Director of Hydrogen Safety

Universal Hydrogen

Los Angeles, CA, USA

Full time

Trucks VC portfolio

Mar 11

Aviation faces an existential crisis due to its climate impact, with no apparent roadmap for meaningful carbon reduction, let alone meeting Paris Agreement emissions targets. That is where Universal Hydrogen comes in: a California-based startup with a burgeoning engineering center in Toulouse, France. Founded and led by former top aviation industry executives, our aspiration is to fuel the global aircraft fleet with our revolutionary hydrogen modular capsule-based logistics network, which seamlessly links hydrogen production with consumption without costly fixed infrastructure. Our first product is to convert existing regional aircraft to hydrogen fuel cell powertrains for entry into service by 2025. Then we have our eyes set on fueling a hydrogen single-aisle aircraft and other industry verticals. 

We are developing a state-of-the-art modular storage system that will be transporting liquid hydrogen using existing intermodal freight networks (truck, rail, maritime) and stored in warehouses at or close to the airport. You will play a key role in defining the ground transportation regulatory requirements, expertise in hydrogen transport, and means of compliance to support the certification of our modules for intermodal freight transport. This is your opportunity to play a critical role in the decarbonization of aviation this decade.

About the Role

  • Establish federal, state, and local regulatory requirements to transport our liquid hydrogen modules in intermodal freight networks and store them at hydrogen depots and airports, with an initial focus on the US and France.
  • Determine how to safely transport the modules while identifying safety control indicators and live data monitoring.
  • Define and demonstrate the freight system required to safely transport and store the modules at different stages of the value chain, starting at hydrogen production plants and ending at airports.
  • Lead the engagement with all relevant authorities in each targeted region to define and agree on the certification basis and means of compliance for liquid hydrogen modules (e.g. DOT/PHMSA in the US).
  • Develop program and ground transportation certification plans with the engineering team and authorities, to meet the organization’s business goals.
  • Provides expert consultation to internal teams and external partners (airports, logistics partners, airlines) to ensure hazardous materials/dangerous goods regulations (49 CFR, and IATA) are interpreted and applied to policies and support critical operational & business needs.

About You

  • Experience in DOT/PHMSA certification of storage/distribution of dangerous goods; exposure to surface transportation of liquid hydrogen highly preferred.
  • Deep understanding of dangerous goods segregation and classifications.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and manage dangerous goods ground transportation certification programs for new products entering the market (hydrogen background is preferred).
  • Willingness to challenge the established ways of working, both externally and internally, to certify innovative solutions in challenging timelines.
  • Ability to work in multidisciplinary teams, and convey complex regulatory concepts into clear and concise technical requirements for internal and external working partners.

About Us

At Universal Hydrogen, our mission is to fuel carbon-free flight and reduce the climate impact of air travel. We are stitching together the end-to-end hydrogen value chain for aviation, both for hydrogen fuel and hydrogen-powered airplanes. We are building a transport and logistics network that moves hydrogen from production facilities to airports over the existing freight infrastructure, eliminating the need for costly new pipelines and storage facilities. Our system utilizes specialized capsules that safely store hydrogen during transit and also act as modular fuel tanks that load directly onto aircraft. We are also developing powertrain conversion kits to retrofit existing airplanes and enable new airplanes to fly on hydrogen. Founded by former executives from Airbus, United Technologies, Google, and DARPA, and backed by investors such as Playground Global, JetBlue, Toyota, and Airbus, we are convinced that hydrogen is the best and only scalable solution to truly decarbonize aviation, and we want to bring it to market decades sooner—by 2025.

We strive for a culture that is empowered, collaborative, open, and human-centered. We are driven by a sense of urgency to address climate change through the near-term decarbonization of commercial aviation. We recognize that people have a diverse set of preferences for work conditions and hours that optimize for their overall productivity and wellness, and both our cloud-based IT setup and flexible work policy reflects this. However, because we are building physical products, most roles will require working at our facility at Hawthorne Airport in Los Angeles most of the time.

Our compensation and benefits package promotes transparency, equitability, and long-term employee well-being, while rewarding individual and team performance. This includes cash bonuses and significant equity participation for all salaried employees, employer-paid health insurance coverage, generous parental leave, a pet-friendly headquarters located at Hawthorne Airport in Los Angeles, and generous paid time off. As a young company, we are actively working to expand the benefits we provide—including childcare, retirement, parental, and mental health benefits—and we’re always open to feedback on what’s most important to you. 

We know that no two candidates are the same, and we want to give you the opportunity to present yourself in the best way possible. Don’t hesitate to let us know how we can support a great recruitment process for you—whether that includes off-hours interview scheduling, captioning/transcription services, or other accommodations. We value diversity in all its forms, and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply, especially if you share in our mission to decarbonize air travel.

Our total compensation for this position can range from $149,800 to $219,800. The ranges provided are our reasonable estimate of the base and total compensation for this role. The actual amounts may vary based on factors such as experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities related to the position.

Please note that for the health and safety of our employees, we require all employees to provide proof of up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations as recommended by the CDC (or a valid exemption).

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Universal Hydrogen

Fueling Carbon-Free Flight