Fifteen-year Plug veteran talks about importance of hydrogen economy.
For the last 15 years, Sejal Patel has made an impact on the world we live in. As a principal mechanical engineer at Plug, she is responsible for designing and developing metal plate fuel cell stacks for stationary power, on-road, and aerospace applications. She also leads advanced technology and cost reduction initiatives within the stack team.
“I joined Plug because it is a leader in PEM fuel cells, and their vision aligned with my personal passion for sustainability,” Patel said. “Plug provided me opportunities to drive innovation and develop creative green engineering solutions to help shape a clean, sustainable future by leveraging my education and past experiences.”
How important is Patel and Plug’s role in the world we live in? Very important. In fact, world energy usage is expected to increase by nearly 50% by 2050, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration.
“Fossil fuels are limited, and they produce carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions, which result in global warming and climate change,” Patel said. “This must be addressed with broad global scale initiatives. As the world drives deeper with alternate energy options, I believe the development of the larger hydrogen economy and fuel cells will play a critical role in the global movement toward decarbonization by driving secure, sustainable, and resilient power solutions for variety of applications.”
Because of her passion for creating a more sustainable world, Patel said it has been an honor to work at Plug. “It has been a humbling journey to be a part of small percentage of female engineers associated in the fuel cell industry developing commercially and environmentally sound energy solutions for global businesses when it comes to improving their productivity and carbon footprint,” she said.
When she is not working at Plug, you can find Patel occasionally educating others as a guest speaker at Albany Society of Professional Engineers and taking guest lectures at SUNY Polytechnic Institute and University of South Florida. She also enjoys spreading the good word about Plug.
“Plug continues to be a leader and remains focused on building a global hydrogen ecosystem,” she said. “Having worked here for 15 years, I have seen plenty of talented colleagues embrace opportunities to innovate, deliver, learn, grow, and have a fulfilling career while making a positive impact for the environment, and having fun along the journey.”