Future of Transportation

Monday 1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. - Potomac 2

Dr. Dane Boysen, Program Director, ARPA-E
Dr. Ilan Gur, Program Director, ARPA-E
Dr. Ping Liu, Program Director, ARPA-E
Dr. Bradley Zamft, Fellow, ARPA-E

Dr. Dane Boysen
Program Director, ARPA-E
Dr. Dane Boysen Photo

Dr. Dane Boysen currently serves as a Program Director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). His main focuses include: electrochemical energy conversion and storage; natural gas conversion and storage technology; and materials for energy storage and conversion. Prior to joining ARPA-E, Boysen led the development of a grid-scale energy storage liquid metal battery at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under Professor Donald Sadoway. In 2004, Boysen co-founded Superprotonic Inc., a venture capital-backed start-up company dedicated to the commercialization of solid acid electrolyte-based fuel cells. Successfully raising two rounds of venture capital, Boysen and co-founder, Dr. Calum Chisholm pioneered the use of solid acid electrolytes in fuel cells, resulting in the first new class of fuel cell electrolytes in nearly half a century. This work has led to numerous patents and publications in eminent periodicals, such as Science (January 2004) and Nature (April 2001). Boysen received his M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2004) in Materials Science at the California Institute of Technology—where he investigated the transport properties, phase transitions, and atomic structure of solid acid proton conductors under Professor Sossina Haile.

Dr. Ilan Gur
Program Director, ARPA-E
Dr. Ilan Gur Photo

Dr. Ilan Gur is a Program Director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). His technical focus areas include: electrical and thermal energy storage, advanced battery management, solar energy, and new materials for energy conversion and storage. Dr. Gur also serves as a senior advisor helping lead ARPA-E's Technology-to-Market effort, which focuses on preparing breakthrough energy technologies for the transition from lab to market.

Dr. Gur has spent his career developing and commercializing clean energy technologies based on advances in materials science. Prior to ARPA-E, Dr. Gur served as a co-founder and director of Seeo, Inc., a venture-backed lithium battery start-up, bringing the company from lab-stage chemistry innovation to one of the top emerging startups in the sector. Previously, as a Ph.D. research fellow at U.C., Berkeley, Dr. Gur developed a new class of low-cost photovoltaics based on printed semiconductors. The key scientific contributions and patent portfolio resulting from this work served as the basis for Solexant, a company commercializing the technology for grid-parity solar power.

As a member of the Professional Faculty at Berkeley's Haas School of Business, Dr. Gur developed a unique set of academic curricula that tie together technology, market, and policy considerations for advancement of new technologies, including multidisciplinary graduate courses in photovoltaics, advanced batteries, and technology entrepreneurship.

Dr. Gur holds Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Ping Liu
Program Director, ARPA-E
Dr. Ping Liu Photo

Dr. Ping Liu currently serves as a Program Director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). His main focuses include advanced materials for energy efficiency and energy conversion and storage.

Dr. Liu was previously Manager of Energy Technology at HRL Laboratories, an industrial research company jointly owned by the Boeing Company and General Motors. At HRL, Dr. Liu led a broad range of research activities in energy conversion and storage for owner companies as well as government and commercial customers. His group specialized in online state estimation, aging diagnosis, and life prediction of lithium ion batteries. Dr. Liu also developed a variety of concepts in multifunctional power, solid-state batteries, and lithium-sulfur chemistry. In addition, Dr. Liu’s group investigated extensively in solid-state hydrogen storage, fuel cell materials and electrochemical capacitors for automotive applications.

Prior to joining HRL in 2003, Dr. Liu was a member of the technical staff at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). At NREL, Dr. Liu conducted research in thin film batteries, electrochromics, and optical hydrogen sensors. He contributed to several inventions that have been transitioned to industry for commercialization and received an R&D 100 Award from R&D Magazine for a solid-state battery technology.

Dr. Liu has published more than 60 archival journal papers and has more than 40 issued or pending patents. He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D., all in chemistry, from Fudan University in China.

Dr. Bradley Zamft
Fellow, ARPA-E
Dr. Bradley Zamft Photo

Dr. Bradley Zamft is an ARPA-E Fellow and an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow. He is interested in biological solutions to liquid fuels production, as well as physical and thermodynamic approaches to grid-scale energy storage.

Dr. Zamft is currently on leave from his position as postdoctoral research fellow in the lab of Dr. George Church at Harvard Medical School. His research aims to create a nanoscale molecular recording device for neuroscience and environmental sensing applications. He also studies the mechanism of genomic engineering via single-stranded oligo-mediated DNA recombination. Zamft completed his Ph.D. in physics at the University of California, Berkeley, in the lab of Dr. Carlos Bustamante, where he studied synthetic biology and single-molecule biophysics. His work led to the elucidation of the role of nascent RNA structure in the modulation of transcriptional pausing. During graduate school, Zamft worked as the Sustainability Coordinator for the Berkeley Student Cooperative, where he led in the development and implementation of sustainability policies for the over 1,200 member nonprofit.

Dr. Zamft received a B.S. in Applied & Engineering Physics (cum laude) from Cornell University, where he worked on the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) and did an internship at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO).