Where Software and Hardware Intersect: Meet Hannah Zimmerman
Employee Spotlight

Where Software and Hardware Intersect: Meet Solid Power’s Control Engineer, Hannah Zimmerman

Author: Solid Power Admin
Date Posted: 12.07.21

Where Software and Hardware Intersect: Meet Solid Power’s Control Engineer, Hannah Zimmerman

Battery innovations don’t come easily, and generating performance data can take a lot of time. While energy density and cycle life are critical to vehicle performance, more granular metrics are required to ensure product consistency and scalability. It’s this data that can pinpoint a specific material or manufacturing environment that’s affecting cell-level performance.

This data acquisition and delivery wouldn’t be possible without Solid Power’s Control Engineer, Hannah Zimmerman. Hannah’s data feeds nearly every step of production – from synthesizing Solid Power’s sulfide solid electrolyte to the traceability of every component in the finished all-solid-state cells. She’s the intermediary between the people who want data and the people creating data inputs.

“It was an interest in the interface between hardware and software that started my path into electrical engineering,” Zimmerman explains. That initial interest, combined with curiosity, drives her success. “Next to projects and a mentor, that is probably the single most important thing.”

When she’s not spending her free time building 3D printers from used CD drives or honing her Python skills, she’s building and implementing new systems to pull data from key pieces of manufacturing hardware – everything from glove box temperatures to the paths of electrode processing robotic arms.

“Understanding what each tool does and how to get sensors onto them is the first step, ” she notes.

Processing and delivering the data to those who use it to refine product performance is the next step. Hannah is improving upon Solid Power’s data delivery in her next project – a full transition to programmable logic control (PLC) systems.

The companywide deployment of industrial PLC systems will ensure Solid Power’s scalability. As Solid Power continues to produce more and more solid sulfide electrolyte, safety and reliability are crucial. By spearheading the coding of Solid Power-specific PLC processes, the company is also circumnavigating the need for expensive third-party suppliers.

As Solid Power gears up to enter the formal automotive qualification process in 2022, the new data acquisition systems and company-wide training can help bring electrolyte powder production to the next level.