header graphic 9.15.23


Join us at our 21st Annual OHIO FUEL CELL SYMPOSIUM to celebrate progress, milestones, and successes in the hydrogen and fuel cell industry. With the increased attention and demand for clean energy and zero emissions, hydrogen is in the forefront and will be a concentration in a number of our sessions, as well as fuel cells. With our theme of “Powering Progress - Hydrogen and Fuel Cells”, you’ll hear industry leaders and colleagues share their expertise, projects, goals, and future initiatives.

Additional presenters added as received


Listed alphabetically by first name

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Ben Williams
Ariel Corporation
Specialist – Process Sales and Market Development

Ben Williams is the Process Compressor Sales and Market Development Specialist for Ariel Corporation, located in Mount Vernon, Ohio, USA. Ben has worked with hydrogen compression for more than 35 years, primarily in the refinery and petrochemical industries. He is looking forward to introducing Ariel Corporation and discussing the commitment Ariel is making to the hydrogen fueling market.

• Veteran of the United States Navy Submarine Force.
• Graduate of the U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School
• San Jacinto College, Pasadena, TX
• Member of the American Petroleum Institute’s Subcommittee on Mechanical Equipment (SOME)

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David Perzynski
American Honda Motor Company
Hydrogen Business Development Lead

David Perzynski, Assistant Manager in Honda's Hydrogen Solutions Business, brings a wealth of knowledge and genuine passion for sustainable energy solutions to the upcoming Ohio Fuel Cell Symposium. A graduate of The Ohio State University, David is dedicated to driving positive change and resiliency within the clean energy sector.

With a solid foundation in business operations and a deep commitment to advancing carbon neutrality, David has contributed to innovative microgrid projects and nurtured partnerships. Their presentation will offer insights into Honda's strategic vision for hydrogen, highlighting the company's role in advancing the overall Hydrogen ecosystem through the manufacturing of next-generation fuel cell technology. The discussion will emphasize collaboration and collective dedication as crucial components of Honda's journey towards a carbon-neutral future.

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Joshua W. Davis
Dominion Energy
Contracting Services Supervisor

Joshua W. Davis is a seasoned professional with a strong background in gas design supervision, chemical process engineering, and leadership in the energy sector. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Cleveland State University and an MBA from Lake Erie College, Joshua brings a well-rounded skill set to his work.

Throughout his career, Joshua has successfully managed complex projects and played key roles in initiatives like the hydrogen blending pilot project, Hydrogen Heights, at Dominion Energy Ohio. The hydrogen facilities have been equipped to blend 5% hydrogen into a methane distribution system in a closed loop training facility. He has also been actively involved in leadership positions, currently the Contracting Services Supervisor where he oversees all of Dominion Energy Ohio’s pipeline and auxiliary contractor operations.
Passionate about promoting diversity and excellence, Joshua is a member of several professional organizations, including the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Joshua also sits on two boards; board trustee for Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation (BPACF) and American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) where he is the Vice President of the Northeast Ohio Chapter.

With a commitment to sustainable energy and a dedication to his field, Joshua Davis is poised to continue contributing meaningfully to the energy industry.

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Kirt Conrad
Stark Area Regional Transit Authority
CEO and Executive Director

Kirt Conrad is a senior executive in Public Transit with expertise in alternative energy and public policy. During his career, he has lead campaigns that have increased ridership over 30% and increased revenues by 20%, secured over $50 million in competitive grants and managed construction programs from railroad rehabilitation to LEED certified building in the transportation industry. He also lead the purchase of 50 miles of railroad right-of-way and use of transportation infrastructure as a multi-modal corridor for both freight and commuter service.

Since 2009, Kirt Conrad has been the CEO of the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) in Canton, Ohio. SARTA operates 100+ buses with 200+ employees. Last year nearly 2.6 million passenger trips were transported by over 30 fixed routes or demand response services throughout Stark County.

SARTA, under Conrad’s leadership, has replaced much of its bus fleet, purchased buses that run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), opened Northern Ohio’s first public-private CNG fueling facility, and revamped many of its routes. They are also deploying 11 fuel cell buses, which is the largest fleet in the country outside of California.

Currently, Kirt serves on the board of Ohio Transit Risk Pool (OTRP) and is on the board of The Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition and CALSTART’s fuel cell infrastructure advisory board for public transit. Kirt is also involved with the Center for Transportation and the Environment/Federal Transit Administration’s Procurement Risk Reduction for Zero Emission Vehicles Committee, is a member of American Public Transportation Association’s Zero Emission Bus Specification Committee and is the past president of Ohio Public Transit Association (OPTA).

He received a Bachelor’s in Political Science with a minor in business administration from Kent State and a Master’s of Public Administration with a concentration in finance from the University of Akron. He also completed a graduate certificate in finance from the Grenoble Ecole de Management in Grenoble, France.

Micah Casteel, Ph.D.
Idaho National Laboratory

Senior Research Mechanical Design Engineer
Hydrogen and Thermal Systems Group
Energy and Environment Science & Technology

Micah Casteel is a Senior Research Mechanical Design Engineer and Group Lead of the Hydrogen and Thermal Systems Group of INL’s Energy and Environmental Science & Technology Directorate.  Micah has worked in hydrogen and energy conversion for the past 15 years with a focus on high temperature electrochemical systems.  This included nearly 10 years in commercial fuel cell and electrolysis system design, build, and demonstration prior to arriving at INL.  Since arriving at INL 2 years ago, he’s worked as a technical lead on high temperature electrolysis technology projects including the Bloom Energy 100kW Electrolysis and FCE 250 kW Electrolysis system demonstrations, hydrogen post processing system development, developing and operating several INL HTE test platform facilities, and materials degradation testing for the DOE H2New program.

  • Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • B.S. Mechanical and Materials Joining Engineering, LeTourneau University
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Rashid Farahati, Ph.D.
Schaeffler USA
Director Corporate Competence Center Americas

Rashid Farahati, a distinguished leader in Engineering Solutions with a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering, has been a driving force at Schaeffler USA since 2001. His passion for sustainable engineering solutions has made him a vital contributor to the organization's success. Rashid combines academic excellence with practical expertise and innovation, with a particular focus on Li-ion battery technology, fuel cells, and green hydrogen.

As the head of the Schaeffler Competence Center of Americas, he plays a crucial role in fostering collaboration between Schaeffler and academic institutions and industry partners. His leadership underscores the importance of collective dedication in advancing Schaeffler's vision for a sustainable, carbon-neutral future.