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Dr. Heard holds a Teaching Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University. Past work includes activities as an industrial consultant, entrepreneur/president of two companies, and vice president positions in several engineering companies. His experience lies largely in the development and application of specialized new technologies and business opportunities, having significant international business and project experience. He has served on the Board of Directors of the AIST, worked on several committees in professional societies, and is a member of AIST, ASM, TMS, Sigma Xi and ASEE. He has authored 28 technical papers on a wide range of activities in materials science, including education, innovation management, environmental issues, nano-materials, steelmaking, casting, plasma and alternate iron technologies and authored a book on the Horizontal Continuous Casting of Steel.
Professor Whitacre started his career at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he worked on energy technologies ranging from functional materials to systems engineering. In 2007 he accepted a professorship at Carnegie Mellon University, where he develops materials for energy storage and performs economic/environmental impact assessment for a range of technologies. His work resulted in the conception of a novel sodium-ion battery based on low-cost materials and manufacturing techniques. In 2008 he founded Aquion Energy, a company that has since grown to manufacture fully scaled energy storage devices. While maintaining his professor post, he also serves as the Chief Technology Officer for Aquion.
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