She is a program coordinator with Solid Power, a Colorado start-up that develops solid-state batteries for electric vehicles. Most batteries use a liquid electrolyte, but her company’s use solid electrolyte, which means safer, more affordable batteries, Morse explained. The chemistry and technology involved make it difficult to scale up production of solid-state batteries.
Besides managing contracts and programs with BMW and Ford, Morse handles internal program coordination and project management. “So it is definitely varied, and there are a lot of moving parts. I've learned that at a start-up, you just pick up responsibilities where they need to be picked up, and there's not always a straightforward job description,” she said.
Long interested in clean energy and renewable energy, Morse designed her own major at Hamilton (she minored in Hispanic studies) to focus on environmental chemistry. For her thesis she studied perovskite solar cells. She went directly from the Hill to Solid Power — she did her first interview with the company during commencement rehearsal.
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Morse loves working in the electric vehicle industry and being around the scientists who are developing cutting-edge battery technology. When she started with the company, she thought it would be a good interim experience until she headed to grad school. It turns out, she’s enjoying the challenges where she is. “I really would love to just grow as a program manager and take on more responsibility, and being in the renewable energy field is really important to me,” she said.
It’s an exciting time to be part of the industry.
“With the new [federal] infrastructure bill, we’re betting that there will be a lot more funding opportunities for clean energy and for electric-vehicle applications, and so we're definitely anticipating some more opportunities there,” Morse said.