Meet the team
Executive Team & Management
Chairman & CEO
Max Lewinsohn is the parent company’s largest individual shareholder and main financial backer, having resolutely fought to maintain and support the development of this technology from the beginning.
Max played tennis as captain of the British junior team before training as a chartered accountant, and then becoming chairman of a public company in his late 20s. He has some 35 years experience at board level in the financial services and energy sectors, having invested in and guided six public and many private companies in Europe and the US.
Previous directorships include The Children’s Medical Investment Trust plc (investment), Wingate Investments Ltd (property development), Southwest Resources plc (oil and gas), States Petroleum Inc. (oil and gas), Card Clear plc (financial services), Film Finances Inc. (film finance), William Hunt Holdings Ltd. (Asia Pacific oil and trading), Kar-Tainer International Inc. (shipping), and Eneco Inc. (energy conservation).
Dr. Tom Zirkle
Chief Technology Officer
Tom Zirkle is a senior technology manager with over 18 years of semiconductor industrial experience with Motorola / Freescale Semiconductor. He launched his career from a technical foundation built upon a Master of Science degree (1987) in concentrator solar cell research and a PhD (1990) in III-V semiconductor materials characterization, both awarded from Arizona State University. Tom has continued to enjoy working with universities as evidenced by being awarded Mentor of the Year from the Semiconductor Research Corporation.
Tom’s industrial experience demonstrates research and development innovation, coupled with principled technical leadership and management spanning numerical process and device simulation, to strategic portfolio-based technology business case studies and investment justifications. Technical work and collaboration has resulted in 7 patents and 31 publications. Tom’s technical flexibility is seen in his successful R&D leadership of a wide range of technical disciplines including numerical simulation, device engineering, characterization and modelling, and integrated passives.
After moving to a business group, Tom spearheaded key design projects directed for first application on new technology nodes requiring coordination of design teams, process integration teams, manufacturing teams, software enablement teams, and marketing. Based upon his strategic technology business case studies and investment opportunities, Tom was assigned as business group lead to manage the transfer of technologies into foundries around the world.
Chief Financial Officer
Eric Robinson spent fourteen years in private practice as a corporate attorney, including eleven years as a partner in the Salt Lake City, Utah law firm of Blackburn & Stoll, LC. His law practice focused on securities, corporate and other business transactions. His securities practice included working with companies in connection with public offerings of securities, SEC reporting, proxy statements, exempt offerings of securities and other financial transactions. His practice also included counseling with clients in corporate partnering, mergers and acquisitions, licensing and technology transfer, choice of entity and compensation planning.
Eric is a former member of the securities section of the Utah State Bar, was previously listed in Utah’s Legal Elite (Corporate Law), Utah Business Magazine, and is AV Peer Review Rated in Martindale-Hubbell. He graduated from the University of Utah with honors with a B.S. degree in accounting and he subsequently passed the CPA exam (unlicensed). Eric also graduated from Vanderbilt University with a J.D. where he graduated Order of the Coif and acted as a Managing Editor of the Law Review.
Eric previously acted as chief financial officer, general counsel, and an owner of Eckman & Mitchell Construction, LLC. This commercial construction company had revenues in excess of $100 million in 2007-08, and worked on projects in approximately 18 states during Eric’s tenure. Eric also acts as chief financial officer and general counsel to a genetics research company.
Director of Business Development
Tristan Lewinsohn went to St. Paul’s School in London before graduating from the University of Bristol with a Bachelor of Science in Politics. Having initially trained as an accountant, he then moved into the world of marketing, working for several years as the press officer of pan-European TV sports channel Eurosport.
Using his experience in media, Tristan then worked as a freelance media consultant and journalist, and was appointed executive director of aka.tv, an online publication covering the digital media/technology sector, with over 15,000 subscribers in more than 100 countries.
He was subsequently appointed a consultant to Eneco, undertaking various marketing and business development assignments, including the establishment of relationships with numerous major companies which may become customers of MicroPower.
Tristan has also worked on the business planning and implementation of various start-ups, including several technology-based ventures, and was a founding investor in Metail, a virtual fitting room service used by the online clothing retail industry.
VP, Engineering & Applications
Ed Sadjadi is an accomplished semiconductor industry professional, and a manufacturing technology and product development leader with extensive experience in managing every phase of the product life cycle. He started his career at Monolithic Memories while attending college and moved on to hold key leadership positions at Advanced Micro Devices and Spansion. Ed has started, acquired, and managed private businesses, turned around failing programs, lead development efforts for disruptive technologies and leading-edge products, implemented solutions to complex business and technical challenges, and executed several manufacturing transition projects.
Ed received his MBA from Saint Edwards University, Austin, Texas in 1996 after completing undergraduate studies in Business Administration and The Engineering and Technology Institute Program at The University of Texas in Austin (1994). He is a patent holder, recipient of several corporate and industry awards, and Author of Merit of Publications in International Symposium on Silicon Manufacturing and Technology Manufacturing Methods Council. He was featured in Semiconductor Magazine for the implementation of innovative manufacturing automation solutions, and on PBS while teaching technical courses in The Semiconductor Technology Program at Austin Community College – a model consortium effort between local technology companies (IBM, Motorola, AMD, Sematech) and the City of Austin to enhance technical labor pool in the area.
Dr. Ruwan Dedigama
Head, Crystal Growth
Dr. Ruwan Dedigama is currently leading the crystal growth division at MicroPower Global. He was the technical lead responsible for transferring the crystal growth process from Colorado Research Laboratory to MicroPower’s facilities in San Marcos, Texas.
Ruwan received his Master of Science in Engineering Physics in 2006 and PhD in Physics in 2009 from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to joining MicroPower Global, Ruwan worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Duke University where he developed semiconductor-based gas sensors for military applications. Following the completion of his work at Duke, Ruwan joined Texas State University in San Marcos as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the MBE growth and characterization group, where he directed the lead telluride growth section.
Ruwan has over eight years of experience in semiconductor nanostructure device engineering and characterization, six years of successful research in physics and electrical engineering, and is the author of numerous international journal publications.
Head, Process Engineering
Cameron Paiga is currently leading the process division at MicroPower Global. He is responsible for streamlining the process line and testing the thermoelectric performance of our base material. Cameron received his Bachelors of Science in Industrial Engineering from Texas State University. During his time at Texas State, he worked as a research assistant studying the capabilities of FICO Xpress software with solving dynamic quadratic facility layout problems for flexible manufacturing systems.
Cameron interned with Samsung Austin Semiconductor in their photolithography department where he developed and implemented forecasting models for tool capabilities. He also interned with MicroPower Global as a process technician where he performed all tasks in the processing of the thermoelectric material. Upon graduating, he joined the photolithography team at Samsung full time where he managed new technology setups for all device nodes and optimized tool utilization across the fleet.
Directors & Officers
Gordon Stewart is a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand (not practicing) and a director of a number of international companies.
Gordon holds an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering, as well as law and commerce degrees. He practised as a tax lawyer for a number of years. He is also member of the International Bar Association, the Institute of Directors, and the International Fiscal Association.
Gordon advises on international corporate structuring and tax planning, and is the chairman or director of numerous entities, including charities..
He lived in the Cook Islands from 1986 to 1988, and in Menton, France between 1988 and 1991. His business interests lead him to travel regularly to Europe and elsewhere, and he currently resides in New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington.
Edgar “Eddy” James Swaab was born and went to school in Amsterdam, before attending Neyenrode Business University for three years to gain his BBA. Subsequently, he attended both Delft University and the University of Amsterdam over a two-year period, completing an MBA and a Law degree at the same time.
In March 1982, he began his business career at Paribas Valeurs (now BNP Paribas) in Paris. Autumn 1983 saw Eddy move to a role with the World Bank in Washington, before being headhunted by Rothschilds in New York, where he moved in June 1984. Here, he speeded through the ranks to become Junior Partner in 1986 and Partner in 1987. 1986 also saw another big success in Eddy’s life, his marriage to Marja, his wife of 25 years. In February 1988, Eddy decided to go it alone, and set up his own business with the backing of some major European financial institutions.
In more recent years, Eddy has taken a step back from the city, acquired interests in various private equity vehicles and, in 2002, decided to concentrate on his family office interests. An admitted technophobe having come to email late, Eddy has rather more interest in investing in technology than using it, and is a frequent supporter of potentially game-changing projects, such as MicroPower.
Consultants & Advisors
Dr. Victor Sevastyanenko
Senior Consultant Scientist
Dr. Victor Sevastyanenko provides device testing and data reduction expertise. In addition to his major interest of plasma physics, he also has extensive experience in areas that will be useful to MicroPower’s development effort, such as thermodynamics and computer simulation. Prior to emigrating from the former Soviet Union in 1999, Dr. Sevastyanenko had headed the Department of Applied Physics at the Belarusian State Polytechnic Academy in Minsk from 1981 onwards. Other posts include Senior Scientific Researcher at the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in Novosibirsk (Russia’s Science City) from 1967 to 1981.
Throughout his career, Dr. Sevastyanenko has held teaching positions in a wide variety of areas in physics, in addition to managing research laboratories. He has authored more than 100 scientific papers and three books, including the key paper on this technology which appeared in the Journal of Applied Physics in January 2005, and has also received numerous honours for his scientific and educational accomplishments.
Dr. Dan Marshall
Dr. Dan Marshall is a seasoned technical executive and entrepreneur with successful start-up experience. His career spans almost 20 years and includes experience in new product development with transition to manufacturing, as a senior scientist at Motorola’s Advanced Research Lab. Currently he is also the CTO and founder of a successful start-up company, CUBE Technology, Inc., developing miniature, portable power devices which are designed to integrate with MicroPower technology in this area. He has used his unique combination of business acumen and technical expertise to identify several large markets for MicroPower products.
In addition to his business savvy, his in-depth knowledge of semiconductor materials and broad understanding of numerous related technologies make him ideally suited for creating the technical strategy and guiding the development of the MicroPower team. His technical judgment has proved immensely valuable in the creation of miniature portable power systems based on micro-scale combustion, and will streamline the development of the MicroPower Chips. Dan is the author of 20 issued US patents, over 20 peer reviewed publications, and is a seasoned public speaker.
Dan has his Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University (1996 – with emphasis in entrepreneurial coursework taught by Stanford School of Business professors), Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University (1991), and Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado.
Dr. Thomas Myers
Material Science Consultant
Dr. Thomas Myers joined Texas State University as Director of the Materials Science and Engineering Program in July of 2008. In Spring of 2009, he also accepted the position of Associate Dean in the College of Science. Prior to coming to Texas State University, he was the Robert C. Byrd Professor of Physics at West Virginia University and Co-Director of the WVNano Initiative, the State of WV’s nanoscale science, engineering and education initiative.
Dr. Myers has a broad background of research experience in advanced electronic and energy materials growth, materials and surface science and device fabrication, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary research. He has 145 publications in this area, three book chapters, and has presented more than 200 invited and contributed presentations at national and international venues in the last 10 years. In recognition of his educational accomplishments, he was chosen as a WVU Foundation Outstanding Teacher, a recognition limited to three people per year University-wide. He has also been recognized with the Outstanding Researcher Award twice, and was an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand in 2005.
Recently he has focused on developing interdisciplinary research at the undergraduate and graduate level. Prior to moving to WVU in 1993, Prof. Myers was Manager of General Electric Electronics Laboratory’s Infrared Materials and Devices Lab and was responsible for a group of 43 professionals involved in activities ranging from basic materials development to prototype infrared focal plane array fabrication for system insertion.
Dr. Ravi Droopad
Material Science Consultant
Dr. Ravi Droopad joined Texas State University in 2008 as a professor after spending 13 years at Motorola Labs/Freescale semiconductors developing novel materials for future device applications. His early education took place in England where he was awarded a BSc in Electronics & Communications from the University of Birmingham and a PhD in Semiconductor Physics from Imperial College, London. After a stint as a Research Scientist at Arizona State University, he joined Motorola Labs where he developed growth processes for PHEMT and EMODE type devices for power amplifiers. He has led a team to develop multifunctional oxides on semiconductors including oxides on silicon as a high k dielectric replacement for SiO2 in Si CMOS devices and GaAs on oxide on silicon technology.
More recently his work on oxides on III-V semiconductors has led to the successful demonstration of Fermi level unpinning on GaAs and the realization of high-performance enhancement mode III-V MOSFET devices. In 2002, he was elected to the Motorola’s Scientific Advisory Board Associates for his contributions to materials research. In 2006 he received the IEEE Phoenix section engineer of the year award. He currently has 39 issued patents and has published over 140 refereed papers.
Dr. Rebecca Forrest
Dr. Rebecca Forrest has over 12 years experience in the x-ray diffraction analysis of materials. She is a Research and Instructional Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Houston. Dr. Forrest studies the physics of materials using x-ray diffraction, especially the physics of thin films, modulated and ordered solids, and structural modeling. She uses several diffraction techniques including high-resolution diffraction, reciprocal space mapping, Laue diffraction, and grazing incidence diffraction. She has over 20 peer reviewed publications, has authored a book chapter, and has given nine presentations on the physics of materials and physics education research.
In 2008-2009, Dr. Forrest received the UH Teaching Excellence Award for Instructional/Clinical Faculty, one of only two awards per year university-wide. Dr. Forrest earned a B.S. in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. in Physics from the University of Houston before carrying out post-doctoral work at the University of California at Los Angeles in the Department of Materials Science, where she earned her Ph.D.
Dr. Maurice Brau
Dr. Maurice Brau began his scientific career with the US Naval Radiological Defence Laboratory after completing graduate studies at Creighton University. He then spent 31 years with Texas Instruments developing materials used in night vision applications.
Dr. Brau was a Texas Instruments Fellow as well as manager of the Advanced Materials and Sensors Group. He requested early retirement to establish Colorado Research Laboratory where he continues to develop materials used in the infrared industry.
His work on Mercury Cadmium Telluride has received international attention and he was chairman of the Infrared Information Symposia for three years. He is author or co-author of more than forty scientific papers and holds 14 patents.
Dr. Jeff Pferd
Oil & Gas Sector Advisor
Dr. Jeff Pferd is an experienced strategy and management consultant having being successfully involved with building and selling a number of businesses to major companies in his career.
Jeff’s previous industry experience includes senior positions at UNOCAL where he was Supervisor of E&P Application Development and Manager of Computing for UNOCAL’s upstream business division.
Jeff helped Petris transform from a data services company to a software company. He was part of the leadership team and a director. He served multiple technical roles as development manager, product manager and strategic consultant at Petris before it was sold to Halliburton in 2012.
Prior to joining Petris, Jeff was one of five founding members and Vice President of Insource Management Group (aka, Healthlink), a Houston-based software and re-engineering healthcare consulting firm which was sold to IBM in 2008.
In addition to providing consulting services to MicroPower, Dr. Pferd’s oil and gas sector expertise allows him to understand the numerous opportunities for MicroPower’s heat conversion technology in this field.
Oil & Gas Sector Advisor
Charles Maxwell joined Weeden in 1999, serving institutional clients in the U.S. and abroad, where he developed strategic data and forecasts on oil, gas and power markets. He is a renowned expert in the energy sector, with over 40 years’ experience with major oil companies and investment banking firms. He served as a Consultant to various oil companies and the United States Government on oil policy matters. He served as a Vice Chairman and Senior Energy Strategist at Cyrus J. Lawrence Inc., then a Member firm of the New York Stock Exchange, for 29 years, until his retirement in 1997. Entering the oil and natural gas industry in 1957, he worked at Mobil Oil Corp., for twelve years in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In 1968, Mr. Maxwell joined C.J. Lawrence. He rose to the position of Management Director of C. J. Lawrence/Morgan Grenfell and retired in 1997. His background has been in four traditional sectors of the industry – producing, refining, transportation, and marketing. He served as an Executive Vice President at Lescarden Inc., since April 2000. He has been Chairman of American DG Energy Inc., since April 2, 2012 and previously served in the same role. He has been a Director at Tecogen Inc., since 2001; Lescarden Inc., since July 1997; Daleco Resources Corp., since January 2006; since May 2000 and American DG Energy, Inc., since 2001. He served as a Director of Chesapeake Energy Corporation from September 16, 2002 to June 8, 2012. He served as a Director of Santos TPY Corp. For the last 22 years, since 1984, he has been an active member of an Oxford-based organization comprised of OPEC officials and oil industry executives from 30 countries who meet twice a year to discuss trends in the energy industry. As an Oil Analyst, he was ranked by Institutional Investor magazine as No. 1 in his field in 1972, 1974, 1977, and 1981 to 1986. Mr. Maxwell holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Sciences from Princeton University in 1953 as a Jadwin Scholar and Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar with a BA in Literature and History in 1957.