From space technology to battery innovation

After years working with space technology, Jonathan Edvard Bjerkedok came in for landing at Hagal. The CTO leads an outstanding team of hardware and software experts spearheading new battery technology.

Entering his second year in the battery start-up, he is gearing up his team to reach  new technical milestones. The most significant project is the ASKO Maritime Pilot, where Hagal will deliver green energy for shore power and charging stations when the world’s first battery-electric autonomous sea drones are launched in August 2022.

Intrigued by the Hagal approach 

Before starting at Hagal, Jonathan had realised that the fusion of electronics and the battery industry was becoming increasingly important. He knew that batteries would be pivotal for the green energy transition, and was intrigued by the idea of using his expertise to build a battery start-up.

–What drew me to Hagal was the exciting journey they had embarked on, developing a battery management system that solves many of the challenges of conventional battery packs. The technology optimises battery performance on cell level and is a key enabler for reusing EV batteries and B grade cells, Jonathan explains.

–Hagal has a unique way of combining batteries and power conversion, and a strong desire to bring sustainable, affordable and flexible solutions to the market. That was the magic formula that made me join the Hagal team.

Setting sail for new adventures 

Jonathan´s interest in electronics started at an early age. It was his hobby while growing up in Mjøndalen, and has always been an important part of his life. College studies in Service Electronics became the start of an exciting career. He could finally spend all his time doing what he loved.

Jonathan is no stranger to challenges and adventure. He graduated from the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy where he got his Bachelor in Leadership and Electronics. He sailed the seas for several years as an officer on a frigate. In 2009, he participated in Operation Atalanta, an EU counter-piracy military operation outside the Horn of Africa, with assignments like escorting high value targets and protecting the World Food Program ships from Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

–One of the most important takeaways from the armed forces is the focus on the mission and how to achieve the desired results. I believe in intent-based leadership, where the team is motivated and empowered to solve their own assignments. This includes a good portion of trust, a set of standards and guidance to help people perform at their very best, Jonathan explains.

In for landing at Hagal 

After nearly 10 years in the armed forces, he continued on to NTNU where he got a Master´s degree in Microelectronics. He started working in Bitvis, which later became part of Acando and Inventas, with electronic chip design for the space industry. He has been involved in billion dollar satellite projects that have gone and are going to many of the planets in the solar system. The most prestigious space projects were the Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 Rover and Jupiter Ice Moons (JUICE).

When Jonathan was introduced to Hagal, he got his feet back on the ground.

–It was refreshing to learn about Hagal´s radical new approach to power conversion and Battery Management Systems (BMS). The company is growing into a full-stack battery technology provider, delivering both hardware and software solutions for full-fledged energy management and optimisation, the CTO says.

Improving energy operations 

The Hagal technology team covers the whole spectrum from battery cell optimisation to how customers can use the Internet of Things and manage energy data in the cloud. The scalable software platform is not only valuable paired with Hagal batteries. It also increases the value of third-party batteries, using algorithms to optimise energy storage and user patterns.

–Hagal´s holistic approach to the battery technology stack enables improved energy operations at all levels – from the battery cell, to the module, battery pack and user pattern.

–The timing is impeccable. We have just started to ride the wave of batteries in the green shift. When tons of batteries from electric vehicles retire over the next few years, our technology will make sure they get an extended life in energy storage solutions. That is good news for the environment and the economy, Jonathan says.

A star team 

Jonathan is proud of his team, consisting of first class engineers, physicists and problem solvers. They work relentlessly with technological innovation that enables smarter and more affordable battery solutions.

–We have a strong technical department with broad expertise representing different disciplines, from research, industry, high tech companies to lab environments and  mechanical operations. It’s truly inspiring, and I am humbled and honored to be working together with so many extraordinary people, Jonathan exclaims.

As a leader, it is important for Jonathan to make sure everyone is aligned and motivated for the tasks. With three small kids at home in Krokstadelva and critical technical milestones to be reached in Hagal, his cool head, ability to think strategically and focus on the right things come in handy.

–As a start-up, the efforts of each team member makes a huge impact. Everyone can, to a great extent, shape their own work, as long as we all move towards the same goals. We move fast, with shorter iterations and vast opportunities for technological application. It is a whole lot of fun, he says.

He looks forward to continuing building his technology team, while heading towards the commercialisation and market launch of Hagal’s Rebel technology.

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Copyright © 2020-2024 Hagal AS.
All Rights Reserved.