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Ramaco hires former NASA engineer as director of innovation

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Ramaco Carbon announced Wednesday that former NASA engineer Charles Hill has been hired as Ramaco’s director of innovation.

Hill will oversee the company’s “coal-to-products” technology activities, with an initial focus on Ramaco’s efforts in developing carbon fibers and composites from coal precursors.

According to a news release from Ramaco, he will be principally based at the company’s Sheridan office. According to the release, Hill brings a deep background and experience in composite materials and process engineering to his new position, including 13 years of work with NASA and a decade with the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Most recently, Hill has focused on materials and process technical consulting. He has also worked with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop forms of large-scale additive manufacturing.

Hill is the recipient of two Johnson Space Center Awards from NASA for exceptional work and is a member of the board of directors of the Institute of Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation.

According to Ramaco, Hill is joining the company during a pivotal transition time. Ramaco’s first Innovation of Carbon Advanced Materials Center, called iCAM for short, will open in Sheridan this fall, and a second iCAM center is scheduled to open in Ramaco facilities in West Virginia later this year.

Both iCAM centers will foster research to develop high-value carbon products and materials from coal, such as carbon fiber, graphene and carbon-related building and life science products.

Hill said he’s researched carbon science throughout his career, and he feels the carbon community is poised for major new breakthroughs in the near term.

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