Meet Katya Shick with Advanced Battery Concepts, a Battery Council International (BCI) Member Company
NOTE: This is the second of two blogs featuring employees of BCI member companies who have served in the U.S. military. Read the first blog on ENTEK International’s Zach Beugli.
U.S. Army veteran Katya Shick isn’t afraid of hard work. Within a half dozen years, she completed six years of active Michigan Army National Guard duty, got a bachelor’s degree in physics and math, and followed that with pursuing her MBA.
Today, Advanced Battery Concepts (ABC), a Michigan-based battery technology company, is fortunate to have civilian Shick in their ranks as a product manager. She exemplifies the tremendous drive of U.S. military veterans, who the lead battery industry celebrates on Veterans Day, November 11.
Advanced Battery Concepts: “Incredible asset to our military”
It’s fitting that Katya works for ABC, a Battery Council International member company. The U.S. Army recently selected advanced lead battery energy storage systems – made, in part, with ABC lead batteries – to enhance the army’s operational effectiveness in disaster zones and in combat. [Learn more about this Consortium for Battery Innovation microgrid project.]
Shick knows first-hand why a reliable tactical energy storage product would be “an incredible asset to our military personnel.” While in the Army National Guard, she was a specialist with the HHC 125 Infantry Unit out of Saginaw, Michigan, and worked in the S6, which was communications. Her main job was to set up and repair satellite communications.
“That usually meant setting up shop in the middle of the woods, with no direct tie into the grid power.” Shick and her unit had to rely on power provided by their equipment, which was sometimes unstable. But, more so, it threatened critical military operations.
“Power outages take out our high-level communications that allow commanders to make informed critical tactical decisions. Our [ABC] batteries, with their high performance, light weight and safe chemistry are capable of meeting the energy storage needs of the military.”
ABC’s partnership with the military goes back even further. In 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), awarded ABC a contract to provide 4HN and 2HN batteries to U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), for use with Bradley Fighting Vehicles.
Employee Katya Shick Finds Cutting-Edge Tech Company to Apply Her Skills
Following high school, Katya didn’t originally intend to join the military, even though both of her grandfathers served; one in the U.S. Air Force and one in the U.S. Army. Katya shared her story of what led her to military service and working at ABC.
Why did you join the U.S. Army?
When I graduated from high school, I lacked focus and direction. One day, I was walking the student area at Eastern Michigan, and an Army recruiter was there. We got to talking, and I signed an eight-year contract.
What led you to ABC?
After graduating from college, I was still unsure about my career. I spoke with ABC’s COO/President Michael Everett as a mentor, and he gave me solid career advice. I got to work finding interdisciplinary roles with a cutting-edge technology organization. ABC fit those innovation guidelines.
[Katya expanded on ABC’s innovation:] Our company was created to engineer better batteries for a better world (Better Batteries, Better World™ is ABC’s mission.) Our technology is the first to ever commercially manufacture bipolar lead batteries. It’s why our company was selected by the DOD Defense Logistics Agency.
How has your military experience transferred to your civilian job at ABC?
The reality is, the Army has very strong core values – loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. These core values become who you are as a person. Any company is lucky to have a veteran on board, because each of them exemplifies these values and that helps the overall organization.
How does the culture of ABC support you?
Honestly, one of the main reasons I joined ABC was the family culture. Coming from the military, which is such a tight knit brotherhood, I understood the value of having a team that truly believed in their mission. Here at ABC, all of us truly believe that we are creating technology that will revolutionize the renewable energy market.
The Lead Battery Industry Thanks All Veterans
Thank you, Katya! Our industry is grateful for the immense value veterans like you bring to the lead battery manufacturing and lead battery recycling sector. You are helping to make lead batteries the most sustainable, reliable and cost effective battery chemistry today.
About Advanced Battery Concepts
Founded in 2008, Michigan-based Advanced Battery Concepts is a battery technology development company working to create energy storage systems that are socially, environmentally and economically responsible. The company designs and develops bipolar lead batteries that serve military, industrial, stationary, renewable, automotive and motive markets.