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Leadership

Vasanthi Sunkara, CEO and President of AdEM. Vasanthi Sunkara has been overseeing the company’s business operations since 2010. Vasanthi received an MBA from the University of Louisville in 1998. She gained over 13 years of corporate experience in information technology and project management while working at Louisville Water Company and National Processing Company.

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Dr. Mahendra Sunkara, Chief Technology Officer and Founder of Advanced Energy Materials. Dr. Sunkara is a Professor of Chemical Engineering, University Scholar, and the interim director for the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research at the University of Louisville. Dr. Sunkara received all his degrees in chemical engineering with B.Tech from Andhra University (India) in 1986, an M.S. from Clarkson University in 1988, and a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University. He has published over 100 articles in refereed journals, with over 2000 citations, and was awarded eight U.S. patents with several additional U.S. patent applications pending.

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Dr. Juan He, Research Engineer. As a research engineer at AdEM, Juan works on the research and development of advanced hydrodesulfurization catalysts and other adsorbents developed from the novel nanostructured materials. Dr. He is the Principal Investigator (PI) for the SBIR Phase II project funded by National Science Foundation. This project includes the optimization of the catalysts design and desulfurization process, and the scalable method development of the nanowire materials production for ULSD, fuel cell, and other markets.She received her doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 2013 and worked on several projects related to toxic gases removal, including evaluation of coal combustion flue gas emission, vapor-phase mercury, arsenic and carbon dioxide capture, and sulfur-tolerant low temperature Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) catalysts applications. Juan is the author/co-author of three original research papers in the area of adsorption and ion-exchange. During her postdoctoral at Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research, she collaborated with GE® Appliance to investigate cost-effective high surface area materials for water molecules storage, and the energy efficiency evaluation for the adsorption/desorption cycles using novel adsorbents. The adsorption systems can be safely applied in household appliances design to reduce the energy consumption effectively.

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Dr. Sivakumar Vasireddy, Research Scientist. Dr. Vasireddy has over 7 years of experience in heterogeneous/homogeneous catalysis, with an emphasis on catalyst synthesis, characterization and evaluation of catalysts activity and stability. At AdEM, he is currently working onresearch and development of nanowire based desulfurization catalysts for the production of ULSD, fuel cells and bioethanol cleanup, scale up production of catalystsand catalyst formulations. Prior to joining AdEM, he worked as a research engineer at Jantra-SF LLC, a spin off from University of Utah and as a research associate at University of Utah. There he developed hierarchical zeolites and mesoporouscatalysts for converting syngas via DME/methanol to jet fuel/diesel, and on optimization and production of catalysts forsingle step synthesis of DME from coal/biomass derived syngas in slurry reactors. At department of Chemical Engineering, Louisiana State University,he investigatedsuperacid catalysts for converting methane to C2+ hydrocarbons and attrition resistant Fischer-Tropsch catalystsfor slurry reactors. He also worked on chemical valorization of CO2 to produce dialkyl carbonates usingorganometaland nanometal oxide catalysts at Universite de Bourgogne, France. Dr. Vasireddy received his BS and MS degrees in Chemistry from Andhra University, India and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, India in 2007. He has published 19 articles in refereed journals and has been awarded 3 US and 5 Indian patents.

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Mr. Tu Nguyen, Associate Research Engineer. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Hanoi University of Technology (Vietnam) and Kongju National University (South Korea), respectively. He is currently finishinghis Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Louisville and expected to graduate in September 2015. During his Ph.D. program, he is working on bulk production of metal oxide nanowires, particularly tin oxide and zinc oxide nanowires, using atmospheric microwave plasma reactors. Previously, his work included gas phase synthesis of alumina nanoparticles and silica nanoparticles. As an Associate Research Engineer at AdEM, Mr. Tu works on design, assembly, and setup of a new type of fluidized bed, atmospheric microwave plasma reactor for bulk production of nanowires.