Dr Kerry-Ann Adamson
Global Strategic Advisor

“I’ve been working in the hydrogen and fuel cells community for over 24 years, and it is still the best industry to be in.”

Dr Kerry-Ann Adamson of Worley.

Kerry-Ann was introduced to hydrogen early in her career, long before it became a priority industry for the energy transition.

“I was doing an industrial PhD at Imperial College London on natural gas vehicles (NVP). But my supervisors said they didn’t see a future in it. They steered me toward fuel cells and hydrogen instead. And that was it. After Imperial College, I was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship to continue my research at TU Berlin. Ironically, I left Germany and moved back to the UK just before the boom in interest in hydrogen.

“Now, I develop, support, and manage internal initiatives and external projects in hydrogen. I do everything from chairing committees on hydrogen strategy to working with multinational customers to working with the team to develop new internal business models and analyzing policy changes.

“Working at the bleeding edge of a new industry allows me to meet people with every type of thinking. Collaborating with them is incredibly satisfying, and critical to staying ahead of the curve. To be continuously learning, and unlearning, is a gift.”

Correcting the narrative and opening up collaboration

Hydrogen is an essential element in a net zero future. But Kerry-Ann admits there are still obstacles to overcome.

“The biggest challenge is time. The current process of executing projects in a long, linear fashion is not going to work. There is also the misconception that hydrogen – specifically renewable hydrogen – is going to be easy to produce and integrate at the scales we need. 

Kerry-Ann's husband and two daughters.

“Our sector created this misconception by showing pictures with a wind turbine, a box representing the electrolyzer, and a car. In reality, it has many layers of complexity that we need to address simultaneously involving all stakeholders. Something we cover a lot more of in our latest From Ambition to Reality paper.

“We can’t be siloed like in the past. We need to open up lines of communication and collaborate. It’s an easy thing to say but one of the hardest things to do. But it's no longer an option – it’s a necessity.”

From Ambition to Reality

Kerry-Ann is channeling this notion of collaboration across her own work, too.

“Recently I had the privilege of co-authoring the third installment of our From Ambition to Reality series, in partnership with Princeton University. It explores our five key shifts in thinking, and what steps we need to take to make net zero ambitions a reality.

“One aspect of the paper centers around how we can meet the EU hydrogen policy. Working on this has been one of my career highlights, and it moves the needle forward in the hydrogen sector.”

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