Colin joins Breakthrough Energy’s Innovator Fellows program from Hgen in Los Angeles, California. His work focuses on complex electromechanical system design and development – the intersection of mechanical, electrical, and manufacturing engineering. As Chief Technology Officer, he guides the research and development of the hydrogen electrolysis technologies at Hgen.
Hgen’s technology uses renewable electricity to break water into clean hydrogen energy at higher efficiency with lower costs. Hgen’s system is uniquely designed for renewables integration, and will help overcome current technical limitations – notably the intermittent power losses – that hinder clean hydrogen production. Through the Fellows program, Hgen will leverage their integrated, modular design to focus on reducing costs and scaling their technology.
Colin has previous experience leading large-scale engineering projects. At OpenROV, he helped scale a drone startup into the highest volume, underwater robot manufacturer in the world. Then, at SpaceX, his team was a critical part of the crew that developed the first fully reusable space launch vehicle. Colin earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University as well as a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
That everyone is trying their best in the way they know how. This guides me to always try and understand the context from which people are coming from, so I can understand the why to how others act and so I can be as empathetic as possible.
All challenges (technical or not) are interpersonal, and being able to act with empathy helps to unite us towards common goals.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an inventor! I wanted to learn how to build anything and everything, and it is what led me towards engineering.
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