Queensland based vehicle distributor, BLK Auto has announced it has recruited veteran British bus industry executive and engineer, Graham Belgum as its hydrogen technology to bolster its capabilities as it looks to grows it hydrogen vehicle development and fuel supply services.

Graham Belgum most recently was the CEO of Optare Buses working specifically on a range of zero emission bus programs with both battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell technology. He is a professional engineer by training with more than 40 years experience across design, development and operational support across mechanical, electrical and electronic equipment.

Commencing his new role as professional adviser this week, Belgum, BLK Auto says he takes over to enhance its  hydrogen fuel cell vehicle development and support capability as it works with local body manufacturers to develop and integrate its fuel cell solutions to their fleets.

“I’m delighted to welcome Graham to the BLK Auto team,’’ BLK Auto managing director Jason Pecotic said.

“His experience and tenure in this sector is a huge boon for our business, and we look forward to leveraging his wisdom and capabilities as we seek to significantly boost our hydrogen offerings to customers.”

Graham Belgum said he was looking forward to hitting the ground running with BLK to help fill a large and looming gap in Australia’s hydrogen sector.

“Hydrogen is the way forward for a clean energy future, and BLK Auto is at the forefront here in Australia to make a meaningful impact in this sector.

“I’ve known Jason from my time at Optare, and it is a pleasure to be joining his team. I look forward to playing my part in further developing BLK Auto’s hydrogen capabilities.”

According to BLK Auto, Belgum’s career dates back to the first 10 hydrogen fuel cell buses that went into service in the United Kingdom for Transport for London after they were introduced in 2003.

During this time, he served as engineering director for First Group in London and oversaw the introduction of the first and second generation fuel cell buses into operation, including the development of Lea Interchange to refuel and maintain FEVs for the Olympics.

In recent years, he has led the design, development and support of a range of battery electric buses as the chief executive officer for Optare Buses, and worked on the design and development of a double decker fuel cell bus.