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The California-based startup HyPoint has added three new members to its team as it pursues development of hydrogen fuel cell systems for eVTOL and urban air mobility aircraft.
Dr. Brian Benicewicz is joining HyPoint as head of science. The holder of almost 50 U.S. patents, Benicewicz has held positions at the University of South Carolina and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in addition to various scientific and management positions in the private sector and at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He co-founded H2 Pump LLC, a manufacturer of electrochemical hydrogen purification systems, and invented and developed the polybenzimidazole (PBI) high-temperature proton exchange membrane (HTPEM) found in many fuel cell systems today.
John Vogel, a founder of Combined Energies, is coming on board as chief engineer of HTPEM stack, responsible for developing HyPoint’s power generation module including stack design, stack materials, balance of plant design, and algorithm of operation. From 2011 to 2016, Vogel held the position of VP of Technology Development at GE Ventures. Prior to GE, he held various leadership positions at Plug Power for over a decade.
Rhonda Staudt is joining HyPoint as chief engineer of HTPEM membrane electrode assembly (MEA), responsible for developing a fuel cell including design of MEAs, gaskets, manufacturing and tooling. She is a founding member of Combined Energies, where she directs the company operations focused on DC-to-DC converter technology for alternative energy. Previously, she served as director of operations at H2Pump and VP of operations for Plug Power’s stationary fuel cell division.
According to HyPoint founder and CEO Alex Ivanenko, the expanded team represents “a new hydrogen fuel cell vanguard” with decades of experience in engineering and delivering next-generation energy solutions. The company also announced it has joined the California Hydrogen Business Council, a membership-based trade association formed to advance the widespread commercialization of hydrogen power.