PowerSpot: Jay O’Neil

June 9, 2020


This is PowerSpot, Plug Power’s monthly blog series where we highlight the Plug Power employees who inspire us and, we hope, will inspire you, too. Today, we’re meeting Senior Design Engineer, Jay O’Neil.

My wife and I have raised chickens for the last 4 years and have 10 right now.

Jay, could you explain what you do for a living in 20 words or fewer.

I design parts (brackets, manifolds, plumbing, electrical) to construct & install hydrogen fuel cell systems into defined spaces (battery-box, engine-bay).

Please tell us about one of the most extraordinary/unusual experiences you’ve had in your career.

In my first position out of school I worked as a manufacturing engineer and spent months living and working in China and Hungary. Each trip added challenges and responsibilities, but also new experiences. I consider myself fortunate to have those opportunities early in my career.    

If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?  Why?

10,000 BC because we don’t know much about these early people, but I’d love to experience the rawness of their society.

What is your favorite movie and why is it at the top of your list?

I have a lot of favorites, but Jurassic Park is one of my all time favorites. Great picture, great actors, and a metaphor to how the problems in our society are created and exacerbated – ego and greed. Don’t dwell on asking yourself, “CAN I do it?”… take the time to ask yourself, “SHOULD I do it?”

Do you have a life philosophy?  What is it?

Yes! My mantra is balance and purpose. I try to remind myself every day the importance of the mind-body connection. The balance of these two forces is my purpose, but it can be easy to forget.

If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?

My Dad, My Wife, Jerry Garcia, Emeril Lagasse.

My dad and wife are two of the most influential and interesting people I’ve known so far. I’d love for the three of us to have just one more conversation in human form, as my dad passed back in 2013. Jerry will provide some good tunes and Emeril behind the grill, Bam!

Thanks to Jay for sharing himself with Plug Power and helping to make this a fun place to innovate to serve our customers.