M. “Scott” Faris, Chief Executive Officer – Scott Faris is a serial entrepreneur with almost two decades of operating, venture-financing and commercialization experience, involving more than 20 start-up and emerging-growth technology companies. As founder and CEO of Planar Energy, a spinout of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, he is responsible for establishing and executing the company vision and direction across all functional areas, including business strategy, product development, and sales and marketing.
Mr. Faris had been chairman and CEO of Waveguide Solutions, a developer of planar lightwave circuit and microsystem products that was a spinout of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He also was a founding director and COO of Ocean Optics, a precision-optical-component and fiber-optic-instrument spinout of the University of South Florida with a proprietary technology to pattern thin-film filters. Mr. Faris was previously a partner with Corporate IP Ventures (formerly MetaTech Ventures), an early-stage venture fund that commercialized defense technologies, and was the founder and CEO of Enterprise Corporation, a technology accelerator that raised more than $50 million in capital for new and existing technology firms through a private investment forum. He also has served as director of the Florida Seed Capital Fund and as director of Technology Commercialization at the Center for Microelectronics Research.
Mr. Faris sits on the Board of Directors for the Greater Orlando Chamber of Commerce, Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission and the Florida High Technology Corridor Council.
Dr. Isaiah O. Oladeji, Principal Investigator – Dr. Isaiah O. Oladeji is a former Bell Laboratories scientist with more than 15 years experience in teaching, semiconductor R&D, and manufacturing. His job experience spans four continents, Africa, North America, Asia, and Europe where he worked for University of Ilorin, Nigeria, Lucent/Agere System, USA, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, Singapore, and ATMEL NTS, UK. He was a key contributor to the copper interconnect technology that is deployed in silicon microchip manufacturing. While at ATMEL he developed, installed, and validated the copper interconnect manufacturing technology used for Flash Memory devices. He was a 1992/93 Fulbright scholar, and a 1997 winner of NASA Tech Brief award of technical innovation. Dr Oladeji received his Ph.D. in condensed matter physics and microelectronics from the University of Central Florida (UCF), Orlando, USA. He mastered the art of using traditional electroless deposition to grow II-VI compound films for solar cell applications at UCF. He founded SISOM Thin Films LLC, where he invented wet electroless systems, processes, and precursor formulations for fast direct deposition of nanoparticle based film on various substrates. He is currently transferring these technologies to Planar Energy for advanced solid state energy storage device manufacturing.
Dr. Roland Pitts, Founding Senior Research Scientist – Roland Pitts is a member of Planar Energy Technical Advisory board and is the founding research scientist. He has helped assemble a world-class team of researchers and engineers to develop the innovative battery structures that will bring transformational energy storage devices to market. During his 29 year career at NREL, he performed research activities in a breadth of areas of interest to energy efficiency and renewable energy. He was a Senior Scientist and leader of the Optoelectronics Team (1999-2007) and in the Center for Basic Sciences (1996-2007), the Measurement and Characterization Branch of the National Center for Photovoltaics (1989-1996), and the Materials Research Branch (1978-1989). He has contributed to a wide array of projects, spanning the major areas of research at the laboratory. His principal areas of expertise are in solid-state physics, materials science, and surface and interface studies of thin films. He most recently worked on solid-state lithium batteries, dynamically controlled glazings for high-performance windows, fiber-optic-based hydrogen sensors, and materials synthesis in extreme environments.
Craig Nelson, Vice President of Research & Development – Craig Nelson has over 25 years experience in developing technology companies spanning semiconductor thin film deposition, automated industrial manufacturing and quality systems , and polymer lithium ion battery development and production. His system design work at EMCORE established the first lab scale to production MOCVD systems for compound semiconductor materials for high speed and optoelectronic devices that demonstrated monatomic layer interfaces. This capability enabled the creation of high brightness LED’s (among other devices) that are now a staple of automotive lighting. Following EMCORE, extensive work in production factory automation platforms for various industries then led to a specialization in PLI (Polymer Lithium Ion) battery manufacturing at Leading Edge Technologies in 1998. Web based manufacturing techniques were developed that had unique capabilities to manufacture both thin form factor batteries of milliamp hour capacity, up to single cells of 10 Ah capacity. Subsequently, as cofounder of Solicore in 2001, he developed a patented hot laminateable primary lithium polymer battery for the emerging powered smart card industry.
David Williams, Acting COO – David Williams has over twenty five (25) years of management experience in high technology businesses that include the development, transfer and manufacture of leading-edge technology. With a Ph.D. in Materials Science from The Ohio State University and R&D experience at Bell Laboratories, David has expertise in the planning, construction, start-up and operation of manufacturing facilities for semiconductors, capital equipment and silicon wafering businesses.
Robert Wasmundt, Controller – Mr. Wasmundt has over thirty (30) years financial experience qualified by a broad range of experience with increasing responsibility at S.C. Johnson 20 years, Fedders North America, Mattoon Precision Manufacturing, a Japanese tier1/tier2 auto parts transplant company, Sales Partner Systems, Inc, a food industry software producer and LB International a manufacturer of deep lane storage equipment. He received his initial financial training with S.C. Johnson & Sons, Inc. and has a BS degree in Business from Carthage College in Kenosha WI, a BA degree in education from Jackson College in Jackson MI plus several graduate courses in finance and taxes.
Andrew Sayko, Legal Advisor – Mr. Andrew Sayko has over thirty five (35) years of experience providing legal advice in areas such as acquision, divestiture and/or major investments in companies, including a number of small start-ups; played a major role in the acquisition or divestiture of over 15 companies, large and small, whose businesses were in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, carbon/graphite fibers & composites, commodity chemicals, specialty chemicals, microporous fibers & fibers, synthetic fibers and plastics. Mr. Sayko has also negotiated a number of patent license and technology agreements with companies in the USA, Canada, Europe, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.