Albuquerque, NM – Jan. 4, 2023 – Dr. Michele Ostraat will join New Mexico-based Pajarito Powder as chief scientist for the electrolyzer and fuel cell catalyst maker whose backers include Hyundai Motor Company and Bekaert NV.
Previously, Ostraat was chief operating officer and director of laboratory operations for the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), the lead research and development office for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. Ostraat offered strategic direction, leadership and management of NETL’s core operational functions and services, including cybersecurity, IT infrastructure, career management, business integration, facility operations and security.
Ostraat has a PhD in chemical engineering from Cal Tech and a wealth of experience in various technical laboratories. She began her career at Bell Laboratories and Dupont.
“To have someone of Michele’s caliber join the Pajarito Powder management team is a real honor and I believe it reflects the importance of the work we are doing in enabling the hydrogen economy with next-generation electrocatalysts,” said Thomas J. Stephenson, company CEO and Chairman. “Michele’s extensive experience in building and managing research and development organizations, both at NETL and in her prior positions, will be a tremendous asset for us as we continue to grow Pajarito Powder and deliver our unique solutions to our customers.”
“It is a tremendous honor to join Pajarito Powder and its team of innovative and entrepreneurial scientists and engineers,” said Michele Ostraat. “I am particularly excited to apply my scientific expertise in nanomaterials to accelerate the development and application of advanced catalysts for a more sustainable energy future for the nation and for the world.”
Pajarito works to improve the performance and cost-efficiency of fuel cell and electrolyzer stacks. Longer-lasting and higher performing electrolyzers and fuel cells are critical to reducing their costs and improving the financial argument for increased global dependance on hydrogen as a key energy source.
About Pajarito Powder
Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, Pajarito Powder, LLC is a world leader in the development and commercialization of advanced electrocatalysts for fuel cells and electrolyzers. Pajarito Powder manufactures a range of catalyst products using its own intellectual property as well as intellectual property licensed from the University of New Mexico,
Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique. Pajarito Powder manufacturers catalysts for use with proton-exchange membranes (PEM) and alkaline fuel cells and electrolyzers; it also manufactures a proprietary Precious-Metal-Free catalyst for fuel cells. Pajarito Powder materials more effectively use the platinum group metals (PGM) component of catalysts, resulting in higher performance, better stability and improved durability.
Pajarito Powder is a venture-backed startup funded by Hyundai Motor Company, Bekaert Corporation Verge Fund, Omphalos Venture Partners and other private investors.