How did you first learn about Form Energy?
I first learned of Form when listening to Mateo Jaramillo’s interview on the Watt It Takes podcast.
What made you want to work at Form Energy?
Like many of us at Form, I’m here for the climate impact. I’ve worked on the problem of renewables integration on and off since 2007, and I see multi-day energy storage as the missing link in what it will take to get us to a 100% carbon-free energy sector. Plus, the team is wonderful!
What are your job duties & responsibilities at Form Energy?
Although Form is first and foremost a hardware company, there’s a lot of software that goes into our product and our business. I lead a team of software engineers that accelerate the rest of the company in a wide range of ways, from collecting data that measures battery performance, to creating tools that enable our operations and business development teams to do their best work.
What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
I like the variety that comes with being a technical leader. On a given day, I might bounce between discussing our software architecture with an engineer, brainstorming new features with a user and aligning multi-year roadmaps with an executive. I think my favorite parts, however, are when I can help a teammate identify the right problem to solve, and feel confident and empowered to go off and rock it at solving the problem.
What about working in the energy storage industry excites you the most?
The climate impact! I like to think about Form’s impact by comparing electricity to a supply chain: The power grid has electricity producers and consumers, same as any other supply chain. But unlike other supply chains where producers can store goods in a warehouse while they wait for a customer, utilities have very few tools that they can use to smooth over spikes or dips in energy supply. Because renewable energy is inherently spiky, grid operators are reluctant to get to the levels of renewable energy we need in order to solve our climate crisis. Enter Form Energy…our product is literally a warehouse for electricity. And with that warehouse to smooth out the electricity supply chain, grid operators can take coal plants off the grid faster, build bigger wind and solar farms, power more EVs, and reduce blackouts from extreme weather.
What are your hopes for the energy storage industry?
Like most sectors that touch STEM, energy storage companies aren’t always diverse. I’m proud that my team is currently half women and half nonwhite, and I hope that the energy storage industry overall can be as ambitious in our push for diversity, equity and inclusion as we are in our push for climate solutions and business model innovation.
What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
Many of my hobbies were already quarantine-compatible: hiking and backpacking, baking and food projects, knitting and yarn projects, and gardening (as a longer-term food project). When things open back up a bit more, I’m looking forward to starting to take dance classes again.
What book did you last read?
I’m currently reading “Stories Of Your Life” by Ted Chiang, which includes the short story that was the basis for the movie Arrival (side note: when you think of cool data visualizations in movies, many people picture the fancy 3D touchscreens in Minority Report or Mission Impossible—but Arrival has my favorite film depiction of a custom data analysis user interface that I can actually picture a real scientist using every day). Other recent reads are “Caste” for nonfiction, and “Detransition Baby” for fiction.
Any hidden talents?
I’ve had past stints as a biophysicist, a magazine editor, a data scientist, and a nonprofit founder.