Meet the Team

Our Team

Mujeeb Ijaz

Founder and CEO

Dr. Steven Kaye

Chief Technology Officer

Shazad Butt

Chief Operating Officer

Jim Thompson

Chief Financial Officer

Kirk Englert

VP, Systems Engineering

Richard Hampo

VP, Pack Product Development

Chris Klesyk

VP, Battery Management

Nick Twork

VP, Business Development

Dr. Deeana Ahmed

VP,  Strategy & Government Affairs

Jim Beining

VP, People

Our Board of Directors

Mujeeb Ijaz

Our Next Energy, Founder and CEO

Libby Wayman

Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Investor

Jeff Chamberlain

Volta Energy Technologies, CEO

Paul Humphries

Flex, Group President (Retired)

Faysal Sohail

InoBat Auto, Board Chairman

Our Advisory Board

Kerry Duggan

SustainabiliD, Founder

Baris Guzel

BMW i Ventures, Partner

Chris Thomas

Assembly Ventures,
Co-Founder and Partner

Steve Zadesky

Advisor, Investor

Maria Thompson

Arsenal Growth Equity, Venture Partner

Tom Baruch

Baruch Future Ventures, Founder

Mujeeb Ijaz

Founder and CEO

Mujeeb Ijaz, founder and chief executive officer of ONE, is a battery systems engineer with over 30 years of experience in the development of electric vehicles and battery systems technologies. His career work has focused on furthering the adoption of electric vehicles through advancements in battery safety, range, and cost.

Mujeeb led teams at Ford Motor Co., where he developed Ford’s Edge with HySeries Drive, the Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 that set a land speed record at Bonneville in 2007, and the Chrysler ENVI project. He was president of A123’s Venture Technologies unit, where he and his team led the development of Li-Ion battery solutions for electric vehicles, and more recently, a senior director at Apple, where he developed novel energy storage solutions. Mujeeb holds 31 U.S. patents in the field of battery technology and energy management systems. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech.

Dr. Steven Kaye

Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Steven Kaye, Chief Technology Officer at ONE, is an experienced leader in the areas of battery technology and R&D. He has worked as Vice President of Engineering at Refractal, lead materials R&D for batteries as part of Apple Special Projects Group and was Chief Scientific Officer at Wildcat Discovery Technologies. Dr. Kaye has developed breakthrough battery technologies and collaborated on 60+ R&D projects with large material suppliers, device manufacturers, and OEMs.

As CTO, Dr. Kaye will lead efforts to accelerate and commercialize battery technology and spearhead the development of a ONE R&D facility in Silicon Valley.

Dr. Kaye earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from UC-Berkeley and holds more than 60 patents covering a variety of battery-related innovations including cathode, anode, electrolyte, cell architecture, and pack designs.

Shazad Butt

Chief Operating Officer

Shazad Butt, Chief Operating Officer of ONE, has over 23 years of experience in research, product development, and manufacturing in the areas of alternative energy and advanced battery technology spanning both automotive and grid applications. He began this work at Ford Motor Company where he worked on hydrogen fuel cell and electric vehicle development for nine years. At Ford, he developed core technologies, components, and systems for a variety of electric vehicle platforms. He later joined A123 Systems to establish their automotive business where he was responsible for the development of core products as well as was launch and operation of global lithium-ion battery plants from mixing, electrode, cell, module, and pack manufacturing. At ONE, Shazad will lead operations as it focuses on scaling its US-based manufacturing. Shazad holds 17 patents in the field of batteries and advanced alternative technologies and received his Bachelor of Science from Wayne State University.

Jim Thompson, Chief Financial Officer of ONE, is a seasoned financial executive with over 30 years of diverse, global experience in Corporate Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Divisional Finance leadership.

Jim will manage ONE’s IT, HR and Legal organizations and will direct all financial functions of the company including financial planning & analysis, tax, treasury and banking relations, investor relations, and corporate development support.

Most recently, Jim was the CFO at Global Water Innovations, a start-up focusing on groundwater desalination. He also has enjoyed key experiences at Ford Motor Company, Visteon Corporation, and at Johnson Controls, where he was the Regional Finance Leader for their South American Operations as an Ex-Pat based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Jim holds a BA from San Jose State University and an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Kirk Englert

Kirk Englert, VP of Systems Engineering at Our Next Energy (ONE), leads the development of battery packs and associated components for current and future customers. With over 22 years of experience in the automotive industry, Kirk most recently spent six years at Harman International with increasing roles of responsibility. He ended his tenure as Senior Director of Audio Engineering NA and then Senior Director of Customer Engineering and Program Management. Before Harman, Kirk managed automotive audio product development at Bose Corp.

Prior to his time at Bose, he spent six years at A123 Systems where he was the Director of Pack Engineering and led the development and launch of the Fisker Karma and GM Spark battery packs. Kirk started his career at Ford Motor Co., holding various positions in brake controls. During his time at Ford, he launched the first integrated trailer brake Controller in the industry. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Science from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, both in in mechanical engineering.

Richard Hampo, Vice President of Pack Product Development at Our Next Energy (ONE), has over 30 years of experience in automotive power electronics and has a strong passion for vehicle electrification. Richard started his career at the Ford Research Lab where he helped pioneer systems like electric power steering and electric active suspension. He continued driving electrification at Ecostar, Ballard Power Systems, and Lear Corporation. Before joining ONE, he started a new business unit for automotive traction inverters at Delta Electronics where he and his team won over two billion dollars in revenue from global OEMs. He earned Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Michigan and holds 50 US patents.

Chris Klesyk

Chris Klesyk, VP of Battery Management Systems at Our Next Energy (ONE), leads the hardware electronics and software development teams. He has over 23 years of automotive industry experience that spans multiple engineering and R&D disciplines in the ICE and EV spaces including electronics for engine, transmission, 4×4 and body controls, OBCMs, APMs, traction inverters, EVCCs, EVCUs, PLCs, and auxiliary inverters. Prior to joining ONE, he built, trained, mentored, and led engineering teams in the U.S., Taiwan, and China for Delta Electronics. This global team was ultimately responsible for developing technology, winning RFQs, and designing and launching high volume production traction inverters.

He also led engineering teams and designed and launched products at Motorola, Continental, and Lear. Chris holds 16 patents in the field of vehicle electronics and controls. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology degree from DeVry University and an Advanced Energy Storage certificate from MTU.

Nick Twork

Vice President, Business Development

Nick Twork is responsible for Strategy and Business development for ONE. His career work is centered around the intersection of transportation and technology, with jobs at self-driving startup Argo AI, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, Porsche, General Motors, and Ford Motor Company. Roles he has held include assignments in communications, product development, research, competitive intelligence, and as a photographer and journalist.

Dr. Deeana Ahmed

Vice President, Strategy and Government Relations

Deeana Ahmed, PhD, is responsible for Strategy and Government Relations at ONE. Deeana holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience and nutrition from Columbia University, an MSc and MPH in policy from Tufts University, and a BS from the University of Michigan. Deeana is a published researcher and policy analyst who has conducted large policy evaluations for the NYC Department of Education, managed grants for a Silicon Valley non-profit, and owns and operates a start-up education technology firm. Deeana is an alumnus of the University of Michigan Solar Car Team, where she led the development of the nationally and globally ranked solar car, InfiniUM’s battery pack.

Jim Beining

Vice President, People

Jim Beining, Vice President of People at Our Next Energy (ONE), is an accomplished leader with over 40 years of experience in the human resources field. Jim has worked in a variety of companies from Campbell Soup, United Technologies, and Textron Automotive, to startups like Venture Industries, Plastech Engineered Products, and A123 Systems, Inc. Most recently, Jim spent 12 years as the Executive Director, Human Resources at A123 Systems. Jim holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Eastern Michigan University.

Mujeeb Ijaz

Our Next Energy, Founder and CEO

Mujeeb Ijaz, founder and chief executive officer of ONE, is a battery systems engineer with over 30 years of experience in the development of electric vehicles and battery systems technologies. His career work has focused on furthering the adoption of electric vehicles through advancements in battery safety, range, and cost. Mujeeb led teams at Ford Motor Co., where he developed Ford’s Edge with HySeries Drive, the Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 that set a land speed record at Bonneville in 2007, and the Chrysler ENVI project.

He was president of A123’s Venture Technologies unit, where he and his team led the development of Li-Ion battery solutions for electric vehicles, and more recently, a senior director at Apple, where he developed novel energy storage solutions. Mujeeb holds 31 U.S. patents in the field of battery technology and energy management systems. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech.

Libby Wayman

Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Investor

Libby Wayman is an investor with Breakthrough Energy Ventures, an investor-led fund created to accelerate the transition to clean energy and a decarbonized economy.  Libby began her career in technology development and entrepreneurship that led to founding a company that develops and supplies equipment to the dairy cold chain in India.   She then returned to the US to focus on technology development in solar energy with SunPower and Alion Energy.  Libby then served as the Director of the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative at the US Department of Energy, where she formulated clean energy manufacturing tax credits, and established new research programs and institutions for advanced manufacturing.  She then led clean technology innovation at GE as the Global Director of Innovation for GE’s Ecomagination strategy.  Libby holds a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, and teaches MIT’s Climate & Energy Ventures course.

Jeff Chamberlain

Volta Energy Technologies, CEO

Dr. Jeff Chamberlain is a proven leader with a long record of industrial product R&D and commercialization success. He has led product development efforts at Cabot Microelectronics for the IC industry, at Dow Chemical and Angus for coatings applications, and at Nalco for the mining and mineral processing industry. Dr. Chamberlain’s industrial experience is complemented by his ten years leading the energy storage initiatives at Argonne National Laboratory. In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, Jeff led the effort to successfully transfer advanced battery technology from Argonne to LG Chem, BASF, General Motors, Toda Kogyo, General Electric, and others. Dr. Chamberlain also led the team that was awarded $120 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop advanced energy storage technologies for transportation and the grid, through a U.S. consortium of innovators from MIT across the country to Berkeley and Stanford. Dr. Chamberlain received his Ph.D. in the Physical Chemistry of Surfaces from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Paul Humphries

Flex, Group President (Retired)

Paul Humphries, retired in March 2021 as Group President and Chief Innovation Officer at Flex, a $26bn manufacturing and supply chain solutions company. In his capacity, Mr. Humphries had global P&L responsibility for the company’s $11bn Reliability Solutions Group, comprised of the Automotive, Health Solutions and Industrial business units. 

Additionally, he led the Corporate Innovation group responsible for developing and deploying next generation technologies across the entire business. Previously, Mr. Humphries served as executive vice president of Human Resources at Flex and led the global HR organization, programs, and related functions, including loss prevention, environmental compliance, and management systems. 

Prior to leading HR, he led the company’s global mechanicals organization as SVP Global Operations. Mr. Humphries joined Flex through the acquisition of Chatham Technologies Inc. in April 2000. While at Chatham Technologies, he served as senior vice president of Global Operations for the Enclosures business. Prior to that, Mr. Humphries held senior leadership positions at AlliedSignal, Honeywell and Borg-Warner Corporation. Mr. Humphries has served on the board of the Silicon Valley Education Foundation and Superior Industries International, Inc. and since retiring has accepted additional advisory and board roles. 

He holds a bachelor’s degree (Hons) in applied social studies from Coventry University and postgraduate certification in human resource management from West Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education. Mr. Humphries now serves on the boards of Superior Industries, Westfall Technik, Trackonomy, Our Next Energy and the nonprofit organization Silicon Valley Education Foundation. He also acts as an adviser to several technology startups where he also participates as an investor.

Faysal Sohail

InoBat Auto, Board Chairman

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Kerry Duggan

SustainabiliD, Founder

Kerry C. Duggan (she/her) is the founder of the Detroit-based sustainability strategy consulting firm, SustainabiliD, working with gamechangers to equitably solve the climate crisis. She has also been named the founding director of the University of Michigan’s SEAS Sustainability Clinic in Detroit.

Duggan is a Board Director of Perma-Fix (NASDAQ: PESI) and a senior advisor at RockCreek. She also sits on several corporate advisory boards, including Aclima, Inc., Walker-Miller Energy Services, Arctaris Impact Investors, HEVO, Our Next Energy (ONE) and BlueConduit.

Duggan is currently an appointee to the Department of Energy’s prestigious Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board under Secretary Jennifer Granholm, as well as a Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointee to the State of Michigan’s Council on Climate Solutions. Duggan is a senior fellow with the Federation of American Scientists.

In 2020, Duggan served on the Biden-Harris Transition Team for the U.S. Department of Energy Agency Review. Earlier that year, she was named a member of the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force, serving as one of Biden’s five delegates on climate change policy. From 2010 to 2017, Duggan served in the Obama-Biden Administration, at White House as deputy director for policy for then Vice President Biden and as deputy director of the White House’s Detroit task force, and earlier in several senior roles at the Department of Energy, mainly in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. She previously worked at the League of Conservation Voters.

After her time in federal service, Duggan co-founded the Smart Cities Lab, and was a Partner with the Honorable Thomas J. Ridge’s firm; and served on several boards including at the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise and the Global Council for Science and the Environment.

She is a member of the International Women’s Forum. In 2018, she was named to the prestigious “40 Under 40” list by Crain’s Detroit Business. Duggan earned her BS from University of Vermont and MS from University of Michigan.

Baris Guzel

BMW i Ventures, Partner

Baris is an engineer with work experience in top-tier investment banking and venture capital. At BMW i Ventures, Baris has supported the following companies as a Board Director/ Observer: Tekion (co-led Series B), Xometry (led Series B, NASDAQ:XMTR), Zūm (led Series C), Our Next Energy, AutoFi (led Series B), Mapillary (led Series B, acquired by Facebook) and Ridecell. Baris has also supported investments in Solid Power (NASDAQ:SLDP), Chargepoint (NYSE:CHPT), Life360 (ASX:360), Strivr and Moovit (acquired by Intel for ~$1B).

Baris holds a Master of Engineering and Technology Management from Duke along with an MBA (Dean’s Fellow) from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, where he led VCIC, the world’s largest venture capital competition.

Chris Thomas

Assembly Ventures, Co-Founder and Partner

Chris is a co-founder and partner at Assembly Ventures. Detroit, Berlin and Silicon Valley. He is a board observer at ONE (Our Next Energy).

Prior to Assembly Ventures, he co-founded the Detroit Mobility Lab and the Michigan Mobility Institute and acted as a senior advisor to mobility start-ups around the globe. Previous to this, Chris co-founded Fontinalis Partners and for over a decade worked to build it into one of the premier investment firms in next-generation mobility. While at Fontinalis, he served as a board member for nuTonomy (acquired by Aptiv in October 2017) and Karamba Security, and as a board observer at ParkMe (acquired by INRIX in September 2015), Parkmobile (acquired by BMW in January 2018), Life360 (IPO in May 2019), Ouster (SPAC in December 2020) and SmartKargo.

Prior to Fontinalis, Chris served in the U.S. Army as a communications officer in the U.S. and Iraq. Before joining the military, Chris worked as an investment banker at UBS within its Technology and Energy groups in San Francisco and New York. Additionally, Chris acts as a senior advisor to the COMMIT Foundation and is a member of the Global Cleantech 100 expert panel. He is also a co-owner of Buddy’s Pizza, the birthplace of original Detroit-style pizza, and an avid angel investor. Chris has previously served as the chairman of Read to a Child, a national children’s literacy and mentoring nonprofit in the United States and acted as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Personal Transportation Systems.

Chris earned his master’s degree in business administration from the Yale School of Management. While at Yale he served on the Honor Committee and graduated with distinction in former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s seminar on Faith and Globalization. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in both economics and international relations from Michigan State University. Chris is a resident of the City of Detroit where he lives with his wife and sons. He is a staunch advocate of connected communities, early childhood literacy, and the doctrine of the strenuous life.

Maria Thompson

Arsenal Growth Equity, Venture Partner

Maria Thompson is a Venture Partner at Arsenal and a retired CEO with more than 30 years of experience in business leadership, strategic planning, marketing, finance, government relations, and the commercialization of advanced technologies. 

Prior to her role in venture capital, Ms. Thompson was President and CEO of T/J Technologies, Inc., a nationally recognized Michigan company for proprietary alternative energy technologies that she and her husband, Dr. Levi Thompson founded in 1991. While consistently growing revenues, she led T/J Technologies’ acquisition by A123Systems in 2006.  Combined, the organizations represented the largest lithium-ion R&D team in North America, with global manufacturing operations. In preparation for A123Systems successful IPO (2009), she and her team worked with the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), and federal, state and county officials to secure over $249M in DOE grants, a $9M Army contract, and $139M from the state of Michigan to build lithium-ion battery manufacturing facilities in Michigan. 

Under Ms. Thompson’s leadership, T/J Technologies attracted national and regional recognition.  Her company received awards from the Department of Defense, NASA, the state of Michigan, the Small Business Association of Michigan, Black Enterprise, and other local organizations. In 2008, she was honored by the Washington DC based Minority Enterprise Executive Council as one of 25 Powerful Minority Women in Business. Ms. Thompson was invited to speak to the U.S. House Committee on Small Business as part of the Small Business Administration’s 50th Anniversary. 

Ms. Thompson became a Director of the Reko International Group, a Canadian public company in 2016. She is a member of the University of Michigan Technology Transfer National Advisory Board, the University of Michigan Ross School of Business Zell Lurie Institute Advisory Board and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. Ms. Thompson chaired NextEnergy’s Board of Directors for five years.  She previously served on Old National Bank’s Michigan Market Board.  She served for 6 years on the Advanced Technology Advisory Board for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and is a former member of several non-profit organization boards.  Ms. Thompson earned a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan Business School in 1988.  Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Michigan in Industrial Design. Prior to starting T/J Technologies, Ms. Thompson worked at Steelcase and IBM, where she earned numerous company awards.  

Tom Baruch

Baruch Future Ventures, Founder

Mr. Baruch is one of the pioneers of clean technology investing. Most recently (from 2014), he has invested primarily from his family office, Baruch Future Ventures (BFV), in early-stage companies focused on resource scarce and climate sensitive markets (energy, food/agriculture, water, air quality). The goal of Mr. Baruch’s focus at BFV is on transformative seed investments in the above sectors which can achieve “Unicorn” (market capitalization of >$1 billion) status in 10 years or less. His investment targets are “free” renewables (e.g., solar energy), the digitized power grid (e.g., Source Global [purified water]), and the alternative protein industry (Calysta, Geltor). Mr. Baruch is a Senior Advisor to Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), a $2 billion venture capital fund founded by Bill Gates that is dedicated to investing in climate-impactful companies. Mr. Baruch is an active counselor to a unique conglomeration of BEV investment partners and startup company CEOs and Founders. 

Mr. Baruch pioneered the field of venture capital investing in the commercialization of synthetic biology beginning with Maxygen (founded by Nobel Laureate, Frances Arnold), Codexis (CDXS:NASDAQ), where he served as Chairman for 15 years, Taxon (sold to DuPont), TeselaGen, Geltor, Checkerspot, Growcentia, Native Microbials, and Ellis Day. In 2011, Mr. Baruch founded Formation 8, a venture capital fund with $950 million under management where he currently serves as Emeritus Partner. Formation 8 is expected to return 6-7X of committed capital. In 1990, Mr. Baruch formed CMEA Capital with New Enterprise Associates (NEA), 3M Company, ExxonMobil, Ford Motor, and other LP’s. At CMEA, he was responsible for managing a total of $1.2 billion of capital across seven funds and personally led investments resulting in 18 IPOs including Aclara Biosciences, Codexis, CNano Technologies, Flextronics International, Intermolecular, and Symyx Technologies, and 8 M&A transactions including Silicon Spice (acquired by Broadcom). Ten of Mr. Baruch’s successful portfolio exits at CMEA were at market capitalizations of greater than $1 billion (“unicorn” category). 

Earlier in his career, Mr. Baruch worked at Exxon Mobil for 12 years and later founded Microwave Technology, Inc. where he served as CEO for 6 years. Currently, he serves on the board of privately held companies and public service entities. Mr. Baruch was a founding member of Obama’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, where he advised the U.S. Department of Commerce and the White House. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the U.S. Council of Competitiveness and a member of the Steering Committee of its Energy, Security, Innovation and Sustainability Initiative and the U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative. Mr. Baruch has an engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he currently serves as a Trustee, and a J.D. degree from Capital University. He is a registered U.S. Patent Attorney.