Alex Bates, PhD, Energy Storage Safety & Reliability, Sandia National Laboratories
Alex Bates is a mechanical engineer by training with a background in fuel cell and flow battery research. As a part of the Energy Storage team at Sandia National Laboratories, he is currently focused on solid-state and advanced Li-ion battery safety and reliability. This research seeks to understand battery failure pathways, severity, and associated risks with the aim of failure prediction, mitigation, and/or elimination. Alex’s skill set includes battery fabrication, electrochemical and materials characterization, calorimetry, abuse testing, and modeling.
Hansen Chang, PhD, Research & Development Engineer, Mercedes Benz AG
Hansen Chang is a Research and Development Engineer at Mercedes Benz. Since 2017, he has been working in the field of LIB and Solid-State Technology.
Richard Clark, Global Lead, Energy Storage, Morgan Advanced Materials
Educated as a chemical engineer at the University of Cambridge in England, Richard Clark has been with Morgan Advanced Materials for over 30 years, developing and commercializing carbon and ceramic materials and components. He leads Morgan’s work in energy storage, which encompasses all businesses related to lithium-ion batteries and other electrochemical devices such as fuel cells. During his career he has been based in UK, USA, South Korea, and China, and has established two research centers of excellence - one in collaboration with Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, focused on uses for porous carbon materials, particularly bioderived, and the other in collaboration with Penn State University in State College, PA, on carbon materials. His experience in materials and product development covers a wide-range, including three recognized as globally best-in-class: graphite for synthetic diamonds; ablative carbon material for space vehicle propulsion; and anode graphite for lithium-ion batteries for power tool applications. Most recently he has focused on the manufacture and use of carbon and ceramics in and around lithium-ion batteries, for which he has several patent applications (including five granted) as a named inventor.
Forrest Gittleson, PhD, Manager, Solid-State Cell Engineering, Rivian
Dr. Gittleson leads a team focused on solid-state battery development and design at Rivian Automotive. Prior to joining Rivian, he managed BMW Group’s North American battery R&D portfolio from 2017-2021 and was a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories in California from 2015-2017, where he led projects on Li-air and solid-state batteries. He holds a PhD in chemical engineering from Yale University.
Zhe Li, PhD, Senior Researcher, China Science Lab, General Motors
Zhe Li is currently a senior researcher at General Motors Global Research & Development. He received his Ph.D. from Yokohama National University (Japan). His current interest of research includes the interfacial engineering in solid-state battery, high-power battery, and anode-free battery.
Owen Lu, PhD, Research Engineer, Ford Motor Company
As a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, Owen Lu has spent the past five years conducting research on solid-state batteries. His primary research interests lie in Si-dominant anodes and solid electrolytes, which encompass both solid polymer and inorganic sulfide types. In addition to his work on solid-state batteries, Owen has over a decade of experience in fuel cells and electrochemistry. He holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Penn State University and has co-authored over 40 publications and co-invented more than 15 patents.
Matthew McDowell, PhD, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Matthew McDowell is Associate Professor and Woodruff Faculty Fellow at Georgia Tech with appointments in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering and the School of Materials Science and Engineering. He received his PhD from Stanford University in 2013, and was a postdoc at Caltech from 2013 until 2015. McDowell has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), Sloan Fellowship, NSF CAREER Award, the NASA Early Career Faculty Award, and Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Achievement in Early Career Research award. For more information, see https://mtmcdowell.gatech.edu.
Shirley Meng, PhD, Professor, University of Chicago; Chief Scientist, Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science, Argonne National Laboratory
Professor Y. Shirley Meng received her Ph.D. in Advance Materials for Micro & Nano Systems from the Singapore-MIT Alliance in 2005, after which she worked as a postdoc research fellow and became a research scientist at MIT. Shirley currently holds the Zable Endowed Chair Professor in Energy Technologies and is Professor of NanoEngineering and Materials Science, University of California San Diego (UCSD). She is the founding Director of the Sustainable Power and Energy Center (2015-2020) and was named as inaugural director of the Institute of Materials Discovery and Design. Professor Meng received the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award in 2011, UCSD Chancellor’s Interdisciplinary Collaboratories Award in 2013, C.W. Tobias Young Investigator Award of the Electrochemical Society (2016), International Coalition for Energy Storage and Innovation (ICESI) Inaugural Young Career Award (2018), American Chemical Society ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces Young Investigator Award (2018), a Finalist for the Blavatnik National Award (2018), International Battery Associations Research Award (2019) and Royal Chemical Society Faraday’s Medal (2020). She is the author and co-author of more than 225 peer-reviewed journal articles, 2 book chapter and 5 issued patents. Professor Meng serves on the executive committee for battery division at the Electrochemical Society and she is the Editor-in-Chief for MRS Energy & Sustainability. She is an elected fellow of the Electrochemical Society (FECS) and fellow of the Materials Research Society (FMRS).
Ines Miller, Team Lead Battery Cells, E Mobility, P3 Automotive GmbH
Ines Miller is leading the team of battery cells for P3 automotive in the field of E-Mobility. She has been involved in numerous projects with automotive OEMs, suppliers, chemical industry and investment banks mostly covering topics of Li-ion and Next-Gen batteries. Within P3 she is an expert for E-Mobility with focus on Li-ion and all-solid-state cells including technology and cost assessments. Before working for P3, Ines has gained her Master’s degree in Business Chemistry at the University of Ulm.
Rana Mohtadi, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Materials Research, Toyota Research Institute of North America
Dr. R. Mohtadi is a Senior Principal Scientist at the materials research department at Toyota Research Institute of North America TRINA and has been in the decarbonization R&D field for over two decades. She has been spearheading and leading research for the creation, design and demonstration of materials for chemical and electrochemical energy storage technologies, including the research of novel battery electrolyte chemistries for liquid and solid-state batteries, and has contributed important advancements in these areas. She has published influential research and has been awarded over 30 patents. Notable recognitions include receiving the R&D100 award (2011) and being named in “40 under 40” by the Automotive and Crain’s news (2014). She was recognized and showed cased in the “We Run on Brain Power” initiative by the State Governor in 2015 as a face of cutting edge innovation in the State of Michigan, USA.
Anselm Muelberger, MS, Mercedes-Benz AG
Since completing my Master's degree in mechanical engineering at TUM, I have been working on disruptive battery technologies in pre-development at Mercedes-Benz AG.
Vilas G. Pol, PhD, Professor, Chemical Engineering, ViPER, Purdue University
Vilas G. Pol is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University, IN, USA. He authored/co-authored >255 research publications (h index 54), and inventor on 16 issued US patents and 25+ applications. Purdue University honored him with Outstanding Engineering Teachers, Most Impactful Inventors, Seed for Success, Bravo, and Purdue Faculty Scholar awards. He delivered hundreds of invited, keynote and plenary talks, including ‘TEDx’. He is honored with multiple awards from professional AIChE, ACS, MRS, ACerS, TMS Carbon societies, as well as two Guinness World Records.
Ryan Poon, PhD, Solid-State Group Manager, R&D, LiCAP Technologies, Inc.
Ryan has over 5 years of experience in the battery and ultracapacitor development, and he is experienced with materials characterization, electrochemical testing and battery cell manufacturing technologies.
He holds a doctorate degree in materials engineering from McMaster University in Canada. As a Solid-State Group Manager at LiCAP Technologies, he is responsible for leading the research and development of Activated Dry Electrode Technology for Solid State battery.
Elizabeth Santori, PhD, Vice President of R&D, Ion Storage Systems
Dr. Elizabeth Santori is Vice President of Research and Development at Ion Storage Systems (ION), overseeing development of ION’s ceramic solid-state electrolyte and cell architecture. Dr. Santori was one of the company’s first hires in 2019 as ION tech-transferred its core technology from the University of Maryland, allowing for scalable solid-state cells which require no compression or heating. Dr. Santori received her PhD in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 2012. She has previously conducted R&D, cell testing, and technology evaluation across multiple battery technologies, for the US government, ARPA-E, and within the private sector at Lockheed Martin.
Dee Strand, PhD, CSO, R&D, Wildcat Discovery Technologies, Inc.
Dr. Dee Strand is a Senior Scientist at Wildcat Discovery Technologies. Dr. Strand has over twenty years of experience in materials research, development, and commercialization, primarily in the areas of energy storage and electronic applications. Prior to joining Wildcat in 2013, Dr. Strand served as a Research Fellow at Dow Chemical, where she was the technical lead in Dow Energy Materials, as well as the Principal Investigator on external research programs with universities and national labs on battery materials. Dr. Strand also has extensive experience in patent analysis and technical due diligence of new technologies. Dr. Strand completed her PhD in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, under the supervision of Professor John Schrag. Her PhD research focused on rheology and birefringence of polymeric solutions. Dr. Strand also holds a Master of Science degree in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from North Dakota State University.
Alexander Tesfaye, Project Manager, Solid-State Batteries, Umicore
Alexander Teklit Tesfaye received his MSc. in Material Science and Electrochemistry from the University of Picardy Jules Verne (Erasmus Mundus master program) in 2014 and his Ph.D. in Condensed Science and Nano Science from Aix-Marseille University in 2017. His Ph.D. work focused on the synthesis of micron and nano-sized anode materials, elastomeric coatings, and their electrochemical performance in conventional Li-ion battery systems. From 2018 - 2019, he worked as an industrial post-doc at Ecoles des Mines Saint-Etienne for Pellenc Energy to develop all-solid-state batteries based on polymer electrolytes. In 2020, he joined Umicore Corporate R&D as a project manager for the solid-state battery research program.
Adrian Tylim, Head Business Development North America, Blue Solutions
Adrian Tylim is responsible for driving USA and America’s market at Blue Solutions, a Bollore company. He has broad experience with renewable energy technologies as an engineer, designer, project, and business developer. He was part of NASA’s space station solar power module team, worked on various California wind energy projects, and was responsible for business development for a leading German solar engineering firm. As a sustainability champion, he designed a solution to eliminate landfills and economically produce renewable energy from waste. He earned an MS in Energy Systems Engineering from the University of Arizona and a BS in Applied Physics from California State University.
Herminso Villarraga-Gomez, PhD, X-ray Quality Solutions Manager, Industrial Quality Solutions, ZEISS Industrial Metrology
Herminso Villarraga-Gomez is an X-ray Quality Solutions Manager at ZEISS. He specializes in industrial applications of dimensional metrology, 3D X-ray imaging/microscopy, computed tomography, and nondestructive evaluation. He holds a PhD in Optical Science and Engineering (University of North Carolina at Charlotte). He is the author of more than 50 peer-review articles & conference papers (+one book chapter and one book translation). He is a member of several professional associations promoting the advancement of engineering and applied physics. His current interests include contributing to the quality control industry and advancing novel technologies such as additive manufacturing and the emergent new energy/battery materials.
Steven Visco, PhD, CEO & CTO, PolyPlus Battery
Steven Visco is the Chief Executive Officer, CTO, and founder of PolyPlus Battery Company in Berkeley, California, as well as a Guest Scientist in the Materials Science Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Steven J. Visco currently holds 127 U.S. patents, more than 200 international patents and has authored over 80 journal articles, as well as books, monographs and other publications. Dr. Visco graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts in 1977 and received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Brown University in 1982. Dr. Visco then joined the staff at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as a Principal Investigator in the Materials Sciences Division in 1984 where his research interests have included advanced batteries and fuel cells. Steven Visco co-founded PolyPlus Battery Company in 1991. In 2013 Dr. Visco was selected by the City of Berkeley for a “Visionary Award” for his work in next generation batteries. Steve also serves on the Technical Advisory the CIC Energigune Institute in Minano, Spain and was awarded the 2011 International Battery Association Award for “Outstanding Contributions to the Development of Lithium-Air and Lithium-Water Batteries.” PolyPlus Battery Company was selected by TIME magazine for its 50 Best Inventions of 2011 Issue, and was selected for a Gold Edison Award in 2012. In May 2015 Dr. Visco was elected a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society.
Alvin Wu, Research Manager, Commercial & Industrial R&D, UL LLC
Mr. Alvin Wu has been working as a researcher in studying batteries and for more than 20 years, including 5 years in battery industries and more than 18 years with research group of UL. Up to present, Alvin has provided more than 60 technical presentations, professional consulting services and training to international conferences, battery research organizations and industries all over the world. Alvin is the technical leader in handling a number of battery research projects and setting up battery research test facilities in UL Taiwan battery lab. He is the winner of UL 2014, 2016 and 2021 Mark of Excellence awards. Alvin’s strong foundation in battery technology has a foundation from degrees in chemical engineering (BS and MS) from National Taiwan University where he conducted research on solid polymer electrolyte in lithium-ion batteries.
Alex Yu, PhD, Founder and CTO, Factorial Energy
Dr. Alex Yu is a leading expert in advanced battery technology and the co-founder and CTO of Factorial Energy. He received his Ph.D. in electrochemistry from Cornell University under the mentorship of Prof. Hector Abruna. In 2013, Alex started Lionano, a battery technology company, and served as its CEO during the last year of his Ph.D until 2021. Dr. Yu holds several patents in advanced battery technology, including NMC/NCA cathode, lithium sulfur cathode, lithium metal anode, and solid-state electrolyte. His work has been recognized by the industry as a key contributor to the development of next-generation batteries. As CTO of Factorial Energy, Alex is driving the company's efforts to develop and commercialize solid-state battery technology. He believes that advances in battery technology are essential for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and for achieving a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. Under his leadership, Factorial Energy is making significant progress in this field, with the goal of making EVs safe, reliable, and affordable for everyone.
Wolfgang Zeier, PhD, Professor, Institut fur Anorganische und Analytische Chemie, Westfalische-Wilhelms-Universitat Munster
Wolfgang Zeier holds a professorship for Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Muenster. In addition, he heads a department at the Helmholtz-Institute Muenster, Ionics in Energy Storage. His research interests encompass the fundamental structure-to-property relationships in solids, with a focus on thermal and ion-conducting materials, as well as solid-solid interfacial chemistry for all-solid-state batteries.