Fuel Cell Engineers
Fuel cell engineers work for a variety of industries and companies, including manufacturers of fuel cells and related technology, automotive manufacturers with hydrogen vehicle programs, merchant hydrogen producers, colleges and universities that conduct fuel cell and hydrogen research, and government agencies that conduct research in the field. For example, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's National Fuel Cell Technology Evaluation Center employ's fuel cell engineers and related professionals. Most jobs require science and engineering backgrounds and prior experience in product and technology development. According to the State of the States: Fuel Cells in America 2016, the top three states for fuel cell research, development, and manufacturing are California, Connecticut, and New York. States identified as "rising stars" in the fuel cell industry include Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Ohio.
Fuel cell engineers find jobs through their college’s career service offices, through contacts made via internships and other educational opportunities, and by applying to private companies and government agencies that develop and/or manufacture fuel cell technology. They may also receive job-search support and resources through professional associations such as the Association of Energy Engineers and the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association.
Experienced fuel cell engineers take on greater responsibilities and more complicated projects. They may spend more time working on problems independently and taking lead roles on project teams. They become team managers or supervisors, overseeing the work of others. With many years of successful contributions to projects they may advance to become high-level corporate or government executives. Those with a bachelor's degree enhance their careers by pursuing higher education. Some go back to school for their master's degree in engineering, or those who work in corporate environments may earn degrees in business or law. Those who earn doctorates teach in colleges and universities.
Tips for Entry
Read newsletters such as "Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Connection" (http://www.fchea.org/newsletters) to keep up with industry news, government activity, and funding and employment opportunities in fuel cell technology.
Find articles, research papers, and archival publications on electrical and electromechanical engineering topics at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' Web site, https://journaltool.asme.org/home/index.cfm.
Read publications and find education and training opportunities on the SAE International Web site, http://www.sae.org.
Search for fuel cell engineer job openings on the following Web sites:
Start building valuable contacts in the field by attending fuel cell and hydrogen energy conferences and events.