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NUvention: Advanced Materials Advisory Board

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John Carlisle

Entrepreneur in Residence, Energy Foundry & Mentor, MATTER

Carlisle is a physicist and entrepreneur with a passion for translating fundamental discoveries into game-changing products and companies. Until recently, he was founder and CTO of Advanced Diamond Technologies, which launched out of Argonne National Laboratory in late 2003. Launching ADT involved re-imagining the process of technology transfer at national laboratories, which enabled bench scientists to become equity founders of companies and actively help to commercialize their discoveries. The template ADT established has since been used as a model for other DOE labs in the U.S. Carlisle and several others were recognized by the Federal Laboratory Consortium in 2006 for this achievement. During his 15-year tenure, he was also responsible for the maintenance and expansion of ADT’s IP portfolio and is an inventor on most of ADT’s 30-plus patents that cover both the core UNCD technology and applications.

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Benjamin Hernandez

Co-Founder & CEO, NuMat Technologies

Benjamin Hernandez is a founder and the CEO of NuMat Technologies, an energy technology start-up reimagining how the world stores, separates and transports gases by challenging the need to compress them. Since 2013, NuMat has been recognized as a “Solve for X” innovator by Google, has won the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers “Green Tech Innovation” prize and was named one of the most promising energy start-ups in the U.S. by The Department Of Energy.

Prior to his work at NuMat, Hernandez managed operations at a global private equity and venture capital firm with over $30 billion in invested capital. He was responsible for leading board-level strategy, operations and human capital initiatives at portfolio companies to drive enterprise growth. This included working with material-enabled technology companies to execute against sales and marketing, distribution, product and cost transformation initiatives. Hernandez has also worked as a management consultant, supporting strategic growth and operations initiatives at Fortune 500 advanced manufacturing and healthcare organizations and as an engineer in the aerodefense industry. 

Hernandez received an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management, a J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law and a B.S. from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University.

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James Kornacki

Chief Executive, √úllo

After collecting several hard science degrees, navigating the NUventure Challenge, Northwestern's startup competition, and spearheading a successful Kickstarter, James Kornacki debuted Üllo, a wine purifyer that removes wine's preserving sulfites. With patents pending and products shipped out, the wine revolutionary currently serves as the CEO of Üllo. He earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University, an M.S. in chemistry from the University of Chicago and a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Michigan. 

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Samir Mayekar

Samir Mayekar is the co-founder and chief executive officer of SiNode Systems, a venture-backed company developing advanced materials for the lithium-ion battery industry.

Mayekar most recently worked with the business development team at Boeing Defense Systems in Arlington, Virginia and as an investment banker at Credit Suisse in Chicago. He previously served as deputy chief of staff of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's development finance institution. At OPIC, Mayekar helped coordinate agency efforts in advancing priorities of the Obama administration, e.g. providing over $1 billion in financing for energy projects in emerging markets. He joined OPIC after serving as the national security director of the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House, where he oversaw presidential appointments at the Pentagon, State Department, Department of Homeland Security and Central Intelligence Agency. Prior to his time at the White House, Mayaker served as a budget manager for Obama For America, where he managed over $800 million for the campaign’s chief financial officer. He previously served as a management consultant in Chicago with Marakon Associates focusing on clients in the industrials sector.

Mayekar holds a B.A. from Northwestern University (summa cum laude) and a M.B.A. with distinction from the Kellogg School of Management, where he was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. 

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Aidan Mouat

Aidan Mouat is the CEO and co-founder of Hazel Technologies LLC, a biotechnology company that designs solutions for fresher, longer-lasting and healthier produce. Hazel Tech's biodegradable pod, FruitBite, combats food waste by extending shelf-life of ethylene-sensitive produce. Its newest product, BerryBite, prolongs the shelf life of berries by up to three times. Mouat champions food security as the key to the sustainability of future societies. He has a B.S. and M.S. from Emory University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University. 

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Jon Servaites

Jon Servaites is the founder of 940 Labs, a company that rethinks the mechanical design and the user interface of smart windows. In the past, Servaites was the CEO of eLucid Technology, an information technology service. Servaites also led product management and strategy at UltraCell and was a senior engineer at PolyFuel, Inc. He has a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University, a M.S. from University of California, Berkley and a B.S. from Stanford University. 

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Adam Raw

Adam Raw is the business development and technology transfer manager at Sigma-Aldrich, and currently oversees its Materials Science Initiative. A leading biotechnology company, Sigma-Aldrich's biochemical and organic chemical products have been utilized for diverse scientific advancements, including genomic and proteomic research, and the diagnosis of disease. In the past, Raw was a product line manager of the company's inorganic and nanomaterials divisions. Raw was also a postdoctoral research fellow at Northwestern University, where he studied Inorganic Chemistry. 

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Tejas Shastry

Dr. Tejas Shastry is CEO of Stryde Technologies, the company behind the consumer brand AMPY. Shastry and his two cofounders developed a portable battery charged by human motion, the AMPY MOVE, and subsequently raised over $300,000 on Kickstarter and a $1 million seed round for it. After shipping thousands of AMPYs around the world, Stryde sold off its consumer brand to focus on licensing its technology into sensors, wearables and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Shastry was named to Forbes 30 under 30 and has a B.S. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Materials Science and Engineering.

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Suresh Sunderrajan

Suresh Sunderrajan is a versatile, high-bandwidth, technology-savvy leader who is passionate about new business development. His track record for obtaining results across all aspects of business creation and expansion spans large companies and startups. Sunderrajan is currently the director of technology development and commercialization at Argonne National Laboratory, one of the U.S. Department of Energy's laboratories for science and engineering research. He thrives at managing ambiguity and excelling in uncertain business environments.  

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