Mark Mills | Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute
Keynote Presentation: Mines, Minerals and "Green" Energy: A Reality Check
Mark is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a faculty fellow at the McCormick School, and co-founding partner in the Montrose Lane energy-tech venture fund. He writes frequently for numerous publications (Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, TechCrunch, etc.). He is author of the forthcoming book The Cloud Revolution: How the Convergence of New Technologies Will Unleash the Next Economic Boom and a Roaring 2020s, and authored previously: Digital Cathedrals: The Information Infrastructure Era, (January 2020) and, Work In The Age Of Robots (2018). With the book he co-authored in 2005, The Bottomless Well, Bill Gates said: “This is the only book I’ve ever seen that really explains energy.” He served as chairman and CTO of ICx Technologies, helping take it public in a 2007 IPO. Earlier Mark served in the White House Science Office under President Reagan. Prior to that, Mills was an experimental physicist and development engineer in microprocessors and fiber optics, earning several patents, at Bell Northern Research (Canada’s Bell Labs) and at the RCA David Sarnoff Research Center. He holds a BSc Honours in physics from Queen’s University, Canada.
Dr. Imre Gyuk | Director, Energy Storage Research, U.S. Department of Energy
Keynote Presentation: Energy Storage for the Future Grid
Dr. Imre Gyuk serves as Director of Energy Storage in DOE’s Office of Electricity. He originally joined DOE to manage the Thermal and Physical Storage program. For the past 2 decades, he has directed the Energy Storage research program, which funds work on a wide portfolio of storage technologies for a broad spectrum of applications. He supervised the $185M ARRA stimulus funding for Grid Scale Energy Storage Demonstrations and is now partnering with the states on numerous projects for grid resilience. Dr. Gyuk’s Program includes research on materials, devices, and systems; it also funds work on analytics, policy, finance, and most recently, social equity. Recent interests include Long Duration Storage and Storage for Social Equity. His work has led to 12 R&D 100 awards, two EPA Green Chemistry Challenge Award, and Lifetime Achievement Awards from ESA and NAATBatt. Recently he has received the Tibbets award from the U.S. Small Business Administration. He is internationally recognized as a leader in the energy storage field.
After receiving a B.S. from Fordham University, Dr. Gyuk did graduate work at Brown University on Superconductivity. Having received a Ph.D. in Theoretical Particle Physics from Purdue University he became a Research Associate at Syracuse. As an Assistant Professor he taught Physics, Civil Engineering, and Environmental Architecture at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Gyuk became an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at Kuwait University where he became interested in issues of sustainability.
Nick Starita | President of the Energy Solutions Division, Hollingsworth & Vose Co.
North America Industrial Lead Battery Forecast
Nick Starita is currently President of the Energy Solutions Division at Hollingsworth & Vose, where he oversees H&V’s global battery separator business. Nick has been with H&V for ten years. Prior to H&V, Nick worked at Milliken & Company for nine years in Operations and Strategy roles. Nick has been an industry contributor, presenting both market and technology trends, at BCI and other global battery conferences for several years.
Dr. Cora Lind-Kovacs | University of Toledo
National Labs and R&D Panel
Dr. Cora Lind-Kovacs completed her pre-diploma in Chemistry at the University of Wuppertal in Germany before joining the graduate program in Chemistry at Georgia Tech in 1997. After obtaining her M.S. (1999) and Ph.D. (2001) degrees and a postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell, she joined the faculty at the University of Toledo (Ohio, USA) in 2003, where she is currently a full professor and associate chair in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. A solid-state chemist by training, she has used her expertise to build a well-respected research program on negative thermal expansion materials in her group. She has also applied her knowledge to various industrial collaborations to elucidate atomic level mechanisms or thermodynamic properties that dictate materials’ behavior. Most recently, she has turned her attention to investigating the atomic level effects of expander molecules in lead acid batteries.
Alex Rojas | Director, Distributed Technologies, Ameren Corporation
National Labs and R&D Panel
As a successful entrepreneur, technologist and visionary for breakthrough innovation and business transformation, Mr. Rojas has developed and later transferred technology to electrical utilities and large industries for several years. Given his expertise in information technology, operational technology, and utility business Mr. Rojas is a key contributor in the implementation of innovative technologies and methods to reduce operating costs, improve operational efficiencies, achieve customer affordability, and more. Technology platforms include energy storage integration, electric vehicle charging, smart grid monitoring and control systems, renewable integration, and predictive maintenance technologies (for asset management). Mr. Rojas was granted a number of U.S. and global patents in all of these fields.
Dr. Vincent Sprenkle | Senior Advisor, Energy Storage, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
National Labs and R&D Panel
Dr. Vincent Sprenkle is the strategic advisor for energy storage at PNNL. Vince provides leadership and guidance for PNNL’s R&D activities in support of the DOE Office of Electricity’s energy storage program. He also plays a key role in mission support and industry engagement for the Grid Storage Launchpad, a new DOE Office of Electricity grid energy storage R&D facility for the nation. Vince arrived at PNNL in 2001 and has served in a variety of scientific and leadership roles both at PNNL and for DOE related to electrochemical energy storage technologies. He has been active in electrochemical technologies for 25 years and currently holds 23 US patents on fuel cells, batteries, and high temperature electrochemical devices with 22 pending patent applications. He was name PNNL Inventor of the Year in 2014 and Distinguished Inventor of Battelle in 2017. Vince received his undergraduate and doctoral degrees in ceramic engineering from the Missouri University of Science & Technology.