Staff Scientist in the Physical and Computational Sciences Directorate at the Pacific Northwest National Lab
Director of the User Program at the Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Shannon Ciston is the Director of the User Program at the Molecular Foundry. In this role, she is responsible for the User Program’s leadership, management, and development. Dr. Ciston is a member of the Foundry’s senior leadership team and acts on behalf of the Division Director as the spokesperson for the Foundry’s User Program. She oversees the Foundry’s scientific proposal process, including administration associated with User proposal submissions, peer reviews, and scheduling approved projects; works with scientific staff to engage new and diverse User communities; liaises with User Executive Committee; and supervises the User Office staff.
Prior to joining the Foundry, Dr. Ciston served as the Director of Undergraduate Education in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at UC Berkeley from 2014 until 2020. In this role, she coordinated curriculum, accreditation, and student experience in the CBE department. She taught chemical engineering courses in pedagogy, technical communications, design, and laboratory as a Lecturer from 2011 through 2020, and conducted research in engineering education. Before coming to Berkeley, Dr. Ciston was an Assistant Professor in the Industrial, System, and Multidisciplinary Engineering Department at the University of New Haven. She holds a PhD from the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at Northwestern University, and a BS from the Chemical Engineering Department at Illinois Institute of Technology.
Program Management Encore Fellow: Strategy and Quality at New Energy Nexus
Alex is Principal at Jade Cove Partners.
He is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree in Energy for 2021, and Partner at Minviro where he builds environmental impact models of lithium-ion battery supply chain processes. He is a technology innovation advisor at Zelandez, a lithium brinefield services company with operations in Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile, and a research affiliate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Alex co-founded Lilac Solutions, a Silicon Valley lithium extraction technology company funded by Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures and others.
Alex has an M.S. from Northwestern University in Chemical Engineering and a B.Eng. from McGill University in Chemical Engineering & Philosophy. You can find Alex on Linkedin, Twitter, or email. He is based in beautiful San Francisco, California.
Innovation and Commercialization Manager at Argonne National Lab
Staff Scientist, Organic and Macromolecular Synthesis
Brett A. Helms received his B.S. (2000) from Harvey Mudd College and his Ph.D. (2006) with Jean M. J. Fréchet at the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the staff of the Molecular Foundry in 2007, after postdoctoral research at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven with E. W. (Bert) Meijer. In 2015, he co-founded Sepion Technologies, which is commercializing novel membranes for clean energy technologies.
Dr. Helms’ research program is devoted to understanding and controlling transport in mesostructured systems assembled from organic, polymeric, or nanocrystalline components. Enhanced capabilities relevant to energy, health, water, and food quality are enabled by his unique approaches to the design of their architectures and interfaces.
Senior Manager in the Energy & Materials division at Toyota Research Institute
Anubhav Jain is a Staff Scientist/Chemist focusing on new materials discovery using high-throughput computations. He received his B.E. in Applied & Engineering Physics from Cornell University and his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the supervision of Gerbrand Ceder. He is a recipient of the DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship and the Luis W. Alvarez Postdoctoral Fellowship, a DOE Early Career Award, and a Berkeley Lab Director’s Award for Early Scientific Achievement.
At LBL, Anubhav works in new materials discovery and design using a mix of theory, computation, and data mining. He serves as the Associate Director and as a thrust lead for the Materials Project, a multi-institution effort to accelerate materials discovery by computing the properties of all known inorganic properties. This is achieved by automating first-principles calculations on a massive scale at DOE supercomputing centers. The Materials Project currently serves over 200,000 registered users from all over the world. Anubhav also serves as part of the central leadership team as well as the data core objective lead for the Durable Materials (DuraMat) consortium where he works on analyzing a wide array of solar photovoltaic data sets. Anubhav’s other research interests include using natural language processing to extract data from the scientific literature, new catalysts for oxyanion removal from water, new mechanisms for thermal energy storage, thermoelectric materials, and machine-learning representations of crystal structure and band structure.
Anubhav is the primary author of several software libraries including the FireWorks code for automating calculations at supercomputing centers, the atomate code for materials science simulation strategies, and the matminer code for materials data mining.
Further information can be found at his research group web site: https://hackingmaterials.lbl.gov
Principal Investigator: Liu Lab
Leader: Applied Energy Materials Group
Chemist Senior Scientist/Engineer
Materials and assembly for Lithium-ion chemistry has been a practical and intriguing field to study. The development of materials for energy applications requires mastery of material chemistry, as well as in-depth knowledge of system requirements, and my laboratory combines synthetic chemistry, composite engineering and electrochemistry to solve interdisciplinary problems. My lab’s current research in battery and energy storage includes silicon materials and electrode binders for advanced lithium-ion battery, lithium-sulfur battery, solid-state battery, and electrode interfaces. One focus of our research is to synthesize new materials and develop new assembly approaches to improve the energy density, increase life, and lower the cost of lithium-ion batteries for vehicular applications. My lab also performs research in hydrogen generation, plastic recycling, and advanced manufacturing.
Research Scientist and Carbon Storage Lead for Idaho National Lab and the Center for Advanced Energy Studies
VP of Products at Redwood Materials
Curtis Oldenburg is a Senior Scientist and Editor in Chief of Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology. Curt’s area of expertise is numerical model development and applications for coupled subsurface flow and transport processes. He has worked in geothermal reservoir modeling, vadose zone hydrology, and compressed gas energy storage. Curt’s focus for the last twenty years has been on geologic carbon sequestration with emphasis on CO2 injection for enhanced gas recovery, and near-surface leakage and seepage including monitoring, detection, and risk-based frameworks for site selection and certification. Curt Oldenburg is a co-author of the textbook entitled Introduction to Carbon Capture and Sequestration. Curt officially retired July 1, 2021, but works part time as a rehired retiree.
Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer
Todd Pray was named Berkeley Lab’s Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer (CSPO) and head of the Strategic Partnerships Office (SPO) in March 2019. Prior to this, Todd’s career had been dedicated to developing technologies that improve human health and environmental sustainability across a broad spectrum of pharmaceutical, food science, and renewable fuel and chemical product R&D programs. As CSPO, he is committed to expanding his vision and focus to encompass all areas of scientific research represented at the Lab.
Todd served as Program Head for the Lab’s Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Process Development Unit (ABPDU) from 2014-2019, where he successfully oversaw the development and execution of R&D projects. Over his five-year tenure, Todd led ABPDU in forming collaborations with over 45 industrial, National Lab and academic partners, and assisted in the development of production processes that resulted in three commercial product launches.
Todd’s background prior to Berkeley Lab includes extensive industry experience working at leading biotechnology companies such as Rigel, Exelixis, Amyris and Impossible Foods.
- M.B.A., Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley
- Ph.D. BioPhysics, University of California at San Francisco
- B.S. Biological Chemistry, University of Chicago
President and Founder, OnTo Technology
Associate Staff Scientist at SLAC National Accelerator Lab
Adam Z. Weber holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Tufts University, the latter under the guidance of Professor Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos. Next, he earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering under the guidance of John Newman at the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation work focused on the fundamental investigation and mathematical modeling of water management in polymer-electrolyte fuel cells.
Dr. Weber continued his study of water and thermal management in polymer-electrolyte fuel cells at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he is now a staff scientist and Group Leader of the Energy Conversion Group. His current research involves understanding and optimizing fuel-cell performance and lifetime, including component and ionomer structure/function studies using advanced modeling and diagnostics, understanding flow batteries for grid-scale energy storage, as well as analysis of solar-fuel generators where he is a Thrust Coordinator at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP). Dr. Weber is also the Deputy Director of the DOE Fuel-Cell Performance and Durability (FC-PAD) consortium as well as Deputy Director of the HydroGen – Advanced Water Splitting Materials Consortium.
Dr. Weber has authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles and 10 book chapters on fuel cells, flow batteries, and related electrochemical devices. He has developed many widely used models for fuel cells and their components, and has been invited to present his work at various international and national meetings. He has also been the recipient of a number of awards including a Fulbright scholarship to Australia, the 2008 Oronzio and Niccolò De Nora Foundation Prize on Applied Electrochemistry of the International Society of Electrochemistry, the 2012 Supramaniam Srinivasan Young Investigator Award of the Energy Technology Division of the Electrochemical Society, a 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the 2014 Charles W. Tobias Young Investigator Award of the Electrochemical Society and the 2016 Sir William Grove Award of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy. He is also a Kavli Fellow. Dr. Weber is also on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Applied Electrochemistry and is past chair of the Energy Technology Division of the Electrochemical Society.