Caine Finnerty, PhD – President and CEO of WATT Fuel Cell, Board of Directors
Dr. Finnerty is a leading authority in the field of SOFCs and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, and as a member of the Board. For over 22 years, Dr. Finnerty engaged in research, development and production of SOFCs, helping to establish the viability of SOFC technology for portable and small-scale applications. Dr. Finnerty’s experience includes setting-up several state-of-the-art fuel cell development and pilot production facilities. Dr. Finnerty has designed development labs and production lines to enable both research and development and full system production. He was responsible for building and leading an international team of innovative engineers and scientists at NanoDynamics Energy Inc., covering a range of expertise including materials scientists, thermal and flow analysis, electrical and software engineers, mechanical and product engineers and pilot and production personnel. Because of the leadership he demonstrated, Dr. Finnerty was later promoted to CTO for the parent company NanoDynamics Energy Inc.
Over the last 7 years as the CEO and President of WATT, he has successfully lead the Company to the verge of commercial production. Under his leadership, the Company has successfully raised required capital, acquired key technology and staff, established a state of the art additive manufacturing facility and is now ready to launch its first commercial product. Dr. Finnerty was also responsible for the acquisition of Pittsburgh Electric Engines Inc., WATT’s wholly-owned subsidiary.
Paul DeWald – Vice President of Engineering
Mr. DeWald has over eleven years of experience in portable, high energy density system design and integration. He has led teams of engineers in stack, controls, and packaging design for liquid and gaseous fuel cell programs. Mr. DeWald has extensive experience in developing portable SOFC systems, including those for lightweight, man-portable applications. He has successfully managed millions of dollars for both federally and privately funded fuel cell development programs. Mr. DeWald received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
During his 7 years at WATT Fuel Cell, Mr. DeWald has supported and designed new stack and system packages, as well as cell and testing equipment with a focus on production efficiency.
Mr. DeWald received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Richard Romer – Vice President, Business Development
As the Vice President, Business Development, Richard is leading Watt Fuel Cell’s commercial activities and is actively involved in the product development and commercialization process. He has more than twenty years of international sales and marketing experience including 15 years in the fuel cell industry, working as Director of Sales at Plug Power in Latham, NY, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at IdaTech in Bend, OR and Director of Sales & Marketing at GE Fuel Cells in Malta NY. While at Plug Power, IdaTech and GE, he defined and launched new products, drove market adoption and built global sales teams and international distribution networks.
Throughout his career, Richard has been high energy, results oriented and hands-on business leader with a strong sales, marketing, and engineering background. He has held positions as a Field Engineer at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, Director of Product Development at Berkshire Corporation, Product Manager at Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Cyclics Corporation and Director of Sales and Marketing at Siemens Industry.
Richard holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Union College, Schenectady, NY) and a MBA (State University of New York at Albany).
Dr. Wenhua Huang – Director of Fuel Cells
Dr. Huang has 19 years of experience in ceramic processing, microstructure design and characterization. He has written nearly twenty publications on fuel cell materials, fabrication and operation. In 2007, he was selected as the 1st Place Winner for the 2007 Dr. Bernard S. Baker Student Award for Fuel Cell Research, presented by The Bernard S. Baker Fuel Cell Scholarship Fund and the Fuel Cell Seminar. Dr. Huang received a Ph.D. in Manufacturing Engineering from Boston University. After that, he joined ND Energy as a fuel cell development engineer, where he was involved in the development of high performance tubular SOFC technology. Immediately before joining WATT Fuel Cell, he was a Senior Chemist in Henkel Corporation for conductive adhesive research. Dr. Huang is frequently invited to serve as a reviewer for many leading technical journals in the fuel cell and materials sciences fields, such as the Journal of Power Sources, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, and Electrochemical Act.
During his five years at WATT Fuel Cell, Dr. Huang has lead the development of the Additive Manufacturing Process (“AMP”), as well as helped to scale AMP for production.
Dr. Huang received a Ph.D. in Manufacturing Engineering from Boston University.
Sarah DeWald, CPA – Director of Corporate Operations
Ms. DeWald is a Certified Public Accountant with over 12 years of experience. During the last 6 years with the Company, Ms. DeWald has been instrumental in the private equity raise of over $25 million and the acquisition of PEEI. She coordinates all human resource activities, accounting, finance, investor relations, export controls, and corporate operations.
Ms. DeWald previously worked five years at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Senior Accountant, specializing in oil and gas utilities and manufacturing. Additionally, she has also worked at the Catholic Health System of Buffalo and Canon, Inc. Ms. DeWald has experience preparing financial statements, implementing new accounting systems at international financial institutions, and assisting with the application of Sarbanes-Oxley. Ms. DeWald was a panel member of the Buffalo-Rochester Women in the Workplace series during 2009 and is a member of the National Association for Professional Women. Ms. DeWald graduated from Canisius College in 2004, with degrees in Accounting and Accounting Information Systems.
Bob Berger, Director of Sales
Mr. Berger joined WATT Fuel Cell as Director of Sales, Berger has spent his 20+ year career in sales and sales leadership in the energy and telecommunications industries. He will be leading WATT’s transition into their next phase of corporate development, specifically focused on commercialization through expanding the number of customer channels WATT serves, targeting high volume and profitable deployments.
Prior to joining WATT, Berger was Siemens Business Development Manager, Eastern Region U.S., responsible for the sale of transmission planning/distribution software and power industry consulting services to the utility industry. Consistently achieving objectives and maintaining a pipeline to support sales of $11M per year. Involved with solution selling across the Siemens business units, negotiating with clients, product marketing, pricing strategies and proposal development.
At United Technologies, Berger served as General Manager Government Sales, Federal and Northeast State Government in their fuel cell division. He directed Government growth and market expansion in the U.S. Lead cross functional team in sales and business development for government markets. Managed business requirements and supported goals for strategic business planning.
At Plug Power, Berger was Director of Sales North America for both commercial and government channels. In this position, he led the sale of fuel cell technology, exceeding 100% quota and earning the reputation as an industry leader in the sale of back-up fuel cells. Bob comes with extensive experience in selling technology based solutions to both federal and state agencies and managing large scale strategic customer engagements.
Before his tenure at Plug Power, Bob served as Sales Vice President, State Government for WilTel Communications, overseeing the start-up and development of the state government division. He also held positions at AT&T, including Director of Sales Operations: New York State/New York City Government, where he increased sales of $8M in 1997 to more than $100M annually in 2003. Mr. Berger has more than 20+ years’ experience in the telecom industry. While at AT&T he completed senior executive and sales management training programs during his career.
Owen Taylor, President, PEEI
Mr. Taylor has over 27 years of experience on development programs, including an extensive history with cathode-supported SOFC technology. Owen is the President of PEEI, a wholly-owned subsidiary of WATT, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors. Owen developed the detailed conceptual design of the Turbo Fuel Cell Engine and corresponding business plan that enabled the PEEI business to secure over $14M toward the development of cathode-supported SOFCs.
Previous to PEEI, Owen designed and developed hydrodynamic bearings, mechanical face seals, and aerodynamic components for single and multi-stage centrifugal compressors; design and development of electric drive systems for ship propulsion including high current density current collection for large DC motors and generators including electromagnetic launchers.