How did you first learn about Form Energy?
I first heard about Form when our CEO, Mateo Jaramillo, gave a talk about the company at Georgia Tech. As someone who had only worked in the lithium-ion & electric vehicle space, I hadn’t given much thought to the grid storage world…. yet.
What made you want to work at Form Energy?
Texas’s extreme winter storm in February of 2021 resulted in loss of power for my parents’ house, where I grew up, in addition to 4.5 million homes across the state. I remembered Mateo’s talk from just a month earlier, and realized that Form’s product would help avoid disasters just like these with week-long dispatchable power to the grid.
Through the interview process, I met incredibly talented people dedicated to making renewable energy accessible to everyone, regardless of socioeconomic background or geographic location. The mission, people, and prospect of bringing a low-cost renewable chemistry to scale really sealed the deal for me.
What are your job duties & responsibilities at Form Energy?
As a battery engineer on the product development team, I work on translating new chemistries and test strategies from an R&D sub-scale battery (size of about a coffee mug) to larger grid-scale product-intent battery systems. On a typical day, I design, execute, and interpret experiments to quantify battery performance throughout its lifetime, and incorporate those learnings into bigger and better batteries. Those experiments include things such as: What kinds of material chemistries should we test? and: How should we cycle these batteries to better replicate customer usage?
What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the breadth of issues I get to tackle, and being able to witness the direct impact of those contributions. Each day comes with its own challenges, whether that be building our batteries, getting them on test, analyzing data and troubleshooting in real-time, and showcasing our progress to relevant stakeholders and/or customers. It feels incredibly rewarding to spot a seemingly show-stopping problem, work through it, and make it out the other end.
How would you describe your time at Form Energy in three words?
Totally worth it.
What about working in the energy storage industry excites you the most?
The prospect of making energy storage accessible excites me! Working towards making Form’s batteries a high-performing, commercially viable solution gets us that much closer to decarbonizing the grid.
What are your hopes for the energy storage industry?
Renewable energy is often talked about in “what if” terms – if we had the infrastructure necessary, we could replace fossil fuels faster. If solar and wind didn’t suffer from intermittency issues, we could implement it on a wider scale. If renewables were economically viable, and if we could train the workforce quickly enough to avoid large disruptions in the labor market, perhaps it wouldn’t be such a taxing journey to get there.
Multi-day energy storage provides concrete answers to those “ifs.” It allows industries to supplement current renewables to decarbonize the grid and create more jobs and manufacturing opportunities in the US, all while doing so at a low cost. Certainly ambitious, but practical and long overdue.
What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
If I’m not in the office, you have a high probability of finding me on a hike, at a farmer’s market picking out produce, or in my kitchen concocting something new. I also enjoy crafting handmade cards and calligraphy, the latter of which you may find on whiteboards throughout our Berkeley office.
What would be the title of your autobiography?