Kara Kites, Engineering Development Manager, Nuvera Fuel Cells

Nuvera is proud and honored to have recently welcomed U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm to our headquarters in Billerica, Massachusetts. The Biden Administration and the Department of Energy have demonstrated a strong commitment to supporting the clean energy transition using hydrogen technology. This commitment is exemplified by Nuvera’s $30 million award from the Department of Energy under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, as well as $14 million in investment tax credits from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service through the Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Tax Credit (48C) funded by the Inflation Reduction Act.

It was a privilege to have Secretary Granholm speak to Nuverians and tour the facility where Nuvera’s technology R&D, product development, engineering, and fuel cell stack and system manufacturing take place. This tangible support has encouraged and energized Nuverians, fueling our momentum towards producing the next generation of zero-emission power solutions. For many of us, working at Nuvera is not just a job – it’s a passion for helping move the world towards a cleaner, better future. A perfect example of this dedication is Engineering Development Manager Kara Kites, who delivered the following remarks to welcome Secretary Granholm.

My name is Kara Kites, and I manage a team of extremely talented mechanical engineers within the Systems Development group here at Nuvera. 

My journey at Nuvera began about 7 and a half years ago as a mechanical product engineer within the Systems Development group.  I have worked on our Class I and II forklift truck Battery Box Replacement releases as well as our 45 and 60kW engine development programs and am currently focused on the development of Nuvera’s next-generation higher powered fuel cell engine.

Prior to coming to Nuvera, I was in pursuit of what some may call a Unicorn concept….I wanted to love my job.  “Loving my job” meant I was in search of an opportunity that would challenge me as an engineer and where I could put my passion for product development to good use. To me, “good use” meant finding a purpose to devote my profession to that would benefit our world. 

Like many of my fellow co-workers here, I have small children at home: a very curious 5-year-old and an extremely energetic 2-year-old.  After having children, the desire to dedicate my career to building things that will positively impact the world and create a better future for the next generation became even stronger.  Knowing that I am going to work every day to help develop a technology and product that will have a positive influence on the environment is something I take immense pride in. 

Recently I was signed up to be the Guest Reader in my son Caleb’s Kindergarten classroom. For those of you who don’t know, this is one of the most terrifying experiences imaginable: sitting and reading to a class of 16 five and six year olds who are ready to pepper you with a million questions on almost every word you say. To be honest, I was probably more nervous being the Guest Reader that day than I am here speaking with you all today.  Prior to me reading a storybook to the Kindergarten class, my son Caleb had to introduce me to his classmates, so he stood at the front of the class and tells his friends, “This is my Mom, and she makes clean energy engines.” The pride on Caleb’s face while telling his classmates this was something I will never forget or take for granted and was continued proof that what we do here at Nuvera is significant and that we are dedicating our efforts to the right cause.  Building a better future for all those Kindergarteners and more, requires dedication, resilience, and a shared passion towards a common goal.

Zero-emissions transportation and stationary power systems are together a significant piece of tackling the tough issues that face our global environment.  Commitment to helping solve these issues is something you’ll find in every person here at Nuvera. Product development of a new technology such as the large engine program we are actively working on requires a significant investment of resources.  This is why funding like the 48C tax credit is so critical to the work we do here at Nuvera. It allows for the growth we need to be able to manufacture and produce products efficiently and effectively. Without this funding, and without the commitment of teams like Nuvera’s, the product development that I and so many others here have devoted our careers to would not be possible. The realization of that better tomorrow for our future generations would be lost.