operate in a specific range of temperatures. In addition, an extensive simulation using CATIA V5 is used to determine the highest stress distribution on the membrane for various boundary conditions. Other membranes materials were also considered in this report. They include the Dias membrane, the bacterial cellulose membrane to expand the selection of candidate membranes that can be used im PEM fuel cells for future research. Optimization methods were utilized to maximize the performance of the PEM fuel cells. The Genetic Algorithm is used to solve optimization problems by implementing powerful search techniques to find an optimal solution within a large set of solutions. In this project, the Genetic Algorithm is used to show the impact of the stack positions in order to optimize voltage output. In addition, the Nafion content and platinum loading are adjusted to optimize the performance of the current density within PEM fuel cells.