2021 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Nicholas May, Senior Commercial Director, Baker Hughes

Dec. 9, 2021

Nicholas May has his hands on the technology of tomorrow. While working for Schneider Electric, May “worked with Airport Staff, Design Firms, and Construction Managers to help Digitize and Electrify US Airports.”

“We see an acceleration of airports commitments towards CO2 reduction with goals to be carbon neutral initially, then Net zero prior to 2050. This coincides with most all airports need to increase their power capacity for applications like eBuses, eGSE, eCargo aircraft, and eVTOL. Then consider how impactful a power outage is on airport operations. It’s a great industry to be a part of, and rapidly changing.” May continued.

May’s work has, in part, helped the industry keep up with the shifting landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic. In April of 2020, he led a team that piloted the first Mass Thermal Screening program in the US that succeeded in covering the front entrance of LAX Tom Bradley Terminal and screening for elevated body temperatures.

“We stood up four different thermal imaging solutions in the Tom Bradley International Terminal front entrance. The intention was to screen at mass the flow of incoming passengers to see if they had an elevated body temperature. It was impactful in helping understand if this technology should be implemented terminal wide, campus wide, or if the technology wasn’t ready to be deployed at scale.” May described.

May’s work on the project was recognized by Justin Erbacci, CEO of LAWA, and Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles. Shortly after, May was asked to lead a working group for AAAE’s ACT initiative. His team made up of industry consultants including Arup, Jacobs, RS&H, and Swanson Rink took direction from a steering group of US Airport Directors and published a report with recommendations to help Airport teams best position their HVAC Systems to address Covid-19. Good and bad information was being disseminated throughout the industry, but May and his team gave trusted guidance.

As May turns his eyes to the future, his goals are to help airports navigate the complex process of decarbonization, electrification and creating a more sustainable aviation industry. In November of 2021 May will be taking a new role leading the NAM and LATAM markets as the Transportation Segment Director at Baker Hughes.

“I think electrification of airports is going to change the world. Electrification and Sustainable Fuels is how the aviation industry will decarbonize. I believe airports should empower themselves with energy technologies like Microgrids to generate both cleaner and more resilient power. And that's what I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about,” May said.