Our team has deep hard tech experience across the innovation landscape. We're scientists at heart and entrepreneurs in practice. We wake up every day with one goal in mind: create the ideal home for our innovators to make an impact.
Managing Director, Technology
As managing director for technology, Tom Boussie guides fellows through the challenges of building a hard technology startup. He brings deep experience in both technical operations and senior management at early-stage technology companies. Before joining Cyclotron Road, Boussie was co-founder and SVP of corporate development at Rennovia, a privately-held company that developed catalytic process technologies for the production of bio-based specialty and commodity chemicals. Prior to co-founding Rennovia, he was a distinguished scientist at Symyx Technologies, a company that helped revolutionize the area of combinatorial materials science. Over his 25-year technical career, Boussie has published more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific articles and is co-inventor on more than 100 granted US patents. Boussie earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and was a NIH postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Boussie manages Cyclotron Road as an employee of Activation Energy.
Email: tom [at] cyclotronroad [dot] org
Nonprofit Business Manager
Jeanne Dittman provides business operations for Activation Energy, the independent nonprofit that manages Cyclotron Road in partnership with Berkeley Lab. She has more than eighteen years’ experience working in the nonprofit and public sector. Prior to joining Cyclotron Road, Dittman was the program officer for the Leo M. Shortino Family Foundation, director of Grants Administration at Cal State East Bay (CSUEB), and served as director, associate director, and program officer of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at the San Jose State University Research Foundation (SJSURF). Dittman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from San Jose State University and a two-year Professional Development Certificate in Professional and Technical Communication. Dittman supports Cyclotron Road as an employee of Activation Energy.
Email: jeanne [at] cyclotronroad [dot] org
Robert Ethier joined Cyclotron to help solve the funding gap between hard technology innovators and product commercialization. Before joining Cyclotron Road, Ethier consulted with startups across all spectrums, focusing on business strategy and fundraising. Prior to 2017, he was an institutional investor, managing a multibillion portfolio for an insurance company. In this role, Ethier excelled at finding opportunity in volatile and uncertain markets, creating a peer-beating portfolio. He is a CFA charterholder and received his M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Ethier also holds a B.B.A. in financial markets and a B.A. in accounting from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Ethier supports Cyclotron Road as an employee of Activation Energy.
Email: robert [at] cyclotronroad [dot] org
Nikhil Gargeya works to expand Cyclotron Road’s broad network and foster symbiotic connections between fellows and industry partners that are seeking hard-technology innovations. Prior to joining Cyclotron Road, Gargeya spent 3 years with Siemens TTB (now next47), a corporate venturing organization, where he worked on strategic engagements with startups touching energy and industry verticals. Gargeya holds a B.S. in environmental science from the College of Natural Resources (CNR) at U.C. Berkeley. He stays involved in local efforts through work with solar non-profit GRID Alternatives, the local Young Professionals in Energy (YPE) chapter, and the CNR alumni board. Gargeya supports Cyclotron Road as an employee of Activation Energy.
Email: nikhil [at] cyclotronroad [dot] org
Founder and Executive Director
Ilan Gur is founding director of Cyclotron Road, a fellowship program that supports hard science and technology innovators as they advance a project with the potential for global impact. While directing research and technology projects within academia, startups, and corporate labs for more than a decade, Gur found that entrepreneurial scientists and engineers often lacked access to the support and infrastructure needed to move their ideas from concept to product. He founded Cyclotron Road to bridge that gap. Previously, Gur served as program director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), where he managed a $50 million portfolio spanning energy storage, solar energy, and advanced materials. Prior to ARPA-E, he launched two venture-backed energy startups based on materials and manufacturing innovations, including Seeo, an advanced lithium battery company that was acquired by Bosch in 2015. Gur holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Gur directs Cyclotron Road as an employee of Berkeley Lab.
Email: ilan [at] cyclotronroad [dot] org
Co-founder and Managing Director, Communications
Sebastien Lounis joined Ilan Gur to launch Cyclotron Road in July 2014 and directs all of the program’s communications efforts as well as supporting recruitment and program operations. Prior to Cyclotron Road, Lounis completed a Ph.D. in applied science and technology at U.C. Berkeley, where he studied the interaction of nanomaterials with light. While at Berkeley, he was co-president of the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC), an organization connecting more than 3,000 students, faculty, and industry members around programing and events related to energy innovation. He also served as editor in chief of the Berkeley Science Review, where he led a team of writers, editors, and designers telling stories about breakthrough research coming out of the university. Lounis also holds B.S. degrees in physics and philosophy from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Lounis manages Cyclotron Road as an employee of Activation Energy.
Email: sebastien [at] cyclotronroad [dot] org
Operations lead Melanie Miller has been providing operational support to scientific programs at Berkeley Lab for more than 10 years. She manages and organizes a diverse array of business services including event coordination, travel, procurement and HR. Before joining Cyclotron Road, she was part of the Materials Sciences Division operations team and worked with the Helios SERC and JCAP programs. Melanie has also supported an undergraduate lab internship program, directed youth art and recreation programs, and worked as a special education teacher. She holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Miller supports Cyclotron Road as an employee of Berkeley Lab.
Email: msmiller2 [at] lbl [dot] gov
Staff Writer and Content Manager
Mary Catherine (MC) O’Connor is focused on bringing the work of Cyclotron Road fellows, and the program's mission to support and empower them, to a wider audience. Prior to joining Cyclotron Road, she spent 15 years reporting on environmental issues, technology, and recreation as an independent journalist and staffer for trade magazines. Her work has appeared in publications including Outside, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera America, Pacific Standard, and Wired. She also co-founded Climate Confidential, an ad-free, reader-supported online magazine dedicated to deepening the conversation about people, businesses, and society reckoning with climate change. O’Connor supports Cyclotron Road as an employee of Activation Energy.
Email: mc [at] cyclotronroad [dot] org
Kelliane Parker helps keep the trains running on time at Cyclotron Road. She spent more than 30 years in the cosmetic industry in sales and marketing management. In addition to her role at Cyclotron Road she teaches Beauty Product Merchandising and Fashion Public Relations at the Academy of Art University. Parker supports Cyclotron Road as an employee of Berkeley Lab.
Email: kparkerlam [at] lbl [dot] gov
Managing Director, Partnerships
Matt Price is managing director at Cyclotron Road, overseeing business operations and partnerships. He brings deep experience in moving science innovations to market. Before joining Cyclotron Road, Price was a vice president at Enlighted Inc. the leading wireless sensor network and lighting controls manufacturer for commercial and industrial buildings. Prior to joining Enlighted in 2011, Price served as principal at Nth Power, where he led investments across technology sectors including materials and nanotechnology, fuel cells, biofuels, advanced lighting, and smart grid technologies. He is a Kauffman fellow and received his M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley. While at Haas, he co-founded the Berkeley Energy Resource Collaborative (BERC). Price holds a B.S. in materials science and engineering from Northwestern University. Price manages Cyclotron Road as an employee of Activation Energy.
Email: matt [at] cyclotronroad [dot] org
Managing Director, Development
Nicole Systrom is a managing director overseeing Cyclotron Road’s outreach and development efforts. In her roles at Cyclotron Road, PRIME Coalition, and as board member of the Energy Foundation, Systrom develops programs to increase the capacity of foundations, family offices, and seed investors to support ventures that mitigate climate change and advance innovative energy solutions, with both charitable and for-profit investment dollars. She has published work on facets of clean energy ranging from gaps in the hard technology innovation ecosystem to state energy policy. Systrom earned an M.B.A./M.S. in environment and resources from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a B.S. in earth systems, also from Stanford University. Systrom manages Cyclotron Road as an employee of Activation Energy.
Email: nicole [at] cyclotronroad [dot] org
Brenna Teigler is committed to directing and increasing the efficiency of our program operations. Prior to Cyclotron Road, she was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). During her two-year fellowship, she was a project manager for the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative and Technology-to-Market Program where she spearheaded an effort called Build4Scale to develop manufacturing training for hardware innovators. Teigler has a PhD in biophysics from Harvard and a BS in physics from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Teigler supports Cyclotron Road as an employee of Berkeley Lab.
Email: brenna [at] cyclotronroad [dot] org
At Cyclotron Road, Beth Zotter teaches (and preaches) technology economics to entrepreneurial scientists. With more than a decade of experience in early stage technologies, she helps new companies understand the technical and market potential of their ideas. Previously, Zotter directed an R&D program at Bio Architecture Lab, and began her career evaluating federal investment portfolios in R&D projects. She holds an M.S. in energy and resources from U.C. Berkeley and a B.A. in environmental science and public policy from Harvard University. Zotter supports Cyclotron Road as an employee of Berkeley Lab.
Email: beth [at] cyclotronroad [dot] org
Danielle Applestone is the former CEO of Bantam Tools, manufacturer of desktop CNC machines. While running a SaaS business she founded in 2003, Applestone attended grad school, where she invented and patented high-performance energy storage materials that have been licensed and are undergoing commercialization within a large multinational materials company. In 2018, she founded Daughters of Rosie, a company that works with manufacturers who want to hire women. Applestone received her B.S. in chemical engineering from MIT in 2002 and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012. She is a member of the 2016 Class of Henry Crown Fellows and the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.
Interested in the executive-in-residence program? Click here to learn more.
Executive-in-Residence, July – December, 2017
Mateo Jaramillo worked with the Cyclotron Road team to define a new EIR program while while he explored new projects in the electric power sector. Prior to Cyclotron Road, he was VP of Products and Programs for Tesla Energy at Tesla Motors, where he was responsible for policy, business development, and product management for the company's grid connected energy storage products. Prior to Tesla, Jaramillo was chief operating officer and part of the founding team at Gaia Power Technologies, a pioneering distributed energy storage firm. He has an A.B. in economics from Harvard and a masters in theology from Yale. He is a member of the 2016 Class of Henry Crown Fellows and the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.
Reflections from Mateo Jaramillo: Uphill, But Worth It: My Cyclotron Road Story