Behind the Scenes: Meet Scott Morris

Scott Morris

January 4, 2023

Above: Scott Morris and Nick Schoeps testing the Photon P80

I have traveled around the world for fun and for work over the last 18 years. I discovered the joys of being on the water when I lived on a boat in Cardiff, Wales, for a short time and. I learned to sail and about the intricacies of boat building. Later, I joined the Air Force and circumnavigated the globe five times; I have moved everything from helicopters and boats to satellites for NASA.

During this time, I learned to work hard for what I believe in and I know we need to be more concerned about the means we use to get around. So, Photon Marine seemed like a great fit for addressing an almost unexplored avenue of clean transportation.

While working on my capstone project for my engineering degree, I was looking for resources and ran into the lead engineer of Photon Marine, Nick Schoeps. He overheard a conversation in which I was explaining my project of converting classic vehicles to electric and thought I might be interested in a summer internship. I figured that it was very similar to the processes I was currently studying and thought it would be a great transition from schoolwork into the industry of electric transportation. I have always been mechanically inclined and have had an entrepreneurial view on things, so I was excited to join a startup.

I would personally like to see more of the regulations and industry standards be addressed with the building of electric boats. 

Even though electric vehicles have become more popular in the past decade or two, there has been little progress in electric motors for boats. Almost everything we are doing at Photon has been completely reimagining the boating industry standards with few other companies providing anything on par as to what we are building.

There seems to be a few things that don’t quite transfer over from the fossil fuel models that will have to be addressed before electric boats can really take off. One of these is the charging infrastructure and the other is the safety of high voltage electrical systems in marine environments.

While some might think we are only dropping an electric motor and batteries into a boat and we are done, there has been a lot more to it. Conventional internal combustion outboards operate on the principle of an engine constantly idling when not being used, whereas electric motors are more of an on-off type of system. Many of the conventional auxiliary systems rely on the constant power and movement of the engine idling so we have had to take a new look at how we can continue to operate these systems in new ways.

These unique engineering challenges and experiences have led me to really enjoy my time working for Photon Marine.

Scott Morris was born in Omaha, NE, where he received an A.A. degree in automotive collision repair technologies from Metropolitan Community College. Scott joined the US Air Force where he became a C-5 Loadmaster and later transitioned to the C-17 airframe, where he currently serves in the Air Force Reserves. He received his second degree, an A.S. in aviation operations from the Community College of the Air Force in 2017. He returned to school to pursue a Bachelor’s in renewable energy engineering at Oregon Tech. During his time at Oregon Tech, he established the school's veteran resource center, where he worked as a peer consultant. While he pursued renewable energy in the automotive industry, some of the projects of note were a mobile battery/solar EV charging stations, EV battery pack design, on-site production of hydrogen, and a final capstone project validating the processes of converting classic vehicles to electric drive.

Scott likes spending his free time outdoors from mountain biking to snowboarding and paddle boarding. When he isn’t in the outdoors, he likes building furniture, learning about new technologies, and spending time with his wife, Lindsey, and two corgis, Kaslo and Rayna.