Scientific advisory board

Yoshio Nishi

Nishi-san joined the Sony Corporation in 1966 after graduating from Keio University in Tokyo. While researching and developing fuel cells, materials for electroacoustic transducers and electrochemical cells with non-aqueous electrolytes, he quickly ascended Sony’s ranks, becoming Corporate Research Fellow, Senior Vice President, and President of the company’s Materials Laboratories.

From home video cameras and notebook PCs to today’s mobile phones and game consoles, the rapid market growth of the lithium-ion secondary battery was facilitated by Mr. Nishi’s team through their first successful commercial introduction of the high performance battery in 1991. Their work included the development of quality controls and safety characteristics necessary for battery mass production, the economic impact of which is estimated at $10 billion per year.

Nishi-san has received technical awards from the Electrochemical Societies of both Japan and the United States in recognition of his contributions to Li-ion battery technology. He has also been honoured with the Kato Memorial Award for Promotion of Science (Japan, 1998), the Ichimura Award from the New Technology Development Foundation (Japan, 2000) and the Technical Award from the Japan Society for Biotechnology and Agrochemistry (1998). In 2014, he was a recipient of the Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering, one of the world’s top awards for engineering achievement.

Professor Leigh Canham

Prof. Leigh Canham is regarded as one of the world’s foremost authorities on porous silicon, and one of the most cited physical scientists in the United Kingdom. He serves as Chief Scientific Officer at pSiMedica Ltd UK, a subsidiary of pSivida USA. He has been conducting research on differing aspects of silicon semiconductor technology for the past 30 years. He has made two seminal discoveries in his career to date: in 1990 that nanostructured silicon can emit light efficiently, and in 1995 that nanostructured silicon can be rendered bioactive or biodegradable.

Prof. Canham’s work has spanned optoelectronics, sensing, nanomaterials science and the life sciences, specifically brachytherapy, drug delivery, cosmetics and medical diagnostics. He has been a board member of private companies in the UK, Singapore and Australia. His 150 journal publications have received more than 15,000 citations and he is currently Editor in Chief of the new open access journal, Mesoporous Biomaterials. He has an honorary chair in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Ian Jenks

Ian Jenks has more than 20 years’ experience in the communications technology field, both as an investor and as Chief Executive Officer of operating companies in the US and Europe. He served as General Partner of Crescendo Venture Management LLP, was President of the Laser and Fiber Optics division of Uniphase Inc. (now JDS Uniphase) and CEO of Novalux Inc. He held general management roles at Ingersol Engineers and has been involved with many startup companies, including Optomech, which he founded in 1987 and sold to Uniphase. Mr. Jenks served as Chairman of the Board of Oplink Communications Inc., which he took public in 2000.

He was Chairman of QuantaSol, the company that pioneered the application of nanostructures such as quantum wells and quantum dots for solar photovoltaics with greater conversion efficiency and better spectral performance and longer cell lifetimes than conventional solar cells. In 2011, JDSU acquired the product design and IP from QuantaSol. Multiple quantum well technology allows more light to be converted to electrical power by raising the efficiency of CPV cells, the most important metric in the solar industry.

Jenks has been Executive Chairman at Intune Networks since 2008. He has a BSc in Aeronautical Engineering from Bristol University.

Aisaku Nagai

Nagai-san is an experienced battery scientist and consultant with over 35 years’ experience in chemistry-based research and development at the Kureha Corporation.

During his time at Kureha Corporation he has held roles including Product Manager of Battery Materials and Senior Research Fellow of Nishiki Research Laboratories where he is currently Deputy Director. Since 2008, he has also been Assistant to the General Manager of Carbon Products & Battery Materials Division.

Early in his career, he has been a Visiting Research Investigator at the University of Pennsylvania and Tokyo Institute of Technology, and part-time Researcher at the Frontier Research Program at RIKEN.

Nagai-san was Conference Caretaker of the Japan Society of Applied Physics.

He has a Master’s Degree in Engineering (Applied Physics) from Tokyo University.