Jimmy Rojas joins Breakthrough Energy’s Fellows program from EvolOH, which he founded in 2020. EvolOH is dedicated to enabling a path toward low-cost green hydrogen production using innovative electrolyzer hardware.
Use of green hydrogen can eliminate several gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, while also reducing the particulate matter that disproportionately impacts disadvantaged communities living near industrial complexes and ports. However, for green hydrogen to be widely adopted, the cost of green hydrogen production needs to be significantly reduced.
EvolOH’s innovative hardware is optimized to facilitate manufacturing, increase lifetime, and improve efficiency — all of which improve upon current technology and will help drive down cost. Jimmy is driven by the notion that once cost-competitive, green hydrogen can truly impact society on a global scale.
Jimmy grew up in Costa Rica, where he picked coffee for a living starting from a young age and became one of the first in his family to finish high school. He then spent a year saving money and learning English before applying to colleges in the U.S. He earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and a Bachelor of Science in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as a Master of Science in mechanical engineering, a Master of Science in management science, and a Doctor of Philosophy in mechanical engineering, each from Stanford University.
What inspired you to go into this field?
I wanted to work on something that would help many, many people directly and indirectly.
What problem are you solving for? What are the practical applications of this work?
Today’s electrolyzers require very expensive materials and are quite difficult to manufacture. Other systems are too complex, perform very poorly, and are incapable of load following. Our system addresses all of these issues, while at the same time facilitating market penetration and adoption.
What do you hope to achieve through the BE Fellows program that you would not be able to accomplish without it?
Eliminate the technical uncertainty of the project. This cannot be done with dilutive funding, and universities do not address the type of issues we need to solve.
If you were speaking to a prospective Fellow applicant, why should they apply?
They should apply because this program fills the gap between research and commercialization. Breakthrough Energy Fellows is the piece that was missing in our path to quickly reduce GHG emissions.
What did you want to be when you grow up?
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