Led by the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), MIT continues to play an important role in advancing low-carbon energy technologies and our understanding of the underlying science—as well as helping to inform future energy policy. Strategic collaboration with its industry members, guided by sophisticated system-level modeling and analysis, has long been a hallmark of MITEI’s approach.
MIT’s Corporate Relations office and MITEI will jointly present a special energy webinar on April 13, featuring several leading researchers drawn from MIT faculty. Presentations will also include Lightning Talks by Startups from MIT Startup Exchange showcasing their innovative technologies in this field. As a follow-up to this webinar, there will be an interactive webinar on April 15 with a roundtable of MIT researchers and industry leaders, moderated by MITEI Director Robert Armstrong.
Director of Corporate Relations
MIT Corporate Relations
Sheri Brodeur is director of Corporate Relations at MIT. Prior to this she spent 22 years at Hewlett-Packard Company in several roles. Her most recent position was in the HP Labs Strategy and Innovation Office. The role of this organization is to set HP Labs research strategy and extend HP's internal research capacity by partnering with universities, governments and other companies on a global scale to much more rapidly advance the positive impact of technology on the world.
Sheri spent 15 years with HP Labs, HP's corporate researcher center, managing major university alliances and programs, including a $25M program with MIT. She has been responsible for managing global higher education technology programs in the areas of Security, Digital Libraries (DSpace), Information Management, and Sustainability.
Prior to this role she spent the previous eight years at Hewlett-Packard in the sales organization moving from the position of Field Sales Engineer to Global Account Manager. In this role she was responsible for selling, supporting and delivering high end test and measurement solutions for the communications industry.
Brodeur has a BS in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University and an MS in Solid State Science from the Materials Research Laboratory at Penn State University.
Professor Robert C. Armstrong directs the MIT Energy Initiative, an Institute-wide effort at MIT linking science, technology, and policy to transform the world’s energy systems. A member of the MIT faculty since 1973, Armstrong served as head of the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1996 to 2007. His research interests include polymer fluid mechanics, rheology of complex materials, and energy.
Armstrong has been elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2020) and the National Academy of Engineering (2008). He received the Founders Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Chemical Engineering (2020), Warren K. Lewis Award (2006), and the Professional Progress Award (1992), all from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He also received the 2006 Bingham Medal from the Society of Rheology, which is devoted to the study of the science of deformation and flow of matter,
Armstrong was a member of MIT’s Future of Natural Gas and Future of Solar Energy study groups. He advised the teams that developed MITEI’s most recent reports, The Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World (2018) and Insights into Future Mobility (2019), and is co-chairing the new MITEI study, The Future of Storage. He co-edited Game Changers: Energy on the Move with former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz.
T. Alan Hatton is the Ralph Landau Professor and Director of the David H. Koch School of Chemical Engineering Practice at MIT. Research interests include exploitation of structured fluids in chemical processing operations. We have focused most recently on the use of tailored solvents, and of surface-modified magnetic fluid nanoparticles, to enhance reaction and separation processes to minimize pollution.
A recognized leader in fusion research, Whyte's research in the magnetic confinement of plasmas sets us on an innovative and faster path to producing fusion energy. He is one of the leaders of the SPARC project, a collaboration between Commonwealth Fusion Systems and MIT, to design and build a high-field fusion device to demonstrate net energy production for the first time. Many of the technology approaches underpinning the high-field approach to fusion energy, including SPARC, were formed over the last decade in his MIT fusion design class: utilizing magnets from high-temperature superconductors, demountable magnets for modular assembly and maintenance, and liquid immersion blankets for robust energy removal. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, has served on panels for the National Academies and Royal Society, and has won the Fusion Power Associates Leadership Award and the 2013 Nuclear Fusion Prize. His is a co-founder of Commonwealth Fusion Systems, whose goal is the rapid commercialization of fusion energy to tackle climate change. Whyte earned his BS and PhD in Canada.
PolyJoule : Non-lithium based energy storage for the electricity grid
Eli Paster is Chief Executive Officer of PolyJoule, an energy storage startup that is currently working with two global utilities to pilot 1MW of PolyJoule’s non-lithium energy storage over the next 24 months. At PolyJoule, Dr. Paster oversees research efforts, reconciles R&D schedules with commercialization targets, and provides foundational information for business and manufacturing strategy. He holds an S.M. and PhD from MIT, in the fields of electrochemistry, high-throughput instrumentation, and entrepreneurship. He is the author several US and international patents, and has published monographs in chemistry, engineering, biology, literature, and advocacy.
JETCOOL: Cooling for high power electronics
Dr. Bernie Malouin is the founder and CEO of JETCOOL Technologies. Previously, Dr. Malouin spent 8 years at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where he served as Chief Engineer on a $100M airborne hardware program. He was also the Principal Investigator on a $1.2M research and development project on cooling high power electronics, and has 13 years of experience in liquid cooling of electronics. Dr. Malouin holds a PhD in mechanical engineering and a BS in aeronautical engineering, both from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. You may also find him fixing a tractor, flying an airplane, or bicycling a rail trail.
Takachar: Trash is cash: small-scale, decentralized biomass upgrading
Kevin Kung is the co-founder and CTO of Takachar. From 2012 to 2017, Kevin built Takachar’s core technology as part of his Ph.D. research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where through the support of the Tata Trusts, he traveled to India extensively and designed the technology to meet specific local needs. For this work, Kevin was also a 2018-2020 Cyclotron Road (Activate) entrepreneurial fellow at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Prior to that, Kevin had six years of experience conducting engineering design in resource-constrained settings, including borehole restoration in Uganda, interlocking stabilized construction materials in Ghana, and renewable energy systems in Kenya and India.
Syzygy Plasmonics: First photocatalytic reactor for low-cost, on-demand hydrogen
Mr. Best is the founding CEO of Syzygy Plasmonics. Before starting Syzygy, he worked for Baker Hughes. There he steadily progressed into management, where he gained expertise in quality assurance (Six Sigma Black Belt), regulatory compliance, technology development management, project and personnel management, supply chain management, internal/external communications, and business process architecture. With Syzygy he has successfully raised two funding rounds and is currently focusing on bringing this revolutionary photochemical technology to market.
Ju Li has held faculty positions at the Ohio State University and University of Pennsylvania, and is presently a chaired professor at MIT. His group investigates the mechanical, electrochemical, and transport behaviors of materials, as well as novel means of energy storage and conversion. Li is a recipient of the 2005 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the 2006 Materials Research Society Outstanding Young Investigator Award, and the TR35 award from Technological Review. He was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2014 and a Fellow of the Materials Research Society in 2017. Thomson Reuters/Clarivate included Li in its Highly Cited Researchers list in 2014/2018 in Materials Science category. In 2016, he co-founded one of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) Low-Carbon Energy Centers, the Center for Materials in Energy and Extreme Environments (CME).
Alexander Slocum is the Walter and Hazel May Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering. He has 130+ patents and has helped develop 12 products that have received R&D 100 awards for “one of the one hundred best new technical products of the year”. He has helped start several successful precision manufacturing equipment companies and has a passion for working with industry to solve real problems and identify fundamental research topics. For the past decade his prime focus has been on renewable energy systems.