rethink cooling

Nelumbo is hiring: learn more and apply.


Nelumbo cofounders Dave Walther, Ph.D., Liam Berryman, and Lance Brockway, Ph.D.

Nelumbo cofounders Dave Walther, Ph.D., Liam Berryman, and Lance Brockway, Ph.D.

For the past several years, Lance Brockway, David Walther, and Liam Berryman have been developing and launching new surface modifications into the Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning  and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) market. Brockway earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Texas A&M and worked on various heat transfer projects at NASA JPL, UC Berkeley, and in Singapore. Walther earned his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and was previously a project lead at the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center and VP of R&D at Cobalt Technologies. Berryman studied chemical engineering at UC Berkeley and is a Kairos Society Senior Fellow and board member of the ACS California Section. In 2018, Berryman was featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

In 2015, after developing their novel heat transfer technology at UC Berkeley, the team founded Nelumbo. The company went on to win multiple DOE grant awards, the 2016 Western Regional Cleantech Open, the National Cleantech Open Emerging Technology Award, and the Haas School of Business Cleantech to Market best technology and best presentation awards. Nelumbo is also a Prospect Silicon Valley portfolio company and a Kairos K50 company. The company recently closed a Series A financing round and opened an 8000 sq. ft. production and development facility.


Critical need: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, HVAC-R accounts for over 40 percent of all energy consumption in buildings.

Technology vision: Our surface modification platform can enhance the efficiency of heat exchangers by up to 30 percent, delay frosting onset time by up to 20 percent, and increase the rate of defrosting by rapidly removing condensate while simultaneously increasing the operational lifetime of heat transfer surfaces.


Current state-of-the-art: Coatings in HVAC-R systems are currently used to prevent corrosion and increase the longevity of heat exchangers. Nelumbo’s technology is the first surface modification to improve HVAC-R efficiency while enhancing corrosion resistance and performance longevity

Key innovation: Our technology utilizes the droplet ejection heat transfer mechanism to create “operationally dry” surfaces. This reduces the negative impact of condensation on HVAC-R heat transfer elements, drastically improving overall system performance.


First market hypothesis: We are deploying our technology with our partners into various HVAC-R applications such as residential and commercial heat pumps.

Potential for impact: The ability to improve energy performance and prevent corrosion in a single platform unlocks mass market opportunity, and the potential for significant carbon emission and energy use reductions worldwide.

We're looking for: 

  • Funders
  • Joint development partners
  • Team members - business
  • Team member - technical



Lance Brockway (lance [at] nelumbo [dot] io), Dave Walther (dave [at] nelumbo [dot] io), Liam Berryman (liam [at] nelumbo [dot] io)

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