“Clean energy systems will be an integral part of our future.”
COVER STORY: ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
Having studied mechanical engineering, Ersagun Elaçmaz is now a product development engineer at fuel cell producer Ballard.
Ersagun Elaçmaz RC 10
Why are clean energy systems so important for environmental sustainability?
All our activities require energy in one form or another: We travel, we get items delivered to our door, we watch a video on our phones. Anything we buy requires extraction of raw materials, and that process has an impact on the environment. Clean energy systems can reduce and mitigate the negative impact of our activities on the climate and environment. They are becoming increasingly competitive in terms of efficiency and cost; therefore clean energy systems will be an integral part of our future and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
What does your work as a product development engineer on the design of zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell modules entail?
These fuel cells generate electrical current where the hydrogen is used as fuel and the only by-product that comes out is water vapor. My job entails designing new fuel cell modules that generate more power while they are getting smaller in size to be used mainly on trucks, buses, and trains.
What has been RC's impact on your career?
Continuous learning is key in engineering, especially working on a technology that is novel, but immature like hydrogen fuel cells. I have to be open and alert to new information. RC offers so many tools, curricular or co-curricular, assisted or self-directed, to students to develop lifelong learning habits. I am also going to single out the Destination Imagination club for being a great program that enhances creative problem solving skills.
Published August 2021