Team

The Aethrea Team brings experience in the fields of energy storage, electrochemistry, mechanical and electrical engineering, control systems, and innovation management. We share a passion for innovating energy solutions and taking an outside-the-box approach to solving a problem which is highly relevant to the future of the planet and humanity: Delivering clean energy, economically, to customers. In addition, WindtoGreen has assembled a team of Advisors with expertise in physical and general chemistry, plasma physics, and renewable energy.

In 2011, W2G was awarded a Conoco Philips Energy Prize of $25,000 for our proposal to enable farmers and co-ops to produce their own nitrogen fertilizer. Our core technology was an approach based on a particular SOFC technology called SSAS. We used the prize money to continue our best-of-breed analysis of emerging technologies for NH3 synthesis.  Later on we determined that the manufacturing and performance control costs related to SSAS made the economics of NH3 synthesis technology based on SOFC less appealing. We also rejected commercially available PEM technology after engineering assessment of manufacturing and operational issues. We have converged on NTP as the most promising approach to direct ammonia synthesis, and our team has applied considerable analysis and due diligence to this novel approach.

In addition to our core team, we also bring an advisory board with considerable additional expertise in plasma chemistry, electrochemistry, materials science, manufacturing engineering, and management of large-scale projects for the U.S. Department of Energy. The respective bios of the team are included in a separate section.

Our group is also already a stakeholder and developer of renewable energy technologies. An off-grid wind farm in Southern California is owned by one of our members, and another hosts part of an on-grid wind farm in Washington State. Another of us has personally engineered all-electric vehicles for experiment and personal use. One of us was manager of component development for USDOE’s solar central receiver program; and two of us have started and grown successful technology companies besides WindtoGreen.

 

Jack Swearengen

Founder/Chief Scientist

Jack Swearengen Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of Engineering Programs at Washington State University Vancouver (WSUV). He has 35 years’ experience in science and engineering including materials science, solar thermal and fusion energy, hydrogen storage, and industrial ecology. He served as Manager at Sandia National Laboratories, was Science Advisor for Arms Control for the Secretary of Defense, and participated in the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks in Geneva. At WSUV he developed and taught courses on materials, engineering systems design, and industrial ecology.

 

Matt Kern

Founder/Chemical Engineer

Matt Kern CE

Matt Kern, chemical engineer, has spent four years in the semiconductor industry and specializes in formulation development. He has a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and is a 2010 Graduate of Singularity University. Matt leads the Prototype Team as well as development of simulations of chemical reactions and gaseous flow for the Product Engineering.

 

 

 

Dick Ingram

Founder/Agriculture Director

Dick Ingram is Owner/Manager of Ingram Farms and President of W2G. Ingram Farms operates over 3500 acres of wheat and other annual crops in Eastern Washington State; and Dick was Environment Manager and Inspector for RES Americas wind turbine farms. He has also served for six years as Director of the Columbia County Farm Bureau.

 

Peter Swearengen

Founder/Executive Director

Peter Swearengen has 18 years’ experience leading development of strategic applications for Fortune 500 companies. He currently manages new IP development for Will Wright, inventor of Sim City, a pioneering title in the games industry, and serves as Editor of the NH3 Fuel Association Newsletter. He is a founder and director of W2G, LLC, with Jack Swearengen and Dick Ingram. Peter’s other startup adventures include a print shop, a documentary film company, and third employee at Square Earth, LLC, which eventually went public after acquisition by Proxicom, Inc. in 1999.

Jim Kennon

Director of Electrical Engineering

Jim is currently a member of the Technical Advisory Board for WindtoGreen LLC.  With over 40 years of experience on megawatt class power systems, computer controlled machine design, process automation, and R&D management, Jim is uniquely suited to support W2G’s NH3 power conditioning objectives.  Jim has already developed to two power control systems for W2G; a Self Excited Induction Generator (SEIG) windmill power controller, and a prototype Non Thermal Plasma (NTP) reactor power supply for W2G’s NTP R&D.  Jim has been a proponent of renewable energy, CO2 reduction, and electric vehicles for many years and is actively interested in developing NH3 systems for smart grid buffering, isolated grid systems as well as low CO2 emission techniques to produce agricultural ammonia.  In addition to his role at W2G he is also the Director of R&D for Ametek-Zygo and serves on the board for Benicia Makerspace.

Advisory

We have assembled a team of technical and financial advisers to guide us through the stages of company and IP formation, finance, commercialization, and growth.

Howard Hirano, Ph.D

Ms. Mechanical Engineering. Howard is a former director of Engineering for Sandia Laboratories, Livermore. He brings many years’ experience managing advance technology development in the fields of energy and defense.

William C. “Bill” Leighty

Bill Leighty was a founding principal of Alaska Applied Sciences, Inc. (AASI) in 1990, for R&D and consulting in renewable-source energy and science education. Bill has BS Electrical Engineering (’65) and MBA (’71) degrees from Stanford.  AASI designed and delivered a unique telescope, optimized for educational-recreational astronomy, to the Hyatt Regency Maui in 1991.  AASI has operated a 14-turbine windplant as an R&D site in Palm Springs, CA, since 1991, completing USDOE R&D contract # DE- FG36-03-GO-13140, for wind generator blade manufacturing innovation, in 2005. AASI applied 25 Feb 15 for ARPA-E funding to convert the windplant to produce DC from its total electric energy generation, with no grid connection, for Hydrogen and Ammonia fuel production, via novel and experimental systems including Self Excited Induction Generator (SEIG) mode.

Bill is a pro bono Director of The Leighty Foundation, a small charitable family foundation, for which he has co-authored and presented over twenty papers on hydrogen and ammonia as alternatives to electricity systems for transmission, storage, and integration of stranded and distributed energy resources, from kW to GW scale.  Bill and co-authors received the “Best Paper Award” at the 2003 World Gas Conference, Tokyo.  He is a co-chair of the Renewable Energy Seed Cluster Industry Working Group, Juneau Economic Development Council, in Alaska.  His publications and presentations are at:   www.leightyfoundation.org/earth.php

Kenell Touryan, Ph.D

PhD Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences, Princeton UniversityConsultant on strategies for Renewable Technologies From January 2003 through June 2011 Ken was Vice President of Research and Development at the American University of Armenia  (AUA), where he was in charge of 7 Research Centers and Director of the Engineering Research Center. He is retired from his position AUA and remains as a visiting professor for the College of Science and Engineering.

L. Willard Richards, Ph.D. Advisor

PhD, Physical Chemistry, Harvard University. AM, Physical Chemistry, Harvard
University. BS, Chemistry, California Institute of Technology. Memberships American Chemical Society, American Geophysical Union,Optical Society of America. For a list of publications, see sonomatech.com/ResPub/LWRpub.pdf.

Dr. Richards is one of the founders of Sonoma Technology Inc.

From 1981 to 1985 he conducted a series of studies for the California Air Resources Board in which airborne measurements were made of cloud chemistry in the Los Angeles Basin. He interpreted the optical data from the 1987-1988 Denver Brown Cloud study, estimated the effect of reduced visibility on the military test and evaluation operations in the Mojave Desert using model calculations of the radiances of targets and the background sky and developed three methods for measuring the atmospheric light extinction coefficient. He managed the data
analyses for the $15 million Navajo Generating Station Visibility Study sponsored by Salt River Project. From 1974 to 1979, Dr. Richards was a project manager at the Environmental Monitoring and Services Center of Rockwell International.

William Even, Ph.D.
PhD Materials Science, Northwestern University. B.S., Materials Science, University of Utah.  B.S., Chemistry, University of Utah. 8 patents across a diverse suite of technologies. 45 publications, split between the open journal literature and restricted defense literature. Dr. Even was a Senior Manager / Deputy Director who oversaw three departments in the Biological and Materials Sciences Center, and coordinated Division 8000’s Material Science and Engineering Core Capability.  Bill’s Energy Materials Sciences Group was organized into Energy Nano-materials, Nano-biology, and Materials Physics elements.  These three departments formed the centroid for materials characterization, nano-length and timescale science, and the emerging intersection of physical nano and biological sciences.  Leading the Division MS&T Core Competency and Basic Energy Science, Bill partnered with similar expertise in New Mexico to provide the fundamental Physical Science and Technology foundation for Sandia’s mission businesses.

Patrick Pohlen

Legal Counsel

We are proud to be clients of Patrick Pohlen and Latham and Watkins. Patrick’s experience combined with the deep, global resources at Latham and Watkins provide great strategic legal vision through an era of paradigm changes in energy, economics, and agriculture.

Carr and Ferrell

Intellectual Property

All our matters of Intellectual Property are guided by Carr and Ferrell. We have multiple patents-pending on our products.

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