In our third installment on the people that make Pajarito Powder a great place to work and innovate, Sarah Hendrickson, Pajarito Powder’s Quality Control Scientist, was up for an interview. I needed to take to opportunity to interview her on quick notice, as she’s always darting between the office and the plant through the course of the day.

Sarah is in charge of standardizing our methods for carbon catalyst characterization, which entails analyzing all materials to assure that we are maintaining a high level of quality and reproducibility with our engineered carbon supports. Optimizing these processes while using new instrumentation requires considerable communication and complex data tracking, hence the constant darting back and forth.

Sarah’s background made her the right person for the position. Prior research roles with New Mexico Tech and xF Technologies provided Sarah with experience working with organic compounds. This background, coupled with her new entrance to the fuel cell industry, make her more open to unconventional approaches to carbon characterization.

Sarah is comfortable with the unconventional approach. With two siblings who are a microbiologist and a mathematician, Sarah naturally made her way to Pajarito Powder, yet spent several years beforehand travelling the Eastern coast of the United States playing 9-ball, reading thought-provoking novels and eating spicy vegetarian food.

The spicy food was part of what drew Sarah to New Mexico, as we put chili on everything; the vast open spaces, beautiful weather, and friendly people undoubtedly played a role as well. Arizona and Utah are also among Sarah’s favorites, and she even leads guided geology tours through the state when she has the time. With all of her responsibilities as our Quality Control Scientist, however, she usually only has time for her own nature photography, hiking and training for trail races.