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Please join the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center for the next episode of EnergySource Innovation Stream. The series highlights new energy technologies with the potential to reshape the global energy system through discussions with companies and individuals working diligently to bring those innovations to market at scale. On Tuesday, April 27, from 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EDT, the Global Energy Center will host Amanda Simpson, the vice president for research and technology at Airbus Americas, who will discuss how Airbus is exploring a hydrogen-powered, zero-emission concept aircraft, called ZEROe.

Airbus announced three configurations of the ZEROe planes: turbofan, turboprop, and blended-wing body configurations. The three ZEROe concepts are designed as hydrogen hybrids—the planes would be powered by gas-turbine engines that burn liquid hydrogen as fuel and will also generate electricity via hydrogen fuel cells. Ms. Simpson will discuss how Airbus aims to develop these hydrogen-fueled propulsion system technologies by 2025-2027 and bring a zero-emission aircraft to market by 2035. She will also address how the company plans to address the biggest challenges of electrifying large planes, such as minimizing the planes’ weight. The feasibility of these technologies for low-emission and zero-emission flight will be tested at an on-ground demonstrator, built at Airbus’ E-Aircraft System House.

Please join this conversation via the web application Zoom, which is accessible through your web browser, the Zoom desktop or mobile app, and by phone. If you wish to join the question and answer period, you must join by app or web. You must register to receive further information on how to join the virtual audience.


Amanda Simpson, vice president for research and technology, Airbus Americas

Amanda Simpson is the vice president for research and technology at Airbus Americas and is responsible for coordinating technology development, research activities, and innovation for Airbus in the western hemisphere. Previously she was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy at the U.S. Department of Defense, responsible for developing the strategy for the utilization of energy for military operational forces worldwide and the senior advisor to the Secretary of Defense for all matters pertaining to energy in our military. Prior to accepting that responsibility, she was the Executive Director of the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives, an organization developing large scale renewable energy projects to bring energy security to Army installations leveraging private sector financing.  In addition, she has held senior government roles in the office of the Army Acquisition Executive and the Bureau of Industry and Security at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Prior to her government appointments, Ms. Simpson had distinguished program management career in the aerospace industry working for Raytheon, Hughes Aircraft, Douglas Aircraft, and Hughes Helicopters. 

Ms. Simpson has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions including the Tucson YWCA Woman on the Move, Arizona Human Rights Fund Individual Award, National Conference for College Women Student Leaders Women of Distinction Award, and was named an Outstanding Alumni of Harvey Mudd College. She is a recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service and the Department of Defense Pride Civilian Leadership Award.  Her team received the DARPA Award for Significant Technical Achievement in 1999.

Ms. Simpson earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Harvey Mudd College, a Master of Science in Engineering from California State University, and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Arizona.  She is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics serving on the Systems Engineering Technical Committee, Executive Steering Committee, and Corporate Member Committee.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and serves on the board of the Washington DC Chapter. She serves on the boards of directors of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Advanced Thermal Batteries Inc.

Ms. Simpson holds both an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and a Certified Flight Instructor license, and has logged nearly 3,000 hours of flying in more than 60 different types of aircraft including floatplanes, flying boats, unmanned drones, and multi-engine jets.

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