Sampson Lau

Battery Engineer by trade,
Chemical Engineer by training,
Scientist at heart.
Dancer on occasion.

About Me

I distinctly remember a picture in a children's science book I once read. It depicted the city of tomorrow: solar panels on every roof, cars without tailpipes, and a maglev train speeding off towards a row of wind turbines in the distance. The caption claimed that the Earth will run out of fossil fuels in fifty years, and by then we will need to completely transition to renewable energy.

"Fifty years?" I thought, "Why should anyone have to wait that long?" Sure neccessity plays a role, but shouldn't faster, cleaner, and simply cooler technology be a good enough reason? The sole concept of converting sunlight to electricity and powering cars with it intrigued me. The hope of traveling between cities at hundreds of miles per hour excited me. Throughout my education, I kept an open-minded and fundamentals-first attitude because I knew that tomorrow's technology will be built upon today's science. Now, I am developing the batteries that will power the transportation of tomorrow.

eVTOL Battery Engineering

I am currently a Staff Battery Engineer at Wisk. We have been developing electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for over a decade, achieving many of the industry's first technological milestones. In my six years at the company, I have worked with nearly every aspect of the batteries and cells. We are now developing the sixth generation aircraft with the intention of transporting our first passengers.

Graduate Research

I did my graduate studies at Cornell University on lithium-air batteries, which is an experimental class of batteries with up to ten times the gravimetric energy density of conventional lithium-ion batteries. Read more about my research below.

Connecting the Dots in the Lithium-Air Battery

Past Projects

The Crisis Club

In early 2020, I filmed a dance video in collaboration with The Collective SF, a modern dance group based in San Francisco. I drew upon my knowledge of videography and my persepective as a fellow dancer to ensure what is shown on the screen effectively conveys the choreography's emotion. I worked closely with the choreographer through pre-production meetings, storyboarding, filming, and draft reviews.


OpenLoop Alliance

OpenLoop was a multi-campus alliance that competed in the inaugural SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. Our goal was to design and build a working pod prototype that can run on a one-mile test track. The subteam at Cornell designed the air bearing suspension system. My responsibilities included high-level modeling of the air bearings, the high-pressure system, and, in an early design iteration that had a compressor, the battery.


Zero Ground Given

Zero Ground Given was an annual dance competition in Ithaca, NY created by the breaking clubs of Cornell University and Ithaca College. The first edition of the event took place on May 1-2, 2015, and brought in some of the most skilled dancers in the Northeast.

I led organization of the portion hosted at Cornell, which involved inviting judges, fundraising, logistics, and publicity.


Contact

I am open to new opportunities, collaborations, and the sharing of knowledge and expertise. Feel free to email me or message me through LinkedIn.