Episode #4 of Beyond Blueprints features TeAnn Nguyen, Senior Systems Engineer at Universal Hydrogen. She talks us through how Universal Hydrogen hopes to become the supplier of the "Nespresso Capsules" for future sustainable flight.
What does that even mean? Listen in to learn more about UH2's ambitious plans to modularise the fuel of the future, as well as supply fuel cell kits for modifying airaft to run on hydrogen. Andrew and TeAnn dig into the technical detail of the engineering obstacles, sizing problems and even roadmap challenges involved with working with hydrogen in aviation.
Hopefully you find the chat as fascinating as we did & if you'd like to feature or offer any feedback, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
On another note, if you'd like to read the transcript rather than watching the video, you can do so here:
00:00.00 Andrew Welcome to beyond blueprints I'm Andrew Smith and today we're delighted to be joined by Tian when who's a senior systems engineer at universal hydrogen so great to have you with us Tian and I want to kick straight into it and. You know I read up a little bit on universal hydrogen and I've heard that you are the Nespresso capsules for hydrogen at 1 is that a fair reflection and 2 what is universal hydrogen setting out to do.
00:30.37 TeAnn Um, I think that's a very fair reflection right? it it reflects what our? What do we hope our market case to be and universal Hydrogen. It's it's a bit in the name we're looking to to center our market around selling Hydrogen Capsules specifically for the aviation industry right? So when you talk about. Trying to work sustainability into something like aviation.. There's a lot of talk about you know, big infrastructure changes. How do you get giant pipes of whether it's the good hydrogen or saps or things like that on Airports which is like a big daunting test that involves you know City Governments Counties Federal Governments A lot of things. Um, so Universal Hydrogen is looking to kind of work into that area by creating these modular Hydrogen capsules right? because you get so much loss just in the transfer of this gas because it's this smallest. Ah very energy dense Once you can get it into its Liquid state. But it also likes to escape because it's a very small molecule so you get a lot of transfer losses If you're talking about you know, piping it in from somewhere and it has to go into a tank and then piping it out of the tank into ah an Aircraft So we're trying to solve those issues by having these modular hydrogen capsules that you can just load on and off standard cargo Door. Into Aircraft and along with that as part of the group that I work with you also need obviously a new power train that can accept this hydrogen fuel right? So You can't run well not yet. Anyway, you can't run the the typical turbo prop on a hydrogen engine. So We have electric fuel cell.
02:02.89 TeAnn Power trains that we're putting together as Convergence kits to sell up to the aviation community as well.
Okay, Amazing. So much to impact there to to start with and I know some of our listeners will be familiar with I Guess the challenges of working with hydrogen but you know putting it simply if if you're not in Aerospace What? what are the challenges Converting. To Hydrogen Why is it difficult.
02:24.30 TeAnn Sure I mean Hydrogen as mentioned it's got great energy density but it takes a lot of energy in order to compress it down. It has a weird compressibility Zone. It's a very small molecule and it wants just expand to fill the space. Um, there are also certain concerns. They're not big safety concerns when we talk about it but ah, there are certain concerns around explosivity and flammability that are you know pretty standard with any other fuel right? If we're talking about Jet Fuel like those things are meant to combust as Well. Um, but a lot of it is is that in order to oh. Work with it right? like Hydrogen has only traditionally been used in big industrial standards or it's been used at the very cutting edge of aospace you know back in the 60 s when they were talking about doing hydrox engines for Rocket Launches Etc. So this the aviation market in particular is like a very. Odd we'll say sizing case right? because everything that exists to deal with Hydrogen is very big. It's Bulky. It's meant to be on the ground but the technology is there right? So It's like kind of bringing in all the learnings that we've had about how to work with cryos from you know space from industry and really packaging in it and getting it in for. Aviation usage so that we can you know move towards the 0 missions future.
And it's the is it The fact that you have to keep it so cool is that why you can't you know, just retrofit something into the wings. That's why you got to move to a new solution.
03:50.56 TeAnn Correct. Yes, a lot of it is is it has to be kept very cold. It's I think something like only 20 or ° kelvin above absolute 0 So that's quite cold. Um, it's not impossible.
Thermodamically really challenging.
04:06.44 TeAnn I Mean it's It's a refrigeration cycle that we know how to we know how to get there right? But then it's it's you need you know Vacuum Vessels We know how to do that too. It's just we've never done a vacuum vessel that's particularly sized for an airplane and. You know there's a series of control valves and how do you vent the least and how do you insulate it. You know as you said thermodynamically. Um, so that once you've spent the energy to compress it. It stays compressed and it only gets used when you actually need it. Um, it's being very clever about when and where you you place valves.
Okay, amazing. Yeah, yeah, there was clearly there's loads of fascinating kind of problems to solve and I think you know some people this team will have seen you know the amazing news Recently the flying demonstrators being kind of making. Headlines. So I guess I wanted to ask as well. My understanding of it is that the product initially is is you know converting the power plant and then further down the line. It's this modular hydrogen idea in other industries is that is that kind of what the roadmap's looking like at the moment.
05:07.75 TeAnn I mean Ultimately, when we're talking in the next we'll say 10 years like a decade looking a little bit farther into the future. The Golden Standard is to have a hydrogen burning Combustion Turbine engine right? That would be the gold standard because really, that's that's a majority of the aviation market is a single aisle. You know. Or wide body too. If you if you want to count those So The the current market that we're looking at right now those regional turbo props are a significant but a small portion of the aviation market and so the Redmap right now is in order to do the Conversion. You have to have the the Liquid Hydrogen Modules and the hydrogen kind of.
05:45.21 TeAnn Offtake agreement and the ecosystem to be there already. So that's that's kind of the game plan is those those are kind of all 3 aspects that we we're working on right now. The power plant conversion the module development and also you know working with the honestly the growing green hydrogen industry.
Okay, amazing and um, specifically with relation to to the demonstrator I Guess a chance to speak more to your specific role and involvement a universal hydrogen. What's your ah where do you fit in the organization. Let's say what's your specialism.
06:17.81 TeAnn So my title is specifically like you mentioned it's a systems engineer and what that can mean is it's a little bit nebulous in a company. That's only like 10020 people so the hats change every day but mostly what my position has been has been looking into integrating systems. So. Our demonstrators a one Megawatt demonstrator it's not the full type certificate. But what it's there to do is to demonstrate that the architecture is is sound that our technology is sound and it's in the right power class will say um you know it's it's you know an order of magnitude larger than current existing. we' say fuel cell systems on you know fork cliffs or cars or what have you? Um, so we're really getting into the correct scale with the demonstrator so I was helping with integrating that and then moving on to the two Megawatt product which will be our our certified product so taking kind of the lessons learned that we have from the the test bed. And then how do we move that and incorporate that into the the two megawatt as well as ah, you know identifying if there's any particular risk mitigation things like that that we need to work into the the test bed.
Okay, I mean it's it's amazing progress because I was looking as well at at the timeline on the website and I mean you folks have moved so quickly in in a few years to go from kind of the company startup to fly demonstrator I mean what's what's the secret source. Can you say.
07:46.20 TeAnn I mean I don't think it's It's really controversial but it's honestly it's having the right mindset and the scope right? The company has was you know founded and has been led by. We'll say aviation really experienced aviation professionals. Um, and it also has like a good dose of folks who have.
08:02.10 TeAnn Who have worked in that space but also want to improve it. Um or kind of had that startup Mindset. So It's you know, taking kind of in my mind. The best of what we've learned from the industry and how we can best improve that. So It's really you know a lot of issues that I see on on engineering is not really a technological technological issue. It's more of an execution one. So It's can you put the right team together to to do these things and the answer is yes when you empower them and you give them Resources. You can you know, kind of accomplish these crazy things. Um or it seems crazy right? but it it really isn't.
Yeah, yeah, it looks like magic but it but but it's real It's really really oppressive and you mentioned briefly the industry I mean I've seen it reported in some circles that werere in almost a golden third generation of aviation. We kind of had you know there is the pis in the jet annoy. Its. Electrification and New Fuels it's really exciting time to be getting into the industry I wonder if you had any reflections on the I guess this this new wave and kind of this innovation in aerospace companies that feels like in the last five years has really kind of bloomed and flourished.
09:04.16 TeAnn Sure, yeah, no I completely agree with that right? So when I started my career. Oh at this point 7 eight years ago you know you look into the companies that exists you look around at the industries and really where a lot of the market was was in space. You know I've I've always been interested in airplanes I thought that'd be fascinating but unfortunately even eight years ago the space was really narrow to you know those military projects to to very specific things in a very specific industry where. Um, you're talking like very light sportcraft or a couple of the commercial projects in terms of you know the 1 business jet that gets commissioned and designed and per decade and so it it was kind of like a limited space and I feel like now there've been a lot of you know, particularly an ev tall market. Of course.
09:53.12 TeAnn Um, but even beyond that you know there's been Boom Supersonic. There's been a lot of other you know Universal Hydrogen Zeroavvia There's been a ton of new companies popping up Jet Zero that are all about kind of taking a new fresh look at aviation from a particularly small. Ah, kind of be kind of a smaller startup mindset.
Yeah, yeah, and moving incredibly quickly. It's um, it's fascinating I trying to obviously I've got an aerospace bias myself but it just seems like an especially exciting time to see all the innovation that's happening and I could obviously ask you way more. Technical questions if we have time later I might come back to some of the universal hydrogen but I want to ask a bit more about your background as well tn and so you graduated from Cornell and in 2016 and you am I correct in you did a masters in systems engineering that's right.
10:31.12 TeAnn Sure.
10:39.73 TeAnn That that is correct. Yes.
So I I was curious to know what and what drew you into systems engineering is discipline at at that stage because I guess that was the star of your road to the role you're in today.
10:54.82 TeAnn Sure, ah, yeah, so um, I'll probably have to back up a few years so prior to getting my systems engineering. Um so a couple years before doing my systems engineering degree I was actually in the middle of a chemical engineering degree.
Please take take us take us take a stone story late, Please These are the best tangents.
11:12.33 TeAnn A little bit removed. Um, but I'd also gotten involved in my University's Cornell's formula student team and so the interesting thing about Cornell's formula student team is that it's actually 1 of the first so it was one of the first like 3 or 4 founding teams that started the whole formula student thing. Um, which I find fascinating because.
11:31.84 TeAnn You would have thought that formula student would have started in Europe but it actually started in the states back when we still had you know a couple of yeah back when we still had a couple of formula circuits around um and what feels like the air of a cigar cars but not quite that old it. It was back in the 80 s um so I got I got pretty involved in that.
I didn't know that.
11:51.36 TeAnn So formula student for those who don't know is an openwheel race car. There's differing levels of how much is kind of student built or student owned but this guy's a limit for that project. So the whole thing can be completely custom. Um. Cornell's team was pretty large so we did quite a bit of work on both the powertrain. So I was you know powertrain lead and ah kind of well while I was there I saw the need for systems and chemical engineering as a whole is kind of a very systems based the way that they train you at Cornell anyway is to look at everything is as a bound system right? You know. Things go in they got to go out. It's an equilibrium thermally mass-wise all of those things. So I've always been kind of interested in that kind of systems thought and and processes really because everything's a process that can be balanced or optimized. Um, but that formula project really got me interested in in kind of more.
12:45.74 TeAnn Ah, transport hardware will say um you know, big industrial plants are amazing. They're kind of the alchemical factories of our time they change 1 substance into another um, but there is something to be said about how that industry is in terms of you know. Sustainability environmental and like where you can take your career in those senses and and where the technology is going right? like you're either very much in a lab and then you're going out and applying those lab that lab data to giant industrial fare aerospace kind of offered me a little bit more of a. Ah, we'll say quicker turnaround in terms of projects because big infrastructure projects like what universal hydrogen is trying to avoid can take decades. Um so systems systems engineering has always been of interest to me right? It's it's fascinating to me that we can take all of these concepts and all of these oftentimes thousands of peoples of effort.
13:42.76 TeAnn Into these kind of insane projects and tasks. You know way more than the sum of its parts.
Okay, amazing. So you got the that was the you got the the flavor for systems engineering then able to specialize in your masters and then it was I guess you know straight in the deep end and in that you joined Lockheed which I guess you know very famous name in aerospace hugely irreutable.
14:01.69 TeAnn The death.
And quite I guess you know old school you know coming from someone who's at rollmsroyce kind of big industrial complex. You know I know what that feels like so you're at Lockheed and then and after being there for for a few years moved moved on to Boom Aerospace bringing back kind of supersonic jets.
14:11.90 TeAnn Yeah, ah yes.
14:22.15 TeAnn Like.
Was that a culture shock was there a transition period there.
14:30.51 TeAnn Um, it was a bit of ah a change but not so much as a shock as it was something I was looking for at the time right? like I I had gone to Lockheed with what I'd hoped with my was my eyes open right? I knew it was a little bit of a different you know, ah very different than what I'd been doing in university um.
14:49.45 TeAnn But the formula team and but what I learned there was very valuable right because they're you're talking about decades and you know centuries if we're going to be hummulative of engineering experience at those places and they they test facilities particularly at the space facility as some of the weirdest like test chambers that you've never heard of you're like oh. This is the only 40 by forty foot you know anechoic chamber spherical anochoic chamber in the world that can test you know like a Geo a geos stationary satellite bus like that's cool.
Well forty forty foot forty foot and a cooked I'm just trying to I'm trying to visualize that.
15:21.46 TeAnn Yeah I mean it I mean there was like a you know 10 or twelve meter by 10 or twelve meter thermal box and like that was large enough to put our largest antenna into their acoustic chambers that were big enough to to take a whole spacecraft and like that.
15:40.86 TeAnn That is very odd and it was certainly an experience to go to those facilities and you know like talk to the people who are running them look at what a test plan looks like when you're you know testing a geostationary satellite. Um, but moving moving to Boom was certainly that change in pace that I'd really craved right? So like you know there's always the tradeoff.
16:00.74 TeAnn Centuries of experience. But also maybe some of the Inbuilt bureaucracy that kind of makes its way into the process at those kinds of places as I'm sure you know, um.
Yes, yeah, very aware and was I mean it's an interesting point that because I think some of these issues do emerge in the more kind of traditional companies I'm interested In. You know when you went to Boom Did you see them being being addressed. Well kind of a different tack and I guess same question for Universal hydrogen.
16:27.97 TeAnn I would say it. It's It's always address I think and this is one of the big things with an attitude towards this can change and this can be better Right. Do I Wish that there was sometimes a little bit more like experience in terms of okay like so we know we know that this how this process looks like it and say we'll say a more established company. What can we trim from this what works What doesn't sometimes the process can be more along the lines of because. You tend to be a little bit more under staffed at a startup because you're doing so many things. It's what can I place that the highest value in the little and the least amount of time. Um, as fast as possible so that I can actually get value out of it so it doesn't always lead towards we'll say a plan system. Um, but it's certainly much past faster pace system and that's you know I do think that's the thing that I enjoy right? that there's less time spent you know talking about something and more time spent doing it right.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, which is kind of yeah exactly what you want to kind of progress through the um coming back to then so some time at lockheed I Guess experiencing the big I guess industrial complex but some amazing facilities and through to boom tonight Universal Hydrogen Do you feel like you've been able to pick up.
17:40.33 TeAnn Oh.
The the best of both worlds in terms of the kind of the epic testing and you know the realities of real product versus the agility that you get from a smaller organization.
17:58.77 TeAnn Yeah I mean that's that's what I hope right? like and again I go back to why Universal Hydrogen has been so successful in it's execution is kind of having some of that experience to dictate. Okay, these things are important and then because your startup we can get them done fast. Um.
18:13.63 TeAnn I mean even something as simple as the switch to flow engineering right? like that would have taken a whole quarter worth of meetings and so much budget approval and I think we did that within like a few weeks once we did an evaluation.
Okay, gosh that is that speed I can only dream of and yeah it since you mentioned it I mean why you've obviously got you know a few options to choose from. What was it that led you to to pick flow to run with.
18:28.83 TeAnn Yeah.
18:42.73 TeAnn Um, so having come out of places like Lockheed and been at other places like boom and and virgin orbit. So I'd I'd kind of seen the space in terms of tools that people reach for when they start saying okay now is the time to kind of implement requirements right? And obviously you have the the big old doors. You know Ibm doors next gen if you want to go there so there's there's that and that's actually a very common I've seen a lot of places take terminology and and so take some aspects of the door's architecture into their own kind of home brews. Um. I've also seen places reach for things like Jamma which is you know at least cloud base. It's it's a little bit more collaborative and there are things like airtable which is you know again a collaborative but not quite I don't think it was really meant for requirements engineering in terms of a hardware sense right? like more maybe perhaps more of a software sense.
19:36.73 TeAnn And then you know right on down to the go to old you know excel Spreadsheets Google Sheets um at its yeah, yes, it's just one of those things so you at some point you start with with.
Which we all no one Love we've had it we we we've opined by excel. Um, this pod.
19:52.80 TeAnn Excelers spreadsheets because that's the easiest thing to do and it's the quickest and it can get you those results fast and then at some point you always have to make the the jump but um, flow really appealed because they were kind of the newer The new guy on the block that was doing the things. You know Jamma was just so hard to get new users users into needless to say anything of doors and then you're talking about cost per licenses and the way that those licenses are structured. It's not very conducive towards smaller companies I completely get why they have you know their certain license structure for larger places or you know.
20:28.60 TeAnn When they're carrying a lot of data for those places but when you're a smaller company right? And you're not using 100 % of those perhaps very particular artifacting and you're not producing you know Gigabyt Gigabytes of data to give to you know certification or ah audit bodies. Then maybe you're not getting the full value out of it. So flow really hit that niche of you know like it's it's worlds ahead of something like a Google sheets or spreadsheet even something like an airtable where you can start to get those links. But so.
And high I important sorry sorry I interrupted please fish. Well I was going to ask you you you touched on it slightly you know Universal Hydrogen has to move quickly. High important is the ability for people to pick up the tool. Um and be running with it quickly.
21:01.54 TeAnn No go ahead.
21:14.62 TeAnn I mean that's I think that's pretty paramount to how whether whether or not a tool survives and is used at a startup right? It startup time you know that time is just that much more valuable. Um to the point where if you you know, even if ah, a solution is. Say structurally superior if you can't get people using it quickly and quickly enough if you can't get it to insert its value into the into your process as quickly as you need to to like actually bring value to and when you have a design process that is five to ten years you have 2 years to get that system into place that's fine. Teach everyone and to you know, output all these documents but you know time is of the essence at a startup. So ah, really getting those users onboard and getting them to see the value really quickly is is so so important.
Yeah alone a letting engineers do the actual engineering that again is is is a common theme that you know we want tools to be useful. We don't want to spend time picking them up to learn the syntax or ah to actually run the thing and so true you.
22:08.78 TeAnn Right.
22:18.26 TeAnn Yeah, the the lower the learning curve is so important and I'm sure you've seen that too with like any sort of analysis tool. It's like this analysis tool is amazing. Once you've spent three months learning it. It's like I don't I don't have that time. Yeah.
Yes, yeah, once you've been on the training course and done all. Ah yeah, the specialist stuff about that point you know the project halfway through? Yeah no totally been there. Universal hydrant is particularly interesting because you you've got a split and engineering base I understand it between and California and to lose.
22:35.61 TeAnn The.
Over in France so does that introduce? Well both I guess in in time zone. But also you know how do you collaborate effectively over that distance.
22:50.27 TeAnn Um.
23:00.59 TeAnn Um, there are certain kind of working methods that we've we've fallen into our working patterns. We'll say so the time zone difference is is pretty rough right? You're pretty close being in London I think that's an 8 hour difference so
23:15.80 TeAnn 9 hours is is just around that cusp of when we have about a couple of hours in the west coast morning and a couple of hours in the central european evening and french evening to which to with which we can collaborate so like those hours are super important and we have to be very protective of those times. We've also just found that you know the occasional exchanging engineers. You know it. It really works. Well, right? like we we live in an era where you can do ah so many things by Zoom so many things virtually by phone call but having those 1 or 2 introductory meetings to actually learn who the people that you're working with are can be super important. So you know that's certainly leveraged and but yeah I mean I think we've just really and it's taken some time as with anything developed kind of like a back and forth process of this is what you know the the european design center does. This is what the la office is responsible for this is the way that we interact with each other.
24:12.27 TeAnn Um, and it seems like there's a lot of professional experience with working kind of in these international groups which has has been new for me. Um, right working in space Oftentimes these things are itar or export control. So I can only.
Yeah, firewalled. Ah.
24:27.43 TeAnn Yeah, so I can only ever work with Americans and American time zones you know can't take my laptop outside of the states things like that. So it's been a pretty fascinating experience for me to to kind of see how how you work in an international company.
So those I mean I guess those having having those 2 clusters of teams making sure that you're using those rs effectively and are pulling in the same direction because I guess it could be very easy to have you know 2
24:49.70 TeAnn Okay.
2 groups of you know opinion or technical grouping. But you've all got to really be shooting in the same direction.
24:57.91 TeAnn Yeah I will say the the having the 2 headquarters definitely makes issues like that a lot more clear right? Like I think those things can be a little bit more insidious when you have maybe 1 building and you have 2 groups that don't talk to each other but you don't have to really address it because they're physically next to each other um here it's like you. If. There's a problem you see it very quickly and so it has to be fixed quickly again. The sort of thing where you can't just let it sit there just because it's like ah sort of works because you're in the same building. Um there in France.
There's no no simmering no quiet simmering.
25:31.69 TeAnn Yeah, there's there's no way to avoid these things and and to just you know, kind of sleep it under the rug. So that's actually been kind of ah also another interesting ah kind of aspect of that working relationship is like it has to be addressed right? Like if it's not working. We got to make it work. So I think we're at a.
Yeah, as we're talking about the sorry sorry I think or I but a slight delay please finish the point.
25:51.20 TeAnn I was just yeah I was just going to say I think we've gotten into a good working rhythm now especially as we move more towards into our 2 megawat product.
And it's just made me think talking about that international collaboration as well. You and this is my areaer space background coming through is that you've got to I guess there's two demonstrator Aircraft that are happening and 1 is kind of the the federal aviation administration the Faa and the other the european easa. and and I guess you're having to juggle both of those I don't know how much you can speak to the the challenges that that presents or if it's a bird to if it's a chance to you know, 2 birds with 1 stone.
26:36.40 TeAnn I'm probably not the best person to ask about those particular plans at least on the UH two side.
Okay, okay, okay, it's and I mean it's fascinating to me I encourage everybody. There's lots of exciting news that's coming out at the moment as well. And so I guess you know, looking forward to you know, universal hydrogen and where you're going. What are you kind of excited to see in. The next few years because I guess kind of product is on the is on the horizon is that is that the big north star at the moment.
27:07.81 TeAnn I mean it it is and I think that's kind of the case with ah, any kind of hardware startup right? like you need to have a viable product as soon as possible. So that's the kind of thing that we're looking forward to the certification project for sure. But we're also keeping I think. Can speak a little bit to this but we are we are keeping our flight test bed. You know, moving right? There's interest in in learning more of that and keeping that alive for as long as possible I know some startups will you know have a demonstrator and then that gets tabled and it's like on to the next new thing we're going to keep flying so I'm looking forward to just seeing it. You know? ah. Lightning Mclean that's our one megawatt dash 8 q 300 demonstrator shout out to ah yeah, so it's ah she's actually left the company at this point. Um for personal reasons but shout out to Mackenzie Kins back for for that name. She won the naming contest and it was ah.
It's great name who you I was good to ask who came up with it. Can you see.
28:03.97 TeAnn Although the name Nemo also came in pretty close because if you look at the propeller sizes the right propeller is definitely smaller than the left propeller which was true for Nemo the clown fish as well.
Ah I mean initially I thought it was going to be because you know Hydrogen was invisible that it was you know it's could be hard to find or something find a new move. It's overthinking it clearly and that's amazing and also I mean the other thing I've been struck by is and I think it speaks to this new generation of various space companies as well is.
28:23.20 TeAnn Boy.
You're sort of testing in the open you know I've seen loads of kind of video content and stuff online in the public domain about how the testing is going which again feels very different to that historic mindset of it's all you know, firewall behind closed doors. But it feels like you're really kind of inviting people in on the journey.
28:41.37 TeAnn Um.
28:45.54 TeAnn Sure Yeah I'd I'd say that's a big difference between something that's maybe military or defense and something that's purely commercial right? So because it's commercial. You don't have the typical. Yeah as you said firewall.
29:05.48 TeAnn Ah, the itar import export control things on it. Um I think we also have less to hide in terms of our execution right? and sometimes you want to fudge how much progress you've made just because if you have uncertainties in your schedule or you have some doubts about how you're going to hit.
29:20.77 TeAnn Certain dates and I don't think there's as much fear of that right? like particularly in the startup space. It's like we invite you along with us to you know move things forward and that's something that I particularly enjoy. It's not this closed door like oh you know, Lockheed or Boeing or whoever. Has known this for the last thirty years but only the people who've been at boeing lockheed for the last thirty years know that? um I think it's way more conducive for technology and science if we talk about these things. Um, so I'm excited to see ah people get excited about hydrogen.
Yeah, absolutely and I mean on on Hydrogen And. It's a funny one because I feel what do you think is the biggest misconception people have about hadrogen because I think there's a lot of opinion out there and I think sometimes some sort of bad Science. What is you know if you could set the record straight on something you really would like to hammer home and is there something that really is you know a bee in your bonnet.
30:04.60 TeAnn Okay.
That you see being repeated that you want to put the record straight on.
30:21.25 TeAnn I mean the easy 1 is everyone always talks about the hindenburg. Um, but I think it's it's it's just so silly to me because it's like we don't talk about the Titanic when we talk about Cruise ships anymore. Do we? Um, no, but I think.
Oh yeah, the the H word that we don't talk about.
Ah, yeah, we moved on.
30:38.54 TeAnn Maybe the biggest the most salient industry topic nowadays is people have a lot of doubts around our ability to to handle a cryo a cryogenic fluid and it's like it's we've been using Hydrogen at Summit some very cool temperatures. Um.
30:53.47 TeAnn Maybe not fully cryogenic to cool things like turbines steam turbines in the industrial space. Um, we've come a long long way from the sixty s when we didn't really know what we were working with and there were a lot of lessons learned and I think people forget that right? like in 60 years we've made enormous Jumpsink technology. We can.
31:12.54 TeAnn Can certainly apply those and take what we've learned just because it's new to aviation doesn't mean it's new to our kind of technological base as a species or as you know as a science. So I I Appreciate people's concerns about it being a cryogenic liquid but like the math is there if you. If you go into it work Out. You know how much energy does it take to generate Green Hydrogen How much energy does it take to Compress. What are the transfer losses. You know, electrically and chemically when you put it through the whole system and it turns out it's It's a pretty darn compelling um argument.
Yeah, yeah, yes.
31:47.64 TeAnn Like the math is simply there and I don't understand when people kind of may say it and they're like batteries and I'm like the math isn't there for batteries right now like if you were to just take existing battery technology the power to wait Density is not there for something as weight sensitive as aerospace it.
32:06.43 TeAnn Um, or at least we'll say general use aerospace like maybe in some very specific cargo like last mile delivery. It makes sense. But that's that's the 1 thing I'd like to put to rest is that these aren't competing technologies we need to explore every avenue for taking a look at you know, 0 emissions and aviation and sustainability. Um, and. There's no reason not to try.
Yeah, absolutely It's such an exciting time and we like to ask everybody and this question and it's a bit of a provocative one but it always it gets the cogs worrying is you know if you were to have universal hydrogen no versus if universal hydrogen was set up thirty years ago is the would the approach be the same or has something fundamentally enabling changed in that time to allow universal hydrogen to be you know of the moment.
32:58.10 TeAnn Um, this is definitely a personal opinion. Not necessarily a company line but in my opinion in my opinion I really do think that thirty years ago where were we let me think about this we were in the 90 s um.
That's okay, that's okay.
33:12.39 TeAnn I do think that this particular point in time it has been made very clear that climate change. You know, human ah human caused or not climate change is happening and I think we now have you know a ah majority of the human race agrees with that. You know there might be quibbling about how and when it happens how how to best define it but climate change is first and foremost among like amongst people's view. That's not something that existed in the 90 s right heard about climate change as a kid. Not sure that many people were very worried about it back then so that's a big one.
33:47.10 TeAnn And the other thing I would say too is that aviation as an industry has really gotten to a point where they have scraped out all of the gains in a typical combustion subsonic airframe right? So if you talk about kind of the exciting times in aviation. We'd say that's maybe between the 50 s to the 70 s like really when they were just. Doing the craziest. There was money to do the craziest things in aviation the weird like you could dream up the weirdest aircraft ever and someone somewhere would give you the money to build it. Um and then kind of as as aviation commercialized commercialized and they're like oh we can actually make you know quite a bit of profit from this. To me the industry started to stagnate right? it or it started to get mature and so I think personally the aviation industry is at a stage right now where people are looking for hey are there things that we can revisit supersonic travel hypersonic travel blended wing bodies. You know.
34:42.34 TeAnn Ah, new and other methods of combustion and thrust those are all super exciting things to me and I think it's because we've we've really gotten to the top of that maturity tree on aviation technology that we're in the current sphere of aviation technology right? like those subsonic fuselage wing bodies running on Combustion engines. That we're really looking outward towards you know, newer Things. So I think that's super exciting.
Yeah, it's time to reexamine I totally agree with your point that there's if I would recommend a real Steve you're interested the Nasa report server for kind of the sixty s through the 80 s is is a glorious mine of all sorts of studies which is a really interesting reading and for those who are interested and.
35:19.74 TeAnn Yeah.
But and I think you're right in that you know we're squeezing and you know fundamentally big picture Aircraft haven't really you know changed what they what they look like in terms of most of the insides as well for the last 60 years and we're kind of squeezing those marginal gains. So Everyone's looking for for where that step change is going to come from and. Always like to finish on ah an optimistic note and you know what? you? what? you folks are doing is amazing following it with real interest. What and it could be universal Hydrogen or Outside. What are you excited for in the future of engineering What gets you up in the morning. What are you really hyped for.
36:02.76 TeAnn Um, I've honestly been inspired, especially coming into universal Hydrogen and seeing how many of we'll say my peers and other people are just excited about kind of the future of sustainability and engineering and technology. Um, right, There's I think been a little bit of a change towards.
36:19.11 TeAnn What's the craziest sci-fi thing that I can make to what's the craziest sci-fi thing that I can make that also won't wreck the environment right? There's been a lot of care. There's a lot of care and attention being paid towards these things and I think that's you know, super super good to see.
36:35.30 TeAnn Right? Like people are paying attention people are listening. They want to use their intelligence and you know just like me they want to build things that are good for hopefully multiple multiple future generations of humanity. So that's you know, definitely a positive.
Yeah, that's that that's what help gets you up in the morning and I just ah just to finish on what can we and as much again as much as you can say what should we be keeping our eyes for you know universal hydrogen as we come to the end of this year start of next is there anything.
36:54.50 TeAnn Yes.
Really exciting. We should be keeping our eyes for or is it just a case of stay tuned.
37:10.64 TeAnn Ah I think you can well for anyone in the California area. Definitely keep your eyes open for news about our test bed going around. That's always exciting to me the mojave air space has just been a kind of a historic 1 in terms of experimental aircraft in spacecraft and. It's been an honor to join kind of that kind of that list of we'll say very notable aircraft so we're continuing flight test. Hopefully if you're around the area. Maybe maybe you'll see us flying. Maybe you'll see just the water vapor coming out of our ah right hand engine. It's it's honestly. It's pretty crazy to just see that it's just um, water vapor and the other side you know the the original Pratton Whitney is still belching out smog and diesel smoke. So very inspiring. Yeah.
It's a real a real chalk and cheese. Would you see it and yeah, we're looking forward. Well if there's ever one that and happens to be coming from to lose over to the Uk then I should keep my eyes peeled I'm not gonna be in California anytime soon. But and best luck in the meantime and thank you so much.
38:10.22 TeAnn A.
For joining us Tian on Beyond blueprints Really looking forward to seeing where universal Hydrogen goes and ah yeah, best of luck.
38:21.71 TeAnn Thank you so much. It was a pleasure being here and speaking with you all right.
Thanks! Very much.
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