Aaron M. Socha, PhD
Aaron was trained in natural product isolation, characterization and synthesis, and served as an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Director of Sustainable Energy at the City University of New York for 7 years. As a Research Affiliate of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, he co-founded Illium Technologies, and has pioneered the conversion of naturally-occuring compounds into ionic liquid solvents. Aaron leads product development at Illium Labs in Charlotte, North Carolina. He holds degrees from Fordham University (BS) and the University of Rhode Island (PhD) and teaches organic and analytical chemistry at Queens University in Charlotte.
Blake A. Simmons, PhD
Blake is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Illium Technologies. Blake is the Chief Scientific and Technology Officer and Vice President of the Deconstruction Division at the US Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) in Emeryville, California. He hold a BS and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Washington and Tulane University. Dr. Simmons served as part of the Senior Management team at Sandia National Laboratories for 15 years, most recently serving as the Senior Manager of Advanced Biomanufacturing as well as the Biomass Program Manager. He joined Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in February of 2016 as the Division Director of Biological Systems and Engineering.
Seema Singh, PhD
Seema is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Illium Technologies. Seema is the Director of Biomass Pretreatment at the US Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Lab in Livermore, California. She hold a PhD in biophysics from the University of New Mexico. Dr. Singh has authored over 79 peer reviewed manuscripts and has expertise in ionic liquid screening, pretreatment of biomass and process economics.
Roland Kalb, PhD
Roland is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Proionic, GmbH. He is an entrepreneur in technical applications of ionic liquids and has produced ionic liquids at the commercial scale for over 15 years. He has worked in the fields total synthesis of natural products at the University of Vienna and the Echem Center of Excellence for Applied Electrochemistry. In 2003 he invented an industrial process for the halide free production of ionic liquids, today known as the CBILS®-process. Proionic is one of the five leading companies in research, development and manufacture of ionic liquids and technical processes worldwide and Roland holds over 170 international patents based on 25 inventions. He holds a PhD degree in Chemistry (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Rostock and is a member of the Technical Advisory Board at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and Illium Technologies.