Cohort 5

ARSHEEN ALLAM

ARSHEEN ALLAM

Allam’s goal is to apply her knowledge in Materials Science Engineering and Business to her passion for improving society at a global level through creating access to basic needs, such as water and electricity, and economic empowerment. She has developed and optimized a proprietary method of producing ‘wonder material’ Graphene and is now prototyping product applications using the material in water desalination and clean energy. She has also authored the patent applications for the technologies. She earned a MBA from Duke University Fuqua School of Business and a Master of Global Innovation Management from NC State University, Raleigh, NC / IAE, Aix en Provence.

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CLAUDIU BUCUR

CLAUDIU BUCUR

Claudiu Bucur is the founder and CEO of Piersica. He has nearly 15 years industry experience in various R&D battery groups at large multinational OEMs such as Toyota (Japan and US) and GWM/SVOLT (China and US). He served as Chief Engineer, then Project Director for the Solid-State Battery Department of GWM/SVOLT. GWM is the largest SUV OEM in China with SVOLT as its battery company spin-off. It is critical that the US catches up with China in the area of scalable strategies for solid state batteries. Bucur hold a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Florida State University.

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SANZA KAZADI

SANZA KAZADI

Kazadi is the founder of Kazadi Enterprises which is developing a technology platform and products that leverage environmental thermal energy to accomplish heating and cooling, water purification, and electrical power production. He holds a BS in physics and a Ph.D. in Computation and Neural Systems from the California Institute of Technology. While still an undergrad, he founded the pioneering Jisan Research Institute (JRI) which he led from 1995 to 2015. He’s authored over sixty scientific papers and holds five patents. He discovered and developed entrochemical systems initially based on his theoretical work in swarm engineering.

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NIALL O’DOWD

NIALL O’DOWD

O’Dowd is the founder of Additive Monitoring Systems, LLC. The inception of O’Dowd’s thesis in optical monitoring techniques for Metal Additive Manufacturing (MAM) came from previous research at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He learned about the iterative R&D process when he programmed live computer vision functionality for an ultrasonic laser-based inspection system. He returned to the Lab after his undergraduate degree to develop microprocessing hardware and software for a mode shape measurement electronic speckle pattern interferometer, which also utilized computer vision. After that, he was hooked on image processing, and integrating cameras and algorithms. He was eager to marry the computer vision techniques he’d developed to making and developing a projection based in-situ monitoring technique. He earned his Ph.D. in Structural Health Monitoring at the University California San Diego in 2021.

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HONGJUN ZENG

HONGJUN ZENG

Hongjun Zeng has extensive expertise in the field of carbon nanomaterials, composite materials and related topics. As Director of R&D at Advanced Diamond Technologies, Inc. (ADT), he developed commercial processes to manufacture nanocrystalline diamond — another carbon nanomaterial with novel properties — into an enabling material for industrial, biomedical and clean tech applications. His interests include broader advanced manufacturing, micro & nanofabrication methods, semiconductor process, and micro-devices to reach limit-breaking goals. His experience combines the unique properties of materials and novel manufacturing approaches to realize devices with performances that cannot be achieved with conventional techniques. His career in CAS, UIC, and ADT led to more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and 13 patents/disclosures. He holds a Ph.D. in Optical Engineering.

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