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2014 Archived Content


Michael H. Azarian, Ph.D., Assistant Research Scientist, Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering, University of Maryland 

Dr. Michael H. Azarian is a research faculty at the Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering at the University of Maryland. He holds a Master’s and Ph.D. in Materials Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University. His research is focused on the analysis, detection, prediction and prevention of failures in electronic and electromechanical products, including Li-ion batteries. He has published widely on electronic packaging, component reliability, condition monitoring and tribology. Dr. Azarian has led several standards committees on reliability for the IEEE. He holds five U.S. patents. Prior to joining CALCE he spent over a dozen years in the disk drive and fiber optics industries.

Brian Barnett, Ph.D., Vice President, TIAX, LLC  


Mike Bauer, Aerospace Engineering Investigator, National Transportation Safety Board 

Mike Bauer, Aerospace Engineering Investigator, National Transportation Safety Board Mr. Bauer is an aerospace engineer (aircraft systems). He works as an investigator in the NTSB’s Office of Aviation Safety. He joined the NTSB in 2008 as an aerospace engineer (vehicle recorders). As a vehicle recorders specialist, he worked on the multiple major domestic and international investigations and multiple field investigations recovering flight data from various recording devices, including FDRs, GPSs and avionics components. In 2012 he joined the Office of Aviation Safety working on aircraft system investigations. Notable investigations have included 2009 Air France Flight 447, 2011 Gulfstream G650 flight test accident and the 2011 P-51 Galloping Ghost Reno air race accident. Prior to joining the NTSB, he worked in a variety of engineering roles, flight test engineer, systems and structures design and certification for various aircraft and avionics manufacturers. Mr. Bauer holds a BSc in aerospace engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is a private pilot.

Edmund Burke, CEO, R&D, Space Information Laboratories  

Mr. Burke is the CEO of Space Information Laboratories, located in Santa Maria, California, and founded the small business in 2003. SIL’s patented and Space Qualified technologies include VBITS GPS Metric Tracking, Autonomous Flight Termination and Space Based Range units, Intelli-Avionics®, Li-Ion Polymer Intelli-Pack® batteries and MIL-STD CubeSat 6U to 27U for DOD, NASA and the Aerospace Industry. SIL has performed as a prime contractor to DOD and NASA, and as a value-added product supplier to large aerospace prime contractors. SIL accomplishes this work at the highest quality using an AS9100 Quality Management System with continual daily improvement to reach the next level of excellence and ensure mission success. Edmund Burke received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech and M.S. in Astronautical Engineering. He served as a past Air Program Manager and Project Director for Space and Missile Center, Range Instrumentation division at Vandenberg AFB with last position as the SLRS Metric Track Lead for both Vandenberg AFB and Cape Canaveral.

Rich Byczek, Global Technical Lead, Electric Vehicle & Energy Storage, Intertek 

Rich Byczek is the global technical lead for electric vehicle and energy storage at Intertek. He has 18 years of experience in product development and validation testing, nine of which have been spent at Intertek. Rich is also an expert in the areas of energy storage, audio equipment and EMC. Rich sits on several SAE, IEC, UL and ANSI standards panels. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan, and is based at the Intertek facility located in Plymouth, Michigan.

Steve Carlson, Ph.D., President & CEO, Optodot Corporation 

Dr. Carlson holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from MIT. After working as a CTO for various companies in the magnetic media and other coated products businesses, he worked in ceramic separator development and IP at Sion Power (formerly Moltech) from 1996 to 2000 before founding Optodot. Dr. Carlson has been a registered U.S. patent agent since 1995 and has extensive experience as an expert witness in non-battery patent infringement cases over the past 10 years. He has 13 U.S. patents and 10 foreign patents on ceramic separators with 21 more patents pending worldwide.

Dave Conover, Senior Technical Advisor, Energy and Environmental Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 

Dave Conover has graduate and undergraduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Catholic University of America (CUA). He has been involved with the development, adoption, implementation and enforcement of building construction regulations, focused primarily on energy use and technology acceptance, since 1976. During his involvement with the building industry at the global, national and local level he has held positions with the American Gas Association, the National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards, the International Code Council (ICC) and PNNL. He also served as the CEO of the National Evaluation Service, a subsidiary of the three organizations who formed the ICC, focusing on evaluation of new technology for acceptance within building regulatory programs. At PNNL he is currently focused on all aspects of energy codes and standards as well as fostering the acceptance of new technology through the development and deployment of codes and standards. Conover was recently honored in receiving the 2014 Smathers Award, given to past student athletes who have distinguished themselves to country, community and career.

Xuning Feng, Research Scientist, U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center-Clean Vehicles Consortium (CERC-CVC), Tsinghua University and University of Michigan 

Xuning Feng is a research scientist in the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center-Clean Vehicles Consortium (CERC-CVC). He works on lithium-ion battery diagnosis-prognosis issues at the State Key Laboratory of Automotive Safety and Energy Saving in Tsinghua University. He is now a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Xuning Feng has worked on the compulsory tests of lithium-ion battery safety at the China Automotive Technology and Research Center. His research interest includes safety design of battery systems, thermal runaway propagation of battery modules and state-of-health evaluation of lithium-ion batteries. His current research focus is on the thermal runaway propagation mechanisms of large-format lithium-ion batteries.

Laurie B. Florence, Principal Engineer, Large Format Batteries, Fuel Cells and Capacitors, Commercial and Industrial: EP&C, UL LLC 

For 10 years, Laurie has been UL’s Principal Engineer for batteries, fuel cells, hydrogen generators and capacitors. She is responsible for technical input, determining technical competency criteria for UL staff and supporting UL’s certification programs in these product categories. She represents UL on a variety of UL standards technical panels including 1973/1989, 2580/2271 810/810A and 2267 – as well as other industry standards and revision committees across IEEE, CTIA, ANSI, SAE, ISO, IEC, CSA and NFPA. Laurie is also participating on the UN EVS_GTR informal working group and participated on the UN Lithium battery transport T6 task group.

Graham Hibbert, Sales Manager, HEL Inc. 

Graham graduated from the University of Exeter (UK) with a Masters in Chemistry. He has been at HEL for 14 years and transferred to the US office in 2003. Graham has a wealth of experience in safety systems and calorimetry that he is eager to share.

Judith Jeevarajan, Ph.D., Battery Group Lead, Power Systems Branch, NASA Johnson Space Center 

Dr. Judith Jeevarajan is the Battery Group Lead for Safety and Advanced Technology at NASA-JSC. Her duties include R&D in the area of safety and supporting the various human-rated NASA safety panels to verify the safety of the batteries used in a human-rated space environment.

George A. Kerchner, Executive Director, PRBA - The Rechargeable Battery Association 

Mr. Kerchner serves as the Executive Director of PRBA - The Rechargeable Battery Association. He represents PRBA at domestic and international transportation forums such as the United Nations Subcommittee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Dangerous Goods Panel. Mr. Kerchner also is Senior Regulatory Analyst with the law firm of Wiley Rein LLP.

Ping Liu, Ph.D., Program Director, ARPA-E, U.S. Department of Energy  

Dr. Ping Liu currently serves as a Program Director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), where he initiated the RANGE program and the recent DELTA solicitation. RANGE develops innovative energy storage solutions for electric vehicles, while DELTA supports localized heating and cooling solutions to reduce building energy consumption. Other projects in his portfolio include permanent magnets, carbon capture, superconductors, and grid storage technologies. Dr. Liu was previously Manager of Energy Technology at HRL Laboratories, a research company jointly owned by Boeing and GM. Prior to joining HRL, Dr. Liu was a research staff with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Dr. Liu’s research interest includes electrochemical energy conversion and storage, sensors, actuators, and electrochemical synthesis. Several of his inventions have been transitioned to industry for commercialization and he received an R&D 100 Award for a solid-state battery technology. Dr. Liu has published more than 60 archival journal papers and has more than 40 issued or pending patents. He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D., all in chemistry, from Fudan University in China.

Sean Luo, Ph.D., Research Lead, Research & Development, PyroPhobic Systems Ltd. 

Sean Luo obtained his PhD degree from the University of Alberta in Chemical Engineering. He held several positions in the industry before his PhD study and has published many papers in both journals and conferences. As the Research Lead at Pyrophobic Systems, he is responsible for the development of new FireStop materials/devices and the improvement of existing formulation and processes.

Simon Lux, Ph.D., Advanced Battery Technology Engineer, BMW Group Technology Office USA 

In his current role, Simon works on battery technology projects for the BMW Group in the NAFTA region and engages in technology scouting in the USA. He is responsible for the coordination and management of a range of projects in the lithium-ion battery field from the material to the cell level. Prior to joining BMW, Simon worked on the development of high-voltage battery materials at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and on the implementation of aqueous-based electrode manufacturing processes at the MEET Battery Research Laboratory in Muenster, Germany.

Paul R. McGill, Electrical Engineer, Development Engineering, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute 

Paul McGill earned his BSEE and MSEE at Stanford University, where he built instrumentation for upper ionospheric research. He currently works at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, where he designs vehicles and instruments for study of the world’s oceans.

Janet S. McLaughlin, Deputy Director, Hazardous Materials Safety Program, Office of Security & Hazardous Materials Safety, Federal Aviation Administration 

Ms. McLaughlin is the Deputy Director of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Hazardous Materials Safety Program (HMSP). As an internationally recognized expert in dangerous goods, Ms. McLaughlin has been active in lithium battery regulations in the U.S. and in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) since 2001. Also under ICAO auspices, she has served in an advisory capacity for foreign civil aviation authorities throughout the world. Ms. McLaughlin was critical in having the HMSP sponsor Lithium Battery testing at the FAA Technical Center and participated in joint projects on the risk and mitigation of lithium battery fires on aircraft. Ms. McLaughlin’s work at FAA also involves supporting DOT at the UN Subcommittee on the Transport of Dangerous Goods.

Brian Morin, Ph.D., President and COO, Dreamweaver International, Inc. 

Dr. Brian Morin is President and Co-Founder of Dreamweaver International, a growth company using disruptive nanofiber technology in a versatile manufacturing process to improve rechargeable battery performance. Dreamweaver’s patent pending membranes have so far achieved a 20% improved energy density with 30% lower material costs, with higher power output and recharge rate than similar batteries made with commercial membranes. Prototypes were shared with customers in late 2011 and are being tested by over 50 battery manufacturers. Applications will range from implanted medical devices to portable electronics, power tools and hybrid and electric vehicles. Brian was founder and CEO of Innegrity LLC, a high-performance fiber manufacturing company, from 200 -2010. The company’s fiber, Innegra, delivers light weight and toughness to composite materials at a cost far lower than alternatives. During Brian’s tenure, this fiber was placed in over 60 applications ranging from World Champion Formula – 1 race cars to ballistic protection, and including the Head-Innegra tennis racquet used by World Champion Novak Djokovic. Brian received his Ph.D. and MS degrees in physics from The Ohio State University. He received his BS degree in physics from the University of North Carolina NC and was a member of the fourth graduating class from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. Brian has applied for more than 150 U.S. and international patents on subjects ranging from molecular magnetic materials to polymer additives to advanced fibers and battery separators. There have been several hundred million dollars in sales of products based on his inventions, and sees his strength as leading the commercialization of innovative technology.He has also written a novel, A Matter of Faith (www.amatteroffaith.org) and has a blog (innovationintegrity.blogspot.com).

Mohammad Rezvani, Research Scientist, NSF I/UCRC Center for Intelligent Maintenance Systems (IMS), University of Cincinnati 

Seyed Mohammad Rezvanizaniani is a research scientist in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) on Intelligent Maintenance Systems (IMS) at the University of Cincinnati. His current research focus is on prognostics and health management of electric vehicles and Smart Battery. He has four years of experience on developing a Smart Battery that assesses and predicts performance and safety of batteries using intelligent software tools and data mining methods. He has received the first place award at PHM Data Challenge in 2014. He currently collaborates with AMP Electric Vehicle on the battery pack design for new ultra-efficiency E-Gen Trucks.

David M. Rosewater, Energy Storage Test Engineer, Energy Storage Technologies and Systems, Sandia National Laboratories 

An electrical power engineer by training, Mr. Rose spent three years working with the Idaho National Laboratory developing advanced spectral impedance measurement techniques for hybrid vehicles cells before moving to the stationary energy storage sector in 2011. He now uses the Energy Storage Test Pad (ESTP) at the Sandia National Laboratories to characterize AC integrated energy storage systems up to 1MW in size. More recently, industry safety incidents led David to head up a series of research projects on the cutting edge of safety engineering applied to energy storage systems.

Elham Sahraei Esfahani, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Impact and Crashworthiness Lab and Co-Director, Battery Modeling Consortium, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

Dr. Elham Sahraei is a Research Scientist at the Impact and Crashworthiness Lab of MIT. She is the co-director of the Battery Consortium. Her current area of focus is computational modeling of Li-ion batteries in mechanical abuse conditions. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Transportation Safety from the National Crash Analysis Center of The George Washington University, where she focused on full-scale vehicle crash analysis, occupant protection and analysis of roadside safety structures. She received her MSc and BSc degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology and Isfahan University of Technology, respectively.

Dirk Spiers, Director, ATC New Technologies  

Dirk Spiers is the founder and Director of ATC New Technologies (a division of ATC Drivetrain). He is a pioneer and leader in the repair, remanufacturing and refurbishment of advanced battery packs as well as the manufacturing of Energy Storage Systems (ESS) with new or second life battery modules and cells. His experience in reman, battery, solar and wind technologies puts him at the forefront of developing programs to manage the life cycle battery packs and using battery storage systems with renewable energy sources. He has developed and established Advanced Battery Pack programs with some of the leading EV OEM’s. Also he is the founder of the Oklahoma Cell Exchange™ (OKcellX.com), a trading platform and exchange for secondary battery cells. ATC New Technologies specialises in the manufacturing, refurbishment and repair of high voltage powertrain systems and Energy Storage Systems. Their state-of-the-art, energy neutral, battery center is based in Oklahoma City where they work on the battery packs of all the leading OEM’s.

Anna G. Stefanopoulou, Ph.D., Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and Director, Automotive Research Center, University of Michigan 

Anna G. Stefanopoulou is a Professor at the University of Michigan and the Director of the Automotive Research Center a U.S. Army Center of Excellence in Modeling and Simulation of Ground Vehicles. She obtained her diploma (1991, Nat. Tech. Univ. of Athens, Greece) in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and her Ph.D. (1996, University of Michigan) in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She was an assistant professor (1998-2000) at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a technical specialist (1996-1997) at Ford Motor Company. Anna is an ASME and an IEEE Fellow, the Inaugural Chair of the ASME DSCD Energy Systems Technical Committee, a member of the SAE Dynamic System Modeling Standards Committee and a member of a U.S. National Academies committee on Vehicle Fuel Economy Standards. She has co-authored a book on Control of Fuel Cell Power Systems, 10 U.S. patents, 5 best paper awards and 200 publications on estimation and control of internal combustion engines and electrochemical processes such as fuel cells and batteries.

Robert Swaim, National Resource Specialist, Aerospace Engineering Investigator, National Transportation Safety Board 

Robert Swaim has worked around the world as an aviation accident investigator with the NTSB since 1988 in positions from Systems Engineering Investigator to Accredited Representative of the United States. Mr. Swaim has led on-scene and laboratory groups and participated in groups led by others during investigations into fuel tank explosions, in-flight fires, in-flight collisions, wiring and instrument investigations, flight control failures, pressurization, hydraulic loss, brake and tire failures. Safety recommendations developed from these investigations include sweeping changes to regulations, changes in design, and operational revisions. Mr. Swaim was the initial responder on January 7, 2013, to the Boeing 787 battery failure in Boston and has co-chaired the airworthiness investigation. Mr. Swaim has represented the NTSB at numerous conferences and panels and teaches aviation accident investigation. Prior to working for the government, Mr. Swaim worked in engineering positions at Lockheed, Kaman Aerospace and Hughes Helicopters. He has a Bachelor’s degree from University of Maryland, is a licensed airframe and power plant mechanic and pilot.  

Cher Ming Tan, Ph.D., Professor and Chairperson, Electronic Engineering, Chang Gung University and former Principal Investigator, Energy Storage System, TUM Create Pte, Ltd. 

Cher Ming Tan is a Professor in Chang Gung University, Taiwan. He has 23 years of experience in product reliability testing and investigation. He spent 7 years in industrial leading the quality and reliability work in the various companies, and 18 years in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore researching new methodologies and phenomena of products reliability, including material, electronic and opto-electronic devices, energy storage devices and electronic systems reliability. He is a Principal Investigator of a TUM Create Project from Singapore National Research Foundation on Mega e-mobility, a joint project between Technical University of Munich and Nanyang Technological University. He recently joined Chang Gung University to further his research work on Li-ion battery reliability.

John Turner, Ph.D., Group Leader, Computational Engineering and Energy Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory 

John Turner is the Group Leader of the Computational Engineering & Energy Sciences Group (CEES) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). After completion of a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from North Carolina State University, Dr. Turner joined Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and worked in areas including radiation transport, fluid flow and numerical methods. He was one of the original developers of the Truchas computer code, developed in the Telluride project as part of the ASC program for metal casting simulation. Truchas has also been applied to welding simulation, and is now being explored for additive manufacturing applications. In 1997 John left LANL to join the R&D department at Blue Sky Studios, a computer animation company outside New York City, earning credits on the Academy Award-nominated feature film Ice Age as well as the Oscar-winning short animated film Bunny. In 2001 John returned to LANL and became Group Leader of the Computational Physics Group (CCS-2), a group of over 70 Ph.D. scientists, students and other staff conducting research in modeling and simulation of phenomena such as fluid dynamics and radiation transport for applications ranging from ocean and climate to nuclear weapons and nuclear energy systems. In August of 2008, Dr. Turner moved to ORNL to form CEES, a new group focused on developing and applying advanced simulation tools to applications such as nuclear energy and electrical energy storage. He currently serves as Chief Computational Scientist for the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL), a DOE Innovation Hub led by ORNL that brings together national laboratories, universities and industry to apply advanced modeling and simulation to science and engineering challenges in nuclear energy.

John Warner, D.M., Director, Marketing and Applications Engineering, XALT Energy 

Dr. John T. Warner, D.M., PMP, is an experienced sales, product management and strategic marketing executive with 25+ years in the automotive industry. As Director of Marketing and Applications Engineering for XALT Energy, Dr. Warner leads the marketing activities and the customer concept development activities. Previously, as Director of Sales & Marketing and Product Management for Magna Steyr Battery Systems NA, Dr. Warner led the company’s growth efforts in all market segments. Prior to this, Dr. Warner was Director of Product Management for Large-Format Batteries at Li-ion battery start-up Boston-Power, where he led the large-format battery product development and automotive strategy. Before joining Boston-Power, Dr. Warner spent over 12 years at General Motors in various management roles, where his latest responsibilities included the short and long-term strategies for diesels and mild-hybrid systems as well as the management of these product portfolios. He received his doctor of management, organizational leadership degree from the University of Phoenix, and his MBA, International Business and Leadership Studies and BA in industrial management from Baker College.

Tomasz Wierzbicki, Ph.D., Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

Professor Tomasz Wierzbicki received his MS degree from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Warsaw Technical University. He earned his Ph.D. degree in 1965 from the Institute of Fundamental Technological Research under the supervision of Professor Piotr Perzena of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Soon after that, he went for a one-year postdoctoral study at Stanford University and collaborated with Professor E.H. Lee. In 1981, he was promoted to a full professor at the Polish Academy of Sciences and in the same year, he left for the United States, which has become his home. In 1983, he was appointed as a full professor at MIT, where he is currently directing the Impact and Crashworthiness Lab. He is the author of over 150 papers published in major international journals. In 1986, he received the Alexander von Humboldt senior U.S. scientist award. Professor Wierzbicki spent over three years working in the BMW R&D Department in Munich. He directed a number of large industry-oriented programs at MIT with the support of over 50 major automotive, aluminum and shipbuilding companies. Professor Wierzbicki’s research and consulting interests are in the area of dynamic plasticity, structural failure, crashworthiness, ultralight material and more recently ductile fracture. From 2007 to 2010 he served as an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Impact Engineering.

Alvin Wu, Research Engineer, Corporate Research, Underwriters Laboratories Taiwan Co., Ltd. 

Alvin Wu is a Research Engineer of Corporate Research at Underwriters Laboratories Taiwan Co., Ltd., leading lithium-ion battery (LIB) research projects, such as safety test method development, LIB forensic analysis and the investigation of LIB thermal runaway mechanisms. Alvin Wu joined UL in 2005. Prior to UL, he worked at Taiwan YUASA Co. from 2000 to 2005 as a research engineer focusing on the fundamental electrochemistry study and battery design. He received his M.S. in Chemical Engineering from National Taiwan University in 2000. Up to the present, Alvin Wu already has more than 14 years of professional experience in studying the battery technologies.

Zhengming (John) Zhang, Ph.D., CTO, Celgard, LLC and Chairman, IEEE Cell Subgroup P1625 

Dr. Zhang is recognized as the leading authority on Li-ion batteries safety and separators. Via IEEE, he leads and helps the establishment of Li-ion battery industry standards (P1625, P1725 and CTIA). He has chaired and/or organized more than 50 international conferences and delivered more than 50 invited plenary (or keynote) speeches at various international conferences. He has published more than 100 patents, papers and books, including the first ceramic coating separator patent (US 6, 432, 586) and some of the most cited papers (Chem. Reviews, 2004 and Li-ion safety papers 2006-now).


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