Sion Power is a privately owned company that began as a spin-off from Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1989 as Moltech. Since then, the company has grown, attracting an impressive group of scientists, engineers, and partners who relentlessly developed the technology needed to reach the next generation of rechargeable battery technology.
Today the company consists of more than 80 employees, many of whom have Ph.D.’s. This impressive group of individuals has acquired over 200 issued patents and more than 100 pending. The company’s 67,000 square foot production and R&D facility include a dry room for fabrication as well as test, analytical/materials, and electronic assembly labs.
Years of research and development have yielded the Licerion® lithium metal technology, which is poised to dramatically change the lithium battery landscape, delivering the highest combination of energy density and specific energy available. For more information on Sion Power’s transition from lithium-sulfur to Licerion technology, read the latest Information Brief here.
Tracy KelleyChief Executive Officer
Mark SmithChief Financial Officer
Dr. Jeff BrittChief Operations Officer
Dr. Urs SchoopChief Technology Officer
Dr. Yuriy MikhaylikSenior Director of Materials Development
Dr. Chariclea Scordilis-KelleyDirector of Analytical Chemistry
Wenzhuo YangDirector of Cell Engineering
Michael LaramieDirector of Engineering
Mark NiedzwieckiDirector of Product Development
Angela KlieverDirector of Marketing
Evan C. SandersDirector of Business Development
Kyle JusticeDirector of Manufacturing
Robert JungDirector of Intellectual Property & Licensing
Ken HurtDirector of Quality
Tracy Kelley was assigned Chief Executive Officer on July 10, 2017, with over 17 years of battery experience in lithium-based battery systems. Tracy previously served as a research scientist at Valence Technology, a developer of lithium polymer batteries for portable applications, heading their failure analysis department. Tracy holds several patents in the area of active cathode materials and battery processing. He attended the University of Alabama majoring in Chemistry and Philosophy.
Mark Smith has over 30 years of experience in financial leadership roles in public and private companies. Previous to joining Sion Power, Mr. Smith held the position of CFO with Fluidic Energy, where he oversaw the company’s Series D financing, which enabled the rechargeable metal/air battery technology to reach commercialization.
Prior to joining Sion Power Britt served as Chief Executive Officer of Global Solar in Tucson, Arizona. Jeff has over 30 years’ experience in the thin-film photovoltaic (PV) industry, with a concentrated focus on Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide (CIGS). During his professional career, Jeff has held several leadership positions focusing on technology development to manufacturing, product development, and cost roadmaps.
Britt earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of South Florida, where he also obtained his Master of Science. Britt also holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Florida.
Dr. Urs Schoop has more than 20 years of thin-film process, R&D, and equipment experience. Prior to Sion Power, Dr. Schoop was Chief Technology Officer of Global Solar Energy developing commercial flexible PhotoVoltaic (PV) modules. Responsibilities included efficiency roadmap, cost reductions, product development, as well as engineering oversight for current and future production sites. Before that Dr. Schoop was with American Superconductor in Devens, MA scaling-up process and equipment from the R&D stage to production for thin film superconducting wire. Since earning his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Cologne, Germany he is researching flexible thin-film devices with an emphasis on commercializing products manufactured by utilizing low-cost roll-to-roll processing.
Dr. Yuriy Mikhaylik is Technical Fellow and Senior Director of Materials Development at Sion Power. Dr. Mikhaylik has 30 years experience in research and development of lithium batteries and is a recognized expert in Li-S rechargeable battery chemistry. Dr. Mikhaylik holds over 125 U.S. and foreign patents and patent applications. Prior to joining Sion Power Mikhaylik held various management and research positions at the Ukrainian National Academy of Science, Kiev, Ukraine where he was a principal investigator on programs relating to lithium primary and rechargeable batteries for Ukrainian and Russian National Space Agency. Mikhaylik received his Masters of Science in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Electrochemistry from Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.
Dr. Chariclea Scordilis-Kelley is Director of Analytical Chemistry with over 18 years of experience in developing lithium-based battery systems. Dr. Scordilis-Kelley previously served as Manager of Chemical Analysis at Valence Technology, a producer of lithium polymer batteries and holds numerous patents in various areas of lithium batteries and several publications in electro-analysis. She received her B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina and her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Alabama specializing in electrochemistry. She also studied electro-analysis under Janet Osteryoung at NCSU as a Post-doctoral research associate.
Wenzhuo Yang, Director of Cell Engineering, has been with Sion Power since Jan 2019, in charge of cell design, process development, and cell performance validation. Wenzhuo had devoted himself to the battery industry for over 10 years covering areas of cell development from concept to final product, material assessment and characterization, performance and abuse validation, pilot and large-scale process development, cell manufacturing equipment and facility build, suppliers evaluation, and production launch for major car manufacturers. He has extensive experience scaling up product and process from lab to production, integrating cutting edge technology with customers’ and suppliers’ expectations and feedback. Wenzhuo received his B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Shanghai Jiaotong University in China and Master of Engineering in Manufacturing from MIT.
Michael Laramie is Director of Engineering. An alumnus of the University of Arizona with a major in electrical engineering, Michael has over 16 years experience in the thin film coating field with a focus on the design and development of vacuum deposition systems, and specialty coating packages. His efforts in this area have taken him from Europe to Asia where he has worked with small R&D organizations, and well known production companies to satisfy their coating requirements and equipment concerns.
Mark Niedzwiecki has over 20 years of automotive industry experience in program management and engineering, having led multiple battery pack development projects for General Motors, Ford, Volvo, Eaton, and Chrysler. Mark has numerous patents in the technical areas of battery module interconnects, high voltage battery thermal management, high voltage bus and fusing, power distribution units, and battery pack structures. Before joining Sion Power, Mark spent four years in China developing, validating, and launching battery systems for fully electric buses featuring high rate charging. Mark received an MBA from Oakland University and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Western Michigan University.
Ms. Kliever brings more than 20 years of experience in business-to-business marketing in technology industries. Previous to joining Sion Power, Ms. Kliever was with Schletter, Inc. as Director of Marketing and Communications where she established a strong brand, successfully positioning of the company to become the dominant brand in the solar mounting system industry while capturing market leadership year-over-year. Her professional career has focused entirely on technology companies including semiconductor and composites. Ms. Kliever has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing.
Evan C. Sanders is the Director of Business Development, with the responsibility to introduce our new Licerion technology to customers and markets around the globe. Evan has over 20 years’ experience in a variety of leadership roles in sales and business development, working exclusively in technology companies. Most recently Evan was Vice President, Global Sales for Delta-Q Technologies, a technology leader providing charging solutions for lithium-ion and lead-acid storage systems. Prior to this position, Evan occupied the lead sales role at A123Sytems, the first US-based lithium-ion supplier to serve automotive OEM’s and grid customers in North America and Europe. Evan is an alumnus of Northeastern University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.
Kyle Justice is the Director of Manufacturing overseeing manufacturing, supply chain, database systems, and Environmental Health and Safety. Kyle has been instrumental in moving Sion Power from technology development to fully manufacturing ready. Kyle has applied his knowledge built through more than ten years in manufacturing and supply chain to the structuring and stabilization of supply chain and processes at Sion Power. Kyle has taken processes from concept through a pilot line to 24/5 production, including implementation of coating lines, automated production, and supporting software. Before his current position, Kyle was the Director of Manufacturing for Global Solar, a leading flexible solar technology company where he was a key team member in factory planning, building, technology transfer, and training in both Germany and China.
Robert has over 20 years of experience in intellectual property at both law firms and industry. After having trained at law firms to draft and prosecute patent applications, he made the transition to in-house IP management at companies ranging from manufacturers of industrial PCB drilling machines to computer hardware to advanced batteries. Robert has been with Sion Power since 2006 and has been instrumental in securing valuable patents and numerous license agreements. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. Robert is a member of the Licensing Executives Society and volunteers much time and effort for the benefit of the organization.
With over 25 years in the aerospace quality industry, Mr. Hurt has worked toward continual improvement by analyzing key matrix and problem-solving tools. He has been tasked with Customer certifications, Audits, and internal data monitoring. He has implemented and trained employees on a variety of quality tools including SPC, 8D, 5Y, and FMEA. In addition, Mr. Hurt has implemented AS9100 Quality Management Systems and compliance to regulatory standards and maintain certifications. Mr. Hurt is a member of ASQ, ASM, and trained as a Six Sigma Black Belt, and Certified Internal Auditor.
Board of Directors
Michael FetcenkoExecutive Chairman
Dr. James H. SimonsBoard Member
Dr. Leo GuthartBoard Member
Mark W. HeisingBoard Member
Dr. Peter SchuhmacherBoard Member
Dr. Hartmann LeubeBoard Member
Dr. Dennis R. ManginoBoard Member
Tracy KelleyBoard Member
Michael Fetcenko was President of Ovonic Battery Company, the inventor of NiMH batteries when acquired by BASF in 2012. He became Managing Director of BASF Battery Materials, North America before becoming Director of Global Licensing. He is an inventor with over 70 patents and 100 publications in the NiMH and Li-Ion batteries during his 39 years in the battery industry. He has extensive experience in licensing, with over 40 NiMH licenses and leading the Argonne National Laboratory NCM cathode material patent enforcement and licensing effort which resulted in 12 licenses. He has led R&D, scale-up, and commercialization with P&L responsibilities. His inventions are used in all NiMH batteries for consumer, stationary, and hybrid vehicle applications such as the iconic Toyota Prius with over 10 million vehicles on the road. He has served on the Sion Power technical steering committee and board of directors for five years representing BASF.
Dr. James H. Simons is President of Renaissance Technologies Corp., a private investment firm dedicated to the use of mathematical methods. Previously he was chairman of the Mathematics Department at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Earlier in his career, he was a cryptanalyst at the Institute of Defense Analyses in Princeton and taught mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
Dr. Simons holds a B.S. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley. His scientific research was in the area of geometry and topology. He received the American Mathematical Society Veblen Prize in Geometry in 1975 for work that involved a recasting of the subject of area minimizing multi-dimensional surfaces. A consequence was the settling of two classical questions, the Bernstein Conjecture, and the Plateau Problem. Dr. Simons’ most influential research involved the discovery and application of certain measurements, now called the Chern – Simons Invariants, which have wide use, particularly in theoretical physics.
Dr. Simons is the founder and Chairman of Math for America, a nonprofit organization with a mission to significantly improve math education in our nation’s public schools. He serves as Trustee of Brookhaven National Laboratory, The Institute for Advanced Study, The Rockefeller University, and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley. He is also a member of the Board of the MIT Corporation. Together with his wife, Marilyn, Dr. Simons manages the Simons Foundation, a charitable organization devoted to scientific research.
Leo Guthart founded Topspin in 2000. Prior to Topspin, he served as Vice Chairman of Pittway Corporation and Chief Executive Officer of its Security Group of companies, including Ademco, up until it was sold to Honeywell in 2000. After Pittway’s sale to Honeywell, he served as Chairman of the Security and Fire Solutions Group of Honeywell International. He was also Chairman of publicly-held Cylink Corporation, a leading U.S. supplier of encryption equipment that was sold to SafeNet Inc. Leo currently serves as a Director of AptarGroup, Inc. (NYSE: ATR), an international producer of dispensing valves, pumps, and closures for pharmaceuticals and perfumes.
Leo is a graduate of Harvard College where he received a BA degree in Physics in 1958, and of Harvard Business School where he was a George F. Baker Scholar and received both an MBA in 1960 and a Doctorate in Business Administration with a specialty in Corporate Finance in 1966.
Mark Heising is a Managing Director of Medley Partners in Palo Alto, CA. He founded the firm in 2004. Previously he was the President of VLSI Cores, which designs and licenses cryptographic integrated circuits. Mark held various positions at Quickturn Design Systems, Cylink, and Proximity Designs. Mark currently serves on the Board of Directors of C-Quest Capital and the Bipartisan Policy Center Advocacy Network. He also serves on the Advisory Board to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Mark earned a BS in physics and an MS in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California at Berkeley.
Dr. Peter Schuhmacher is President of the BASF Catalyst Division. Schuhmacher studied chemistry at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany, and at the University of Amherst, Massachusetts. He earned his doctorate in 1995 at the University of Mainz, following a research fellowship at Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California. Schumacher has been with BASF since 1995.
Dr. Hartmann Leube joined BASF in 1992 and is currently Senior VP, New Technologies Research, which includes battery materials, electrochemistry, electronic materials, and inorganics. Dr. Leube earned his Ph.D. from the University of Freiburg, Germany, in 1990.
Dr. Mangino is Senior Adviser to Sion Power. Formerly, he was Chief Executive Officer of Sion Power. Prior to joining Sion Power, Dr. Mangino served as President and CEO of NSF International, a global leader in testing, product certification, ISO-9000 registration, and standards development. Under his leadership, NSF experienced a fivefold growth in revenue while broadening services provided to companies operating in 85 countries. Earlier, Dr. Mangino held executive positions with BP America, Inc., Weirton Steel Corp., PPG industries and EniChem America, Inc. where his responsibilities included strategic planning, mergers, and acquisitions, quality systems management and general management of both commodity and high technology-based businesses. He has extensive international experience in the areas of technology licensing and business partner development. Dr. Mangino received his B.S and Ph.D. degrees in ceramic engineering and ceramic science, respectively, from Rutgers University. He also completed the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School.
Tracy Kelley was assigned Chief Executive Officer July 10, 2017 with over 17 years of battery experience in lithium based battery systems. Tracy previous served as a research scientist at Valence Technology, a developer of lithium polymer batteries for portable applications, heading their failure analysis department. Tracy holds several patents in the area of active cathode materials and battery processing. He attended the University of Alabama majoring in Chemistry and Philosophy.