Darren Hammell, 24, really got into one of his research projects as an undergrad in college. Now it has become a business that he runs.
Hammell is the CEO of Princeton Power Systems, a young company in Princeton that uses patented technology in alternative energy, or ways to power things other than the typical sources of gas and electricity. He spends much of his time on business planning, marketing and proposal writing for the firm's contracts. Princeton Power Systems produces electrical power conditioners that make the power generated by industry and others cleaner for the environment.
Hammell was born and raised in East Lyme, Connecticut, and went on to graduate from Princeton University with a B.S.E. in Computer Science in 2001. He co-founded Princeton Power Systems one month before he graduated, based on a business plan he began at the university. "I was in college and took one course in high-tech entrepreneurship," he says. "The professor became my mentor, and he got me excited about the business end of it all." The company idea was impressive enough to attract more than $1 million in first-round financing.
Hammell's passion for making things work began in childhood. "My earliest interest in technology began with Legos at the age of four or five. I would never build what was actually in the Lego instructions. It was more fun to dream up a spaceship and build it from scratch. My interest moved to computers and video games." In high school, while taking physics and chemistry classes, Hammell began to realize all the amazing things you could do with an understanding of science and technical skills.
Now, he enjoys the positive impact his tech post can have on the way people live their lives. He highly recommends a tech job to others, noting that technical skills are becoming crucial in nearly every type of job and field.