Advanced Team with Decades of VRFB Experience

Shazad Butt
Vice President, Engineering 

Mr. Butt has over 20 years' experience in research, product development and manufacturing in the field of alternative energy and advanced battery technology. Prior to Largo Clean Energy, Mr. Butt was Vice President of Engineering at Vionx Energy where he oversaw the ongoing development of one of the most advanced VRFB technologies in the world. Prior to Vionx Energy, Mr. Butt was  Vice President of Manufacturing and Engineering at Ambri and a co-founded A123 System’s (A123) Michigan based automotive battery pack technology. Mr. Butt was responsible for the development of A123's automotive prismatic battery module and led the launches of multiple lithium-ion battery plants across the globe including electrode, cell, module and pack manufacturing. Mr. Butt began his work in the field of energy at Ford Motor Company where he worked on hydrogen fuel cell and electric vehicle research and product development for 9 years. Mr. Butt holds 12 patents in the field of batteries and advanced alternative technologies and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Wayne State University.

Michael Perry
Technical Fellow 

Mr. Perry is an experienced technology leader with a proven history of innovation in clean energy research and development (R&D). Mr. Perry’s previous experience includes 20 years at the former United Technologies Corporation (now Raytheon Technologies) where he led multiple R&D teams focused on advanced electrochemical technologies, such as fuel cells and redox flow batteries (RFBs). This included developing what the U.S. DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) has described as a “breakthrough flow battery stack.” This breakthrough technology was exclusively licensed from Raytheon Technologies by the former Vionx Energy and was successfully scaled up to a complete VRFB product via a close collaboration between Mr. Perry’s team at Raytheon Technologies and Vionx Energy. Mr. Perry has been the Principal Investigator on four different ARPA-E projects during the past 10 years, which included directing RFB research at multiple institutions. Mike earned his Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering at U.C. Berkeley, where his key mentors were Profs. Elton J. Cairns and John S. Newman. Mike was inducted as a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society (ECS) in 2019 and is a named inventor on > 90 patents.

Derek Weber
Director, Core Technology Product Development

Mr. Weber began his career building a strong foundation in the advanced product development process during his 10-year tenure at General Motors (GM) Corporation.  He led product design teams in the development of hydrogen fuel cell and lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery systems for the automotive industry. During this time, he won GM’s highest awards, the “Boss” Kettering and Chairman’s Honor for his technical leadership on the Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric vehicle battery system and Sequel Hydrogen concept vehicle. Prior to joining Largo Clean Energy, Mr. Weber led core technology product development at Vionx Energy (Vionx). Over the past 8 years under his leadership, Vionx achieved industry-leading battery stack performance, stack production manufacturing readiness and critical intellectual property for electrolyte processing.  Mr. Weber holds several patents from his technical contributions at GM and has Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Strategic Leadership from Roberts Wesleyan College in New York.

Jeffrey Modderno
Director, System Product Development

Mr. Modderno is an energy storage veteran with over 10 years of expertise in grid-scale flow battery systems and Isothermal Compressed Air Energy Storage (ICAES) systems. Prior to Largo Clean Energy, Mr. Modderno led the Mechanical Engineering department at Vionx Energy where he brought flow battery technology from the lab all the way to a modular, commercial-scale product line with capacity up to 10 MWh. Prior to Vionx, Mr. Modderno was Director of Fluid Systems at SustainX, where his engineering leadership in both the R&D and Valve Development departments was instrumental in bringing a first of its kind, 1.5 MW ICAES Energy Storage system online ahead of schedule while exceeding all performance targets. Mr. Modderno’s background includes operating a successful engineering consulting firm and over 25 years of engineering leadership in in the areas of product design, system engineering, and project management. In addition, Mr. Modderno holds five patents in the field of energy storage.  Jeff holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Babson College.

Gregory Morehead
Director, Software Engineering

Mr. Morehead is a highly advanced engineering professional with over 25 years' experience in project management, battery system design, software development and automation. Mr. Morehead previously served as Director of Systems Development at Vionx Energy where he was the primary architect of Vionx’s battery management system and was responsible for the automation of all battery and test systems. Mr. Morehead directed the testing team which validated Vionx’s Vanadium Redox Flow (VRFB) technology. These testing and development efforts culminated in the successful design and implementation of a commercially effective VRFB architecture which was deployed in 2015 at Ft. Devens and is still in operation today. Mr. Morehead has extensive experience in hardware controls and automation and began his career designing automotive sensors for customers such as Ford Motor Company and Mercedes-Benz. Mr. Morehead holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern Maine.

Michael Falcinelli
Technical Specialist

Mr. Falcinelli is a seasoned professional with over 40 years of engineering and management experience and over 25 years of experience in critical power electronics and grid scale flow batteries. Prior to Largo Clean Energy, Mr. Falcinelli was a founding member of Vionx Energy (Vionx) where he led the design and architecture of Vionx’s advanced vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) systems and later developed mathematical models for system application and performance.  Prior to Vionx, Mr. Falcinelli was Vice President of Engineering for Premium Power, developing the power electronics and control systems for zinc-bromide flow batteries. Mr. Falcinelli’s previous experience also includes being the Chief Engineer and System Architect at American Power Conversion (acquired by Schneider Electric), developing high availability uninterruptable power supplies and infrastructure for data centers. Mr. Falcinelli began his career at Hewlett Packard, where he developed automated test equipment and systems.  Mr. Falcinelli holds 11 patents and has an Electrical Engineering degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.   

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