Chemical engineer appointed at MAREC

July 22, 2011
| By Pete Daly |
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Suresh Mani, a chemical engineer with experience in the battery industry, has been appointed associate director of research and technology at Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center.

Mani comes from A123 Systems in Ann Arbor, where he served as technical director and conducted research and development in battery technology. At A123 Systems, he was the principal investigator on a NASA project to develop advanced batteries for space, in which he created and led a team that included two NASA centers, a battery manufacturer and two universities.

Mani’s past experiences include being a research specialist at Michigan State University and technical director of Flint Ink Corp. where he worked on the development of fluid ink products.

At MAREC, Mani will lead projects in advanced energy storage, smart grid development and other renewable energy technologies, according to GVSU. He will serve as technical liaison with regional manufacturers, including the emerging battery industry in West Michigan. One of his initial projects will be to develop a characterization laboratory at MAREC that will support comprehensive testing of battery materials and components.

“Dr. Mani joins us at a time when the advanced energy storage industry is rapidly developing in West Michigan,” said Arn Boezaart, director of MAREC. “His technical skills and industry experience with innovative companies will allow MAREC and Grand Valley to assist with the quickly growing energy storage industry throughout the region.”

Mani will also help the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing develop a battery technology curriculum.

Born in India, Mani received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and a master’s degree and doctorate in chemical engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

“I’m pleased to take on this role in a region that is gaining momentum in battery technology development, wind development and other renewable energy innovation,” said Mani. “Advanced energy storage systems will be critical components as other renewable energy systems are further developed.”

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