People Involved

The Cal State LA Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility (HRFF), with a network of public and private partnerships, is a green hydrogen testbed supporting workforce development, research, and community outreach in the heart of Los Angeles.

Advisory Board

terry tamminen

Terry Tamminen
President and Chief Executive Officer

From his youth in Australia to career experiences in Europe, Africa, China, and across the United States, Terry has developed expertise in business, farming, education, non-profit, the environment, the arts, and government. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency and later Cabinet Secretary, the Chief Policy Advisor to the Governor, where Terry was the architect of many groundbreaking sustainability policies, including California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the Hydrogen Highway Network, and the Million Solar Roofs initiative. In 2010, Terry cofounded the R20 Regions of Climate Action, a new public-private partnership, bringing together sub-national governments, businesses, financial markets, NGOs, and academia to implement measurable, large-scale, low-carbon, and climate-resilient economic development projects that can simultaneously solve the climate crisis and build a sustainable global economy. He also provides advice through 7th Generation Advisors to Pegasus Capital Advisors, the Green Climate Fund, and numerous global businesses on sustainability and “green” investing, as well as assisting governments and philanthropists with climate solutions, including Fiji, India, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. An accomplished author, Terry’s books include “Cracking the Carbon Code: The Keys to Sustainable Profits in the New Economy” (Palgrave Macmillan). In 2011, Terry was one of six finalists for the Zayed Future Energy Prize, and The Guardian ranked Terry No. 1 in its “Top 50 People Who Can Save the Planet.”

gia vacin

Gia Vacin
Assistant Deputy Director, Office of Zero Emission (ZEV)
Vehicle Market Development
Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)

Gia Brazil Vacin serves as the Assistant Deputy Director, Zero-emission Vehicle (ZEV) Market Development at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). She focuses on accelerating the ZEV market in pursuit of California’s goal of 100% ZEVs by 2035 for light-duty and 2045 for heavy-duty vehicles by coordinating state efforts, collaborating with public and private partners, tracking and expediting ZEV infrastructure in CA, and identifying opportunities for additional business engagement and growth.

Prior to her role at GO-Biz, Gia was an environmental management and strategy consultant for more than 15 years and worked with more than 70 clients across sectors to help mission-driven organizations expand their impact. Gia holds a Master of Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

matt gregori

Matt Gregori
Technology Development Manager- Research, Development, & Demonstration

Experienced leader with a demonstrated history of developing new technologies in the clean energy industry. Skilled in Biofuels, Management, Start-ups, Renewable Energy, Regulated Utilities, and Business Strategy. Strong technical background with a B.S. in Chemistry from Caltech coupled with business experience and an MBA focused on Sustainable Energy Operations from the University of California, Los Angeles - The Anderson School of Management.

siari sosa

Siari Sosa
Technology Development Manager

Technology Development Manager for Low Carbon Resources in the SoCalGas Research, Development, and Demonstration team. Siari actively manages two exciting projects in the RD&D portfolio: the Direct Ocean Capture from Captura and the H2 SilverSTARs project with SunLine Transit Agency. Siari and the team focus on the development of innovative technologies in the areas of carbon capture, sequestration, and utilization, as well as renewable gas production applications. As part of this effort, Siari works with developers at different technology readiness levels, from development to large engineering demonstration pilots.

As a passionate advocate for STEM, I believe that the key to the clean energy future lies in education and outreach. If we strive to inform the public and educate our youth, they will have a better understanding of the technology behind energy development and its real impact in our communities. This makes me excited about the possibilities and the reality that we can make a difference in our future environment.

joanne golden

JoAnne Golden
Senior Vice President, Programs & GNA Partner
GNA (a TRC company)

JoAnne brings over ten years of experience in strategy development, policy analysis and advocacy, and clean transportation, specializing in electrification. As a trained policy and strategic initiatives expert, JoAnne pursues innovation-based solutions that will achieve client success with a focus on results and cost-effective solutions. She manages the agenda development for ACT Expo, oversees large and multi-faceted client projects, and leads a team of strategy, policy, and clean technology specialists. JoAnne has led large-scale funding efforts to accelerate transportation electrification, bringing her clients over $200 million in funding.

david park

David Park
Industry Affairs Director
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Partnership | California Fuel Cell Partnership | Frontier Energy

As point person on all matters related to development of the hydrogen transportation economy, I work towards synchronizing hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles with hydrogen fueling infrastructure development, operations, and maintenance. I lead the industry groups around heavy-duty, medium-duty, and light-duty hydrogen fuel cell vehicle development and deployment and the infrastructure needed to support these markets. Additional activities include fuel retailer outreach, providing education services, and connecting Partnership members to retail gas station owners/operators and fuel distributors to further the development of retail hydrogen fueling infrastructure.

A major role in the Partnership is the development of consensus between OEM auto/truck manufacturers, hydrogen station developers/ operators, and industrial gas suppliers on technical and operational issues critical to hydrogen infrastructure development and how these impact the FCEV customer experience. This includes developing consensus among industry stakeholders on market mechanisms that will accelerate the investment and development of hydrogen fueling infrastructure in California and across the United States.

I also serve as a liaison between the hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle industry, finance, and government stakeholders, leading outreach and education efforts with the energy infrastructure investment community, including venture capital firms, angel investors, corporate investors, and industry investment analysts.

I am an active participant, speaker, and liaison to international trade organizations and national, state, and regional energy and fuel policy organizations such as the NARUC, Transportation Energy Institute, NACS, SIGMA, CIOMA, and WPMA.

thomas valdez

Thomas I. Valdez, Ph.D., MBA
Principal Engineer – Office of the Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Thomas I. Valdez reports to the Chief Technology Officer at Plug Power Incorporated, Latham, New York.  His focus is on tracking hydrogen generation technology. Thomas has over 30 years of experience in advanced power systems for military, space, underwater, and commercial applications.  His career began at NASA's famed Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where he was a major contributor to the JPL Fuel Cell Group and Power Systems Section.  After a 25-year career at JPL, he transitioned to Teledyne and continued to develop advanced fuel cell technologies such as what is featured in the Teledyne Subsea Supercharger®.

His educational background starts with being a student of Mr. Jaime Escalante, whose teachings were the basis of the Hollywood movie Stand and Deliver.  Thomas holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Materials Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.  He completed his doctorate in Materials Science under Professor Florian Mansfeld, winner of the Electrochemical Society Vittorio de Nora Award, at the University of Southern California.  Thomas also holds a Masters in Business Administration from Loyola University Maryland.

kristi villareal

Kristi Villareal
Air Pollution Specialist
California Energy Commission

Preparing a statewide assessment of the hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle infrastructure, clean hydrogen fuel production, and distribution needed to meet California's zero-emission truck, bus, and off-road vehicle goals as set forth in Executive Order N-79-20, as well as other state agency regulations that require or allows zero-emission heavy duty and off-road vehicles.

paul scott

Paul Scott
Chief Scientist
RockeTruck, Inc.

During a professional career spanning more than 60 years, Paul has established himself as a luminary in several fields, most recently as one of the world’s foremost experts on the integration of batteries and fuel cell systems into heavy-duty trucks and buses.  While at ISE Corp. from the late 1990s to 2010, Paul led the development of several generations of fuel cell-powered transit buses, resulting in some of the world’s largest and most successful fuel cell transit bus fleets.  From 2010 to 2020, Paul led TransPower’s development of fuel cell drive systems for trucks, resulting in the largest fleet of fuel cell-powered Class 8 trucks in North America.  Earlier in this career, Paul taught at MIT and the University of Southern California, and was an early pioneer in development of rocket propulsion and guidance technology.  Paul received his Dr. of Science, Master’s, and Bachelor’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from MIT.

delisa leighton

DeLisa Leighton
GTL Leasing

Global executive and strategist with wide-ranging experience producing ecosystem initiatives for corporations, government organizations, and non-profits. I am delighted to be contributing to the current wave of hydrogen and fuel cell adoption as part of the energy transformation. I am a founding team member and co-creator of IGX H2 Fueling Services, the first national boutique high-pressure hydrogen delivery and distribution service. Currently, I am managing and developing GTL Leasing.

GTL Leasing holds North America's largest fleet of high-pressure transports, specializing in hydrogen. The company supports all fuel cell applications: Stationary (telecommunications, traffic signals, and utility substations) and Motive (buses, car share fleets, medium-heavy duty vehicles, drones, yard trucks, planes, and maritime vessels).

cystal xie

Crystal Xie, PE, PMP, GC
Founder & President
Crystallogy Engineering

A Dynamic and high-energy leader, Ms Xie has over 16 years of combined cross-functional management experience in construction management, system design, project management, and alternative energy engineering. Ms. Xie has expertise in project planning, estimating, resource scheduling, budgeting, risk management, and close-out. Ms. Xie has extensive knowledge of code compliance strategies, codes and standards development, energy policy, alternative energy technologies, alternative fuel vehicle infrastructure, as well as energy systems data analysis. She is experienced with many California Alternative energy incentive programs, including applications of Low Carbon Fuel Credit application, and with building business case analyses and feasibility studies for new project development and grant proposals.

Ms. Xie started her engineering career at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering, an MS in Mechanical Engineering, and an MBA from UCLA. Ms. Xie is also a proud combat veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, having served 8 years in the Special Operations Command in the US Army Reserves.

Crystallogy Engineering is a Class A General Contractor (License #: 1064199) and a certified Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and Women/Minority Owned Business (WMBE). We are here to help you meet your government contracting and grant bidding needs. DUNS #: 032782486, State Supplier ID: 1803162

Crystallogy can tackle projects of any size, from initial business case explorations to multi-company, multi-agency systems. Organizations use our services to streamline RFP, funding, planning, acquisition, contracting, permitting, construction, commissioning, and testing of alternative energy projects.

matteo genovese

Matteo Genovese
Post-doc Research Fellow

Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Research Team
Department of Mechanical, Energy, and Management Engineering
University of Calabria (Italy)

tiran ghukasyan

Tiran Ghukasyan
Manager, Fuel Cell Stack Test Engineer
Hyzon Motors

Concept Inventor

Dr James Ettaro and H2 station drawing

James Ettaro, Founder, Professor of Technology

Dr. Ettaro's vision for the facility was not only to generate sustainably-produced hydrogen but also to not rely on "off-the-shelf" technology and instead use technology that was state-of-the-art.

Contact Us

Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility (HRFF) tours are available to the public free of charge as part of Cal State LA's public outreach and education mission. Please make advance arrangements via email. Contact us with questions, inquiries, and tour reservations about the Cal State LA Hydrogen Fueling and Research Facility (HRFF).
Dr. David Blekhman at [email protected] | Blake Cortis at [email protected]