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HOC SPEAKERS

The Greatest Speakers of the Hydrogen Industry

Bart Biebuyck

Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU)

Bart Biebuyck is Executive Director of the FCH JU – the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. The goal of FCH JU is to facilitate the use of hydrogen and fuel cells in Europe. Since 2016 Bart ist working at FCH JU, after being Technical Senior Manager at Toyota Motor Europe.

Jackie Birdsall

Toyota North America, Senior Engineer

Jacquelyn Birdsall is a Senior Engineer in the Fuel Cell Development Department of Toyota Motor North America Research and Development specializing in hydrogen infrastructure, high pressure hydrogen systems and associated standards and regulations. She also serves as a technical spokesperson for the Toyota Mirai and has been in numerous publications including Car and Driver and the Wall Street Journal. Birdsall has held several roles in the automotive industry prior to joining Toyota in 2012 with over fourteen years of experience in hydrogen, including a thirteen-month assignment at the Toyota Motor Corporation Global Headquarters in Japan. In addition to her activities in hydrogen, Birdsall takes personal interest in promoting STEM learning and diversity within the industry. She is a board member of Women Influencing and Impacting Toyota and in 2015 was honored by the Manufacturing Institute as an Emerging Leader and by Automotive News as Rising Star. Birdsall received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University (previously General Motors Institute).

Prof. Dr. Christian Breyer

LUT University, Global Alliance Powerfuels partner

Christian Breyer is heading the Solar Economy team at LUT University. He authored and co-authored several key research articles in recent years on energy transition towards very high shares of renewables, DAC, Power-to-Liquids, Power-to-jet fuels and related topics. These articles are partly among the most cited research articles in that specific field in most recent years.

Prof. Breyer and his team recently executed the study “Powerfuels in a Renewable Energy World”, commissioned by the Global Alliance Powerfuels, an initiative of the German Energy Agency. The study, to be published on October 28 2020, quantifies the production volumes, costs, and trade volumes of cost-optimized powerfuels (i.e. green hydrogen and derived products) toward a renewable, global energy system in 2050.

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis

Hydrogen Europe, Secretary General

In school Jorgo Chatzimarkakis was thrilled by the bestseller ”In the beginning there was hydrogen“, as a student he joined a political party in order to promote hydrogen from solar power in the Sahara after the Chernobyl shock. As a Member of the European Parliament he helped to lay the foundation for the technology platform Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. Today, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis is the Secretary General of the industry association Hydrogen Europe and work for the energy transition, which is only to be achieved with an energy vector serving as a game changer: hydrogen technologies. 

Bill Elrick

California Fuel Cell Partnership, Executive Director

Bill Elrick is Executive Director at the California Fuel Cell Partnership. He is responsible for the development of analysis tools and detailed project plans for the inudstry, state and federal agencies giving support in the planning of hydrogen stations. Bill has over 25 years of experience in the alternative fuel transportation industry and works directly with automakers, hydrogen station developers as well as the government to enhance the hydrogen society. Bill Elrich is working to put alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles into regular service for environmental and economic benefits. 

Hartmut Fehrenbach

Hexagon Purus, Vice President Hydrogen Distribution

“We from Hexagon, we believe in the future of hydrogen mobility.” Hartmut Fehrenbach, Vice President Hydrogen Distribution at Hexagon Purus GmbH since 2012.

Hexagon delivers solutions for a cleaner energy future. Their solutions enable storage, transport and conversion to clean energy in a wide range of mobility, industrial and consumer applications.

Pierre-Etienne Franc

Air Liquide, Vice President Hydrogen Energy World BU

Pierre-Etienne Franc is Vice Pesident of the Hydrogen Energy World Buisness Unit and joined Air Liquide in 1995. He supervises a broad range of techology businesses and initiatives in the energy and environment sector, as well as aeronautics, cryogenics and inudstrial IT.

Ronald Grasman

Hyundai Motor Group, Vice President Global Fuel Cell Cooperation, Fuel Cell Center

Ronald Grasman joined Hyundai Motor Group as Vice President Global Fuel Cell Cooperation in September 2020. Ronald is an automotive industry veteran who spent most of his career working for Mercedes-Benz in Germany, Asia and the United States. For nearly 15 years he has been focusing on the transition to electric mobility with battery and fuel cell electric vehicles and creating partnerships for the necessary electric / hydrogen infrastructures.

Before joining Hyundai, Ronald was responsible at Mercedes-Benz Vans for the development of a holistic e-mobility eco system for electric vans. This was preceded by nearly 10 years of market development work for battery and fuel cell electric vehicles which included heading the North American Fuel Cell Operations of Mercedes-Benz Cars between 2013 and 2016. 

Ronald holds a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and in addition earned an MBA from the European School of Business at Reutlingen University (ESB). 

Enno Harks

BP Europa SE, Deputy Director, External Affairs 

David Hart

E4tech, Director

David Hart lead E4tech’s fuel cell and hydrogen energy activities, focused on providing our clients with insight and clarity in a complex and evolving sector. His insight is based on nearly 20 years of personal experience and data, and a rich international network. Their clarity is based on rigorous analysis and attention to detail. David Hart has worked in research, academia and business, and value the crossover between them. He wants to help the industry advance and deliver the sustainable energy solutions he knows it can, based on sound analysis, picking the best options, and managing risk. 

Prof. Dr. Christopher Hebling

Fraunhofer ISE, Director Division Hydrogen Technologies

Prof. Dr. Christopher Hebling is director of the division Hydrogen Technologies at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. With a staff of more than 100 scientists and engineers his area of research focuses on PEM fuel cells for mobile applications, PEM water electrolysis and thermochemical catalytic processes to produce synthetic fuels from green hydrogen and CO2. He is also the speaker of the Fraunhofer Hydrogen Network which comprises the hydrogen activities of 28 Fraunhofer Institutes and he is board Member of the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence ‘Integrated Energy Systems’. He is also delegate on behalf of Germany in the Executive Committee of the ‘Technology Collaboration Program for Research and Development on the Production and Utilization of Hydrogen’ of the International Energy Agency IEA. He holds an honorary professorship from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

James Hetherington

Australian Government, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, National Hydrogen Strategy Team, Director

James Hetherington leads the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources’ Hydrogen Strategy team. The team was established in early 2020 to support Australian Government activities to advance Australia’s hydrogen industry and shape global markets, including through coordinating the implementation of actions agreed in Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy.

Prior to this role Mr Hetherington has served for over 15 years in a variety of energy and industry related roles for the Australian Government, primarily in clean energy technology development, energy security, energy productivity and associated grid and energy market reform.

Prof. Dr. Katsuhiko Hirose

HyWealth CO, CEO & Chief Consultant / Kyushu University, WPI visiting Professor

Prof. Dr. Katsuhiko Hirose is Founder and CEO of HyWealth Co. and Visiting Professor at the Kyushu University. He is working as an consultant with the reflections of the experience of 39 years in front line of development for engine, hybrid, and fuel cell system and has a wide network for hydrogen and mobility as well as academic network for advanced material research.

Roland Kaeppner

NEOM, Director of Hydrogen Development

Since October 2019 Roland Kaeppner is Executive Director Hydrogen at NOEM. He has been working in the field of hydrogen for more than 10 years taking various leadership position. The companies on his track record are: thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG, McPhy Energy SA and Siemens AG.

Craig M. Knight

CEO of HYZON Motors Inc, CEO of Horizon Fuel Cell Group

Craig Knight is a founding shareholder of Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies. With a diverse industrial background, Craig has 20 years extensive working experience in International Sales & Marketing and Business Management roles. Aside from his involvement with Horizon, Craig has launched two other international businesses after 15 years working in large multinational companies. He and his family lived for seven years in Singapore and China. Craig now resides in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and three children. He promotes sustainability and a healthy outdoor lifestyle, enjoying surfing, snowboarding, sailing, and the great outdoors. Craig holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Sydney (Australia) and a Masters of Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Sascha Kühn

kraftwerk Inc., CEO

Dr. Sascha Kühn finished his Diploma Thesis in 1999 in materials science at Fraunhofer IZFP in Germany and his PhD in 2004 at the Institute of New Materials in the field of solid oxide fuel cells. His patents were sold to the AVL spin-off alp2s fuel cells in Austria where he proofed and produced his first technology ideas about microtubular anode supported SOFCs with nanocoated electrolytes. Project partners in the first 8 years were big companies like BMW, Airbus and Saint Gobain. In 2008 he started eZelleron GmbH bought back all patents and spun-in to the Fraunhofer IKTS. He raised more than 15 Million EUR and created first revenues.

In 2014 he founded eZelleron Inc. which was focused only on marketing a handheld charger and raised 1.5 million US$ in a kickstarter campaign and is now taken over by an Asian marketing consortium which wants to market the handheld charger within the next years.

In 2016 he co-founded the company kraftwerk Inc. in the Silicon Valley which bought all assets from eZelleron GmbH and is now focused on the core technology in its own big production facility.

Therefore, kraftwerk Inc. got distinguished by several honors like the Cleantech Open Grand Award 2016 (USA) and IPIEC global grand award 2019 (China). (link: https://www.facebook.com/WTOIPGlobal/videos/721024088304519/ )

kraftwerk Inc. is already profitable since the first day and now creates 7-digit profits in the fuel cell business. As supplier it is one of the few fuel cell producers with a whole inhouse production line. Current customers are mainly in the field of automotive and aviation. Kraftwerk has subsidiaries in the US, Germany and China with more than 50 employees worldwide.

 

Jon André Løkke

Nel Hydrogen, CEO

Jon André Løkke has been the CEO of Nel ASA since 2016. Mr. Løkke has previously been CEO of Norsk Titanium AS, a company developing and industrializing 3D printing technology for the production of titanium components for the aerospace and other industries. He has ten years’ experience from the solar industry through the REC Group, including positions as senior vice president in REC Wafer, investor relations officer in REC ASA and CFO in REC ASA. Mr Løkke has also worked for the ABB Group and holds an International MBA degree from Glasgow University and a Bachelor degree in business and economics from Southampton University.

Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff

NOW GmbH, CEO

Since May 2020, Kurt-Christoph von Knobelsdorff is CEO of the NOW GmbH.  Kurt Christoph von Knobelsdorff is an economist and, after working for the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) and the Association of Family Entrepreneurs, among others, held leading positions in the Berlin Senate and the Ministry of Economics of Schleswig-Holstein. Most recently, he was head of the department in the Ministry of Economics and Energy of the State of Brandenburg.

Randy MacEwen

Ballard Power Systems, President & CEO

Randy MacEwan has been the President & CEO and a member of the board of directors of Ballard since October 2014. He has held executive roles in clean energy companies for over 15 years, including in fuel cells and solar. From 2009 to 2014, Mr. MacEwen was Founder and Managing Director of NextCleanTech LLC, a cleantech consulting firm. From 2005 to 2009, Mr. MacEwen served as President & CEO of Solar Integrated Technologies, Inc., a commercial rooftop solar company. From 2001 to 2005, he served as Executive Vice President, Corporate Development of Stuart Energy Systems Corporation, a leading supplier hydrogen generation systems. Mr. MacEwen began his career as a corporate associate at Torys LLP, a leading business law firm, where he specialized in M&A and corporate finance from 1995 to 2001. Mr. MacEwen holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hon) degree from York University and a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Western Ontario.

Morry Markowitz

Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, President

Morry Markowitz has been the President of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association for seven years. Utilizing his extensive government relations and communications background, Mr. Markowitz leads the association’s outreach efforts both in our nation’s capital and across the country. Mr. Markowitz has wide-ranging expertise in the energy and automotive fields, as well as over twenty years of senior-level association management experience. Mr. Markowitz currently serves on the U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC), as well as a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee. Prior to coming to the FCHEA, Mr. Markowitz was the Group Director of External Affairs at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI).  Before his work at EEI, he served as Vice President of Public Affairs with the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers. Mr Markowitz has worked on Capitol Hill, as well as the Executive Branch of government. He is a graduate of the George Washington University and has a law degree from George Mason University School of Law.

Prof. Dr. Christian Mohrdieck

Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH, CEO

Since 2005, Prof. Dr. Christian Mohrdieck has been head of the Fuel Cell System Powertrain Development department in the Group Research and Development Mercedes-Benz Cars division at Daimler. He also holds the position of Managing Director of NuCellSys GmbH, the wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG. This company is regarded as a global leader in the development of fuel cell and tank systems for vehicle applications. Mohrdieck is thus responsible for the fuel cell drive activities of Daimler AG, including cooperation agreements.
In 2013, Dr. Mohrdieck was appointed honorary professor at the University of Ulm.

Eiji Ohira

NEDO, Director

Eiji Ohira is Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Group Director of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). His are of responsibility is the strategy and implementation of NEDO’s R&D as well as the demonstration project on hydrogen and fuel cells.  

Prof. Dr. Bruno G. Pollet

NTNU Team Hydrogen, Leader & IAHE – Green Hydrogen Division, President

Prof. Dr. Bruno G. Pollet is Leader of “NTNU Team Hydrogen”, the largest hydrogen R&D cluster in Norway, Extraordinary Professor in Hydrogen Energy at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa and has been recently appointed as President of the Green Hydrogen Division of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy (IAHE). His research covers a wide range of areas from the development of novel materials for low-temperature fuel cells and water electrolyzers, hydrogen production from non-pure water, organics and bio-wastes, to fuel cell and electrolyzer systems, demonstrators and prototypes. He co-founded and co-directed the Birmingham Centre for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research in the UK and was Director of HySA Systems Integration & Technology Validation Competence Centre in Cape Town. He serves on several association and industry boards as well as editorial boards of international journals (Elsevier, Royal Society of Chemistry, Springer & Wiley).

Werner Ponikwar

Linde Hydrogen FuelTech GmbH, Managing Director

„Purpose and passion drive us daily.” says Werner Ponikwar, Managing Director, Linde Hydrogen FuelTech GmbH in an interview. “We believe in what we are doing: hydrogen mobility has a genuine role in decarbonisation. Linde Hydrogen FuelTech is a pioneering supplier of hydrogen infrastructure solutions.”

Sunita Satyapal

U.S. Department of Energy, Director

Sunita Satyapal is the Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). In this capacity, she is responsible for the overall strategy and execution of hydrogen and fuel cell activities, including oversight and coordination of about $150 million per year of research and development (R&D) programs, as well as staff. She has about  two and a half decades of experience, including academia, industry and government. Prior positions within the office included Chief Engineer, Deputy Program Manager, and Hydrogen Storage Team Leader, and she has coordinated hydrogen and fuel cell activities across DOE, with other agencies, and with international stakeholders. These included 18 countries and the European Commission through the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy.

Jesse Schneider

Nikola Motor Company, EVP Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Technology

A noted hydrogen and fuel cell expert, Schneider is an automotive industry veteran who spent decades of his career working for BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Schneider has spent nearly 20 years in vehicle electrification, fuel cells, electric and hydrogen infrastructure and tanks at automakers in Germany, the United States and China. He led a number of firsts related to fuel cell durability, hydrogen tanks and wireless charging and first fuel cell vehicle drive across the US. Schneider organized the standardization for both electric and fuel cell vehicle infrastructure serving as the chair of Hydrogen Fueling Standards at SAE (J2601/2799) and ISO (TS 19880-1) and wireless charging at SAE (J2954). At Nikola Motor, Jesse Schneider is the Executive Vice President overseeing the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Onboard System Integration also with the partner Iveco & FPT Powertrain. He spearheaded efforts establishing the Nikola Fuel Cell R&D Division working with Bosch in Germany and the hydrogen fueling technology for the Nikola stations with NEL Hydrogen in Norway. In addition, Schneider co-started a heavy-duty FC industry group with Toyota/Hyundai/ Air Liquide/ Shell/ NEL/ Nikola developing the HD hydrogen fueling interface & protocol and in parallel the European PRHYDE project.

Bildquelle: Anja Rottke, VDE

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Prof. Dr. Armin Schnettler

Siemens Energy, EVP New Energy Business

I strongly believe that the next step of the global energy transition will be based on the hydrogen economy – transforming “green electrons” to “green molecules” via water electrolysis.” Armin Schnettler is leading the New Energy Business at Siemens Energy, focusing on sustainable hydrogen generation, as well president of VDE, the German Association for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies. He joined Siemens in 2013 as Senior Vice President of New Technology Fields in Corporate Technology. Before this period, he held several positions at ABB and became member of the management team of ABB’s business area “High Voltage Products and Substations”. From 2001 till 2018 he held a full professorship and was director of the Institute for High Voltage Technology at RWTH Aachen University. Until joining Siemens, he has additionally been managing director of ‘Forschungsgemeinschaft für elektrische Anlagen und Stromwirtschaft e.V. (FGH e.V.)’ – Research Association of Power Systems and Power Economics.

Sanjay Shrestha

Plug Power Inc., Chief Strategy Ofiicer 

Sanjay Shrestha joined Plug Power as Chief Strategy Officer in 2019. Prior to joining Plug Power, Mr. Shrestha served as the CIO of a global solar IPP and President Sky Capital Americas since 2015.  Under his leadership, Sky Capital America built and acquired over 100MW of operating solar assets and secured pipeline over 100MW. He also sourced various types of financing solutions to support this growth including project debt, construction equity and long-term equity. He brings almost two decades of experience in the broader clean tech sector to our team. Before global solar IPP, he led the renewables investment banking effort at FBR Capital markets. During 2014, and under his leadership, the firm was ranked among the top renewable energy underwriters in the U.S.

Prior to joining FBR, Mr. Shrestha spent seven years as the global head of renewables research coverage at Lazard Capital Markets. During his tenure at Lazard Capital Markets, he was a member of the Institutional Investor All America Research team and was also ranked as one of the top five stock pickers on a global basis. Prior to Lazard Capital Markets, Mr. Shrestha spent seven years at First Albany Capital, where he built the firm’s renewables and industrial research practice. Starmine/Forbes Magazine ranked him the number 1 stock picker and the number 1 earnings estimator during his tenure at First Albany Capital. Mr. Shrestha serves as an independent director on the board of directors of Fusemachines, an AI company.

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