Seizing the Hydrogen Opportunity in Aviation

Lauren Sammes, a Hydrogen Systems Fellow at Universal Hydrogen, shares how believing in and following her passion led her to her ideal career.
Universal Hydrogen aviation rendering

I became interested in pursuing chemistry from, of all, people, my art teacher. She insisted that I could do whatever I wanted so long as I put my mind to it and I went on to study chemistry at university and green electrochemistry for my PhD. I still have a passion for art, although I’m still not that good at it.

My Career Path

During my studies, I had several opportunities to intern. I worked in laboratories for the government and industry that helped me focus. After graduating, I worked at a large chemical company studying the electrochemistry of chlorine and hydrogen production. It enabled me to understand large-scale chemistry and how it can be productized.

Seizing the Hydrogen Opportunity in Aviation hydrogen
Lauren Sammes

I moved into academia next and taught chemistry and materials chemistry. I also did research into hydrogen and fuel cell technology, which led to the publication of several patents.

After working for a startup, I moved back into academia and continued my research into green energy, hydrogen and hydrogen synthesis, and fuel cell development. I then started at a company working on hydrogen production, storage, and utilization — a perfect precursor for my current role at Universal Hydrogen.

I was extremely interested in joining Universal Hydrogen because the company has an important use case for hydrogen–decarbonizing aviation–and I can use my expertise on the chemical to help the team better understand how to use it, how to store it, and where to get it.

Although work keeps me busy, I always try to find time to do the things I love, like running; I begin each day with a 4-mile run. I also love giving back to students, and am still involved in teaching green chemistry and environmental chemistry to undergraduates at local universities. If I could offer some words of wisdom to college students and grads, it would be to always believe in yourself, and follow your passion. I had no idea that hydrogen and green chemistry would provide me with a life-long career, but when I started out studying the topic, I truly believed in it. Science and engineering are critical for our future, and the opportunities for career advancement are huge.


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Author(s) Information

  • Seizing the Hydrogen Opportunity in Aviation hydrogen

    Lauren Sammes

    Lauren Sammes is Universal Hydrogen's Hydrogen Systems Fellow, and the top subject matter expert on hydrogen technology and hydrogen safety. Lauren was previously the CTO of Low Emissions Research Corporation and Director of Fuel Cell Development at Acumentrics. She has also had a distinguished career in academia, including serving as Distinguished Professor of Ceramic Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, UTC Chair Professor and Founding Director of the Global Fuel Cell Center at the University of Connecticut, and most recently on the faculty of the University of Maine and St. Joseph’s College.

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