Prior to joining Sun Catalytix, Tom was the Director of Cell Stack Engineering at UTC Power Corporation, a world leader in fuel cell technology and deployment. Tom had previously served UTC Power as the Director of Technology Development, a role in which he had overall responsibility for technology planning and program execution. During his time at UTC Power, Tom was intimately involved in resolving durability problems and developing and commercializing fuel cells for transportation and stationary applications that achieved record setting levels of endurance. Before his time at UTC Power, Tom led significant programs at the United Technologies Research Center where his efforts focused most notably on fundamental degradation mechanisms of fuel cells.
Prior to joining Sun Catalytix, Tom was a manager and engineer at UTC Power, where he managed $2 million annually in program scope for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell activities and led a team to develop patented strategies to significantly extend fuel cell durability. Previously, Tom led groups at United Technologies Research Center and at Neah Power Systems, where he worked to develop a high power density, silicon-based methanol fuel cell.
Tom has authored 14 technical
articles and book chapters and holds 11 issued patents and
applications. He serves as an ongoing reviewer for the Department of
Energy’s hydrogen fuel cells program proposals and he is a reviewer for
the Journal of the Electrochemical
Prior to joining Sun Catalytix, Mike was the was director of vacuum, heat and transport engineering at Veeco Solar Equipment, where he developed process tools for manufacturing thin-film photovoltaics. Earlier, he was director of engineering at Advanced Electron Beams, a supplier of innovative systems for energy efficient surface sterilization, material transformation, and pollution abatement. Prior to that, Mike spent 10 years developing semiconductor capital equipment in various engineering and technology leadership roles at Brooks Automation (formerly PRI Automation).
Mike earned his bachelor’s degree from Clarkson University his master’s degree from Boston University, both in mechanical engineering.
Arthur Esswein, PhD Founding Scientist
Prior to co-founding Sun Catalytix, Arthur was a postdoctoral associate with Professor T. Don Tilley at University of California, Berkeley, focused on energy conversion and electrocatalytic water splitting.
Arthur earned his doctorate from MIT, where he studied with Daniel Nocera and focused on multi-electron redox chemistry of transition metal catalysts as it pertains to solar energy conversion. His research in solar energy conversion and renewable energy began with his undergraduate studies on dye-sensitized solar cells in the laboratory of Gerald Meyer at Johns Hopkins University, where Arthur earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and mathematics.
Steve Reece, PhD Founding Scientist
Prior to co-founding Sun Catalytix, Steve studied biophysical chemistry and enzymology at the University of California, Berkeley as a postdoctoral associate with Professor Michael Marletta. Previously, he earned his doctorate from MIT in inorganic chemistry studying mechanisms for amino acid radical generation and reactivity in biological energy conversion. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Davidson College.
Board of Directors
Dan is a founder of Sun Catalytix and the Patterson Rockwood professor of energy and professor of chemistry at Harvard University. A leading researcher in renewable energy at the molecular level, Dan studies the basic mechanisms of energy conversion in biology and chemistry, with primary focus on the photogeneration of hydrogen and oxygen from water.
Dan earned his a Bachelor of Science from Rutgers University his doctorate from California Institute of Technology.
Art is the retired chairman, president, and CEO of Ionics, Incorporated, a technology pioneer in the field of water purification. During his 32 years as CEO, Arthur led Ionics in its growth from a small research and development company to its position as the world leader in water desalination, purification and supply with more than 4,000 installations in 62 countries and 3,000 employees. General Electric purchased Ionics in early 2005.
Art is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a senior trustee at the California Institute of Technology, a member of the MIT Energy Initiative External Advisory Board, and a chairman of the Board of Overseers of the International Business School at Brandeis University .
Art earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware, and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University.
Amir currently represents Polaris as a Director of AgBiome, aTyr Pharmaceuticals, BIND Therapeutics (NASDAQ: BIND), Fate Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FATE), Promedior Pharmaceuticals, Receptos (NASDAQ: RCPT), Scholar Rock, Selecta Biosciences and Sun Catalytix. Additionally, Amir has served as a Director of Adnexus Therapeutics (acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb), Athenix Corporation (acquired by Bayer), Avila Therapeutics (acquired by Celgene), Living Proof, Pervasis Therapeutics (acquired by Shire Pharmaceuticals) and served as a Board Observer of GI Dynamics (GID.AX). In addition to his role as an investor, Amir has also served as the initial CEO of Living Proof (known as Andora at the time), and Sun Catalytix Corporation.
Prior to joining
Polaris, Amir completed his PhD as a Hertz Fellow in Chemical
Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a minor
in Biology under the guidance of Dr. Robert Langer. Amir also earned
both his MS and BS in Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering at
the University of California, Berkeley.
Ralf Speth, PhD
Ralf was appointed to the post of Chief Executive Officer at Jaguar Land Rover, on February 18, 2010 and has since been appointed as a Non-Executive Director on the Tata Motors Board, effective November 9th 2010.
Prior to this appointment, Ralf was Head of Global Operations at the international industrial gases and engineering company, The Linde Group, having joined the company as Vice President of Operations in 2002.
Following a degree in Economics Engineering from Rosenheim University, Germany, Ralf worked as a business consultant for a number of years before joining BMW in 1980. Having served BMW for 20 years, Ralf joined Ford Motor Company's Premier Automotive Group as Director of Production, Quality and Product Planning. Ralf earned a Doctorate of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration from Warwick University.
Scientific Advisory Board
John is an institute professor at MIT, and as a faculty member since 1970, has served the MIT community as chairman of the department of chemistry, dean of science, and provost. He has published more than 140 technical publications in physical chemistry, as well as numerous publications on technology, energy, international security, and public policy issues. John was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2007 and is also member of the National Petroleum Council. He serves as director for Cheniere Energy, Citigroup and Raytheon.
John has served in significant government posts throughout his career. From 1977 to 1980, he held a number of positions in the U.S. Department of Energy, including director of energy research, acting assistant secretary for energy technology, and undersecretary of the department. In 1995, he was sworn in as director of Central Intelligence following a unanimous vote in the Senate, and he served in that role until 1996.
John earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and economics from Amherst College, and both a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering and a doctorate in physical chemistry from MIT.
George is the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers university professor at Harvard University. He joined the department of chemistry of Harvard University in 1982, serving as department chairman from 1986 to 1989, and he was also the Mallinckrodt professor of chemistry from 1982 until 2004. Prior to his work at Harvard, George was a member of the MIT faculty from 1963 to 1982.
George pioneers chemical research in molecular self-assembly and innovative nanofabrication techniques that have resulted in rapid, inexpensive fabrication of ultra small devices. In addition, he has helped found more than 12 companies and holds more than 50 patents. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.
George earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a doctorate from the California Institute of Technology.
Mark is chancellor and professor of chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis. Previously, he was a long-time member of the faculty at MIT. Mark lead the department of chemistry at MIT from 1987 until 1990, at which time he was appointed provost.
Mark’s research interests lie in the areas of transition metal catalysis, photochemistry, surface chemistry, molecular electronics, and photoprocesses at electrodes resulting in more than 300 peer-reviewed publications. He serves as a member of the boards of directors of Brooks Automation, Cabot Corporation, the Consortium on Financing Higher Education, Corning Incorporated, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the Nidus Center for Scientific Enterprise, and United Way of Greater St. Louis. Mark is a member of Civic Progress and an ex officio member of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association's Board of Directors and the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Mark earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University and a doctorate from the California Institute of Technology.
Ken is the Edwin R. Gilliland professor of chemical engineering at MIT. He served as the associate provost and vice president for research of MIT. His research is centered on the roles of fluid mechanics and of heat and mass transfer in a variety of engineering applications. Ken’s contributions to these subjects have led to his election to the National Academy of Engineering.
Ken earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and his doctorate in chemical engineering from MIT. He also held a postdoctoral appointment at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.
Henry is a distinguished professor and chair in the department of chemistry at the University of Utah. Following a postdoctoral appointment at MIT, he was on the faculty of chemical engineering and materials science at the University of Minnesota from 1984 until 1993.
Henry’s research encompasses both experimental and theoretical aspects of electrochemistry, with diverse connections to analytical, biological, physical, and materials chemistry. He serves as associate editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Henry earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Texas.
Niels is an Associate Professor of
Chemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he has been
the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship and the
National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award.
He is a founding fellow in the Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Institute (RASEI) which is a joint institute of the University of
Colorado at Boulder and the National Renewable Energy
He and his team are developing a research program that brings together strategies for actively controlling the photochemical and photophysical reactivity of electronically, structurally, and reactively complex systems. He is especially interested in discovering new types of photochemistry as well as the physical and synthetic strategies for achieving it. Areas being targeted are control of photochemistry using complex shaped laser fields and control of excited-state transformations through synthetic manipulation of molecular structures that exploit large-amplitude molecular motions. This research is motivated to understand how energy and charge flow within complex systems, which is critical in efforts to convert sunlight to electricity or fuel stocks.
Niels earned a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He was an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Würzburg and an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.