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JIM KESSELI - PRESIDENT:

JIM KESSELI

As president of Brayton, Jim provides technical and managerial support for all of the company’s projects. Jim has worked in the field of energy conversion systems for 30 years, contributing to advancements in small gas turbines, low emission combustion systems, and recuperators.
Jim began his career at Lockheed/Sanders, working on gas turbines, solar-dynamic space power, thermal storage, Stirling engines, and alkali metal heat pipes.
From 1992 until 2001, Jim led the Ingersoll-Rand/NREC Energy Systems Business Unit and was responsible for the technical direction of the PowerWorks 70 and 250-kW microturbines, recuperators, and other advanced energy system development programs. Under Jim’s leadership, Ingersoll-Rand and NREC successfully introduced a line of microturbines, the WR21 recuperator, and the Siemens-Westinghouse hybrid fuel cell gas turbine, and participated in several gas turbine design programs for commercial and military clients.
From 2001 to 2003, Jim was Ingersoll-Rand’s Director of New Product Development and Director of Advanced Technology. During that period he led the high-efficiency ceramic turbine development, introduced innovations in combined heat and power, advancements in low-emission combustion for alternative fuels, and developments in recuperators.
Jim holds 17 patents relating to recuperators, combustors, and gas turbines. He is the ASME chair for the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) Microturbines and Small Gas Turbine Committee, serving since 2002. Jim received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MSME from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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TOM WOLF - TECHNICAL DIRECTOR:

TOM WOLF

Tom is Brayton Energy’s expert in thermodynamic cycle analysis and performance modeling, as applied to gas turbines and other advanced engine systems. Formerly at Ingersoll-Rand, he led design efforts associated with high efficiency radial inflow turbines and compressors. During the 10-year development of PowerWorks microturbines, Tom led the analysis and testing for over 12 new product development programs. His design, test, and analysis experience at Ingersoll-Rand included the PowerWorks microturbines, gas-turbine driven refrigeration and compressor packages, the Siemens-Westinghouse hybrid fuel cell, hybrid PEM fuel cells, the Chrysler Patriot racecar, and other complex engine cycles. Tom also performed the analysis and testing supporting the Aurora Perseus-B high-altitude turbocharger project.
Throughout his career, Tom has concentrated on challenging fluid dynamics issues within turbomachinery. His 25-year professional career covers a wide range of analysis and testing techniques, including those for propeller blade dynamics and acoustic radiation.
Tom has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (1990) and an MS in Aeronautics & Astronautics (1978), both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS from Cornell University. Tom spends his limited free time golfing.

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JAMES NASH - ENGINEERING DIRECTOR:

JAMES NASH

Jim Nash leads Brayton’s Mechanical Engineering group. He has over 22 years of mechanical engineering experience focused on gas turbine hot-section design. Jim has in-depth understanding of high temperature structures, most notably gas turbine recuperators. His expertise covers a wide range of disciplines, including structural mechanics, testing, manufacturing, brazing, welding, and metallurgy.
Dating back to his early work on the Army’s AGT-1500 and later on Ingersoll-Rand gas turbine recuperators, Jim pioneered innovations in high temperature thermal strain management in heat exchanger structures. Prior to joining Brayton, Jim was the Director of Recuperator Products at Ingersoll-Rand and led the highly successful recuperator program from concept to full production of several successful products including the Rolls-Royce/Northrop-Grumman WR21 recuperator and the IR-70 and 250 kWe microturbine recuperators. Jim also led several recuperated gas turbine integration test programs for IR, including the KHI 700-kWe, the TurboMeca TM1800, and the Siemens-Westinghouse hybrid SOFC programs. Other relevant projects in which Jim served as the PI/PM include the preliminary PBMR recuperator system design and the alternate LV-100 and LV-50 military vehicle recuperated gas turbines.
The first nine years of Jim’s career were spent with Textron Lycoming, where he was a key contributor to the AGT-1500 tank recuperator development and testing. Jim has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire, and completed the Ingersoll-Rand Executive Management Training Program. Jim is an avid bicycle and ski racer as well as cabinet maker when not working at Brayton.

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MALCOLM CHILD - CHIEF MECHANICAL ENGINEER:

MALCOLM CHILD

Malcolm is the leader of Brayton Energy’s mechanical design team, with expertise covering design for manufacturing, finite element analysis, and rotor dynamics. Prior to joining Brayton, Malcolm was the lead mechanical design engineer for the Ingersoll Rand IR-70 and 250 kW microturbine engines, and was also a key team member and co-patentee of the IR recuperator. His focus has been on critical design issues for the core engine, encompassing FEA analysis of rotor overspeed, burst and containment issues, seals, bearings, and shaft dynamics. Malcolm is Brayton’s chief expert in solid modeling and computer-aided design, supervising a team of designers and draftsmen performing these activities. He is also very experienced in the laboratory environment, having directed testing in microturbine programs while at IR. Responsibilities covered instrumentation for rotor dynamics measurements, and for performance validation of engines and recuperators. Malcolm holds a B.S. Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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SHAUN SULLIVAN - PRINCIPAL ENGINEER:

SHAUN SULLIVAN

Shaun has been committed to developing sustainable and renewable energy solutions for over 16 years, during which time has worked on projects in solar power, energy storage, hybrid/electric vehicles, biomass utilization, combined heat and power, fuel cells, distributed generation, and high efficiency/low emissions power systems. He joined Brayton in 2008 with expertise in heat transfer modeling and thermal analysis, and soon became the resident expert in analytical modeling, numerical simulation coding, and custom programming for systems and performance evaluation. In addition Shaun is the Principal Investigator and Project Manager for two ambitious competitively-awarded SunShot programs funded by the Department of Energy. Prior to joining the Brayton team he worked at Ingersoll Rand Energy Systems (now FlexEnergy), a leading manufacturer of small-scale turbines for backup, alternative-fuel, and distributed power generation. While there he was responsible for creating the detailed analytical, statistical, and empirical models that were used to predict system behavior, evaluate fielded engine performance, and generate the value propositions for proposed new technologies. Shaun holds an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT where he designed, modeled, built, and tested a microscale heat exchanger that was fabricated using techniques developed for the microchip industry. This heat exchanger was an essential component for a 1-inch microturbine being developed for a person-portable distributed power application. Shaun also received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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S BEAR DAVIS - SYSTEMS ENGINEER/PROGRAM MANAGER:

S BEAR DAVIS

Bear applies several decades of mechanical engineering experience to Brayton’s solar-gas turbine programs. Bear provides expertise in high temperature solar receivers, thermo-optical modeling, structural analysis, and project management. Prior to joining Brayton, Bear worked for 40 years for one company, which changed hands from first Sanders Associates, then Lockheed-Sanders, and finally BAE Systems. There he enjoyed increasing responsibility in roles of engineering management, project leadership, and systems engineer. Under Bear’s direction, Sanders/Lockheed and BAE designed, tested, and deployed scores of military defense systems, related to infrared countermeasures, aircraft deployable decoys, and precision rocket guidance systems. During a period of intensive government investment in renewable energy starting in the late 1970’s and through the early 1980’s , Bear served as principal investigator and project manager for a series of concentrated solar power projects overseen by the NSF, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Sandia labs. These projects led to the successful demonstration of the first volumetric solar receivers for Brayton cycle systems. These receivers incorporated ceramic honeycomb matrix absorbers and quartz windows. A series of five programs related to dish and central tower receivers demonstrated air outlet temperatures of 1100 C to 1400 C. Prior to joining Sanders, Bear was commissioned into the US Marine Corps where he earned the Gold Wings of a Naval Aviator living the full gusto of a year-long tour in Vietnam. Bear is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy.

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HENDRICK “HENRY” RASMUSSEN - SENIOR LAB TECHNICIAN:

HENRY RASMUSSEN

Henry served a marine apprenticeship and underwent blacksmith training in Denmark and has worked extensively in the marine field, both as a ship’s engineer and a shore based marine systems mechanic / engineer. He has co-developed a unique electric drive for yachts and can make, in metal, virtually anything the Brayton Engineers come up with. His hobbies are music and wood working.

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JOHN THOMSON - PRINCIPAL ELECTRICAL ENGINEER:

JOHN THOMPSON

John has worked in the gas turbine industry for over 40 years: with General Electric and, Wingaersheek Turbine, a small hydro-turbine company. John’s lengthy career with GE stationed him at the company’s Evendale and Lynn divisions, and on assignment with the Italian Air force for three years.
From 1998 to 2001 John was a consultant to the NREC and Ingersoll-Rand microturbine group, performing controls, instrumentation, and test support, serving a critical role in that intense new product development effort. Formerly, John served as Chief Engineer on the Westward, an educational sailing ship for the Sea Education Association, and worked 13 years on engineering projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. As evidence of his diverse engineering skills, John is an inventor of a practical variable pitch propeller currently manufactured for the marine engine market. At Brayton, John is the inspiration behind both mechanical and electrical system innovations. John received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tulane University, and held a Professional Engineering license in Louisiana.

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JILL WELCH - OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR:

JILL WELCH

Jill holds an Associates degree in Business Management from Northern Essex Community College.
She also has experience in retail management as well as in education. Jill enjoys hiking, gourmet cooking, gourmet chocolate making and raising her three daughters.

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MATT BALDWIN - MECHANICAL ENGINEER II:

MATT BALDWIN

Matt is a key contributor to Brayton’s Next Generation Gas Turbine program, working on all aspects of the mechanical design and analysis. Highly involved in the early conceptual design through the fabrication and test, Matt has made significant contributions to the core gas turbine mechanical design. Matt provides expertise in thermal analysis, FEA, the design of aerodynamic structures, as well as the design of bearings and seals. Matt holds a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. After graduation, Matt worked for seven years at Raytheon where he participated in all aspects of radar system design. At Raytheon he developed analysis and testing skills in thermal-mechanical systems, and shock and vibration. Matt also gained excellent experience as technical advisor to the Lincoln –Sudbury Battlebots Robotics Team.

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RANDY FINSTAD - PROGRAM MANAGER:

RANDY FINSTAD

Randy applies his 30+ years of gas turbine experience to Brayton’s advanced gas turbine projects, providing design and manufacturing direction to the team. At Brayton, Randy supports several gas turbine manufacturing projects related to turbine alloy casting, manufacturing tolerancing, air bearings, and cost reduction. Prior to joining Brayton, Randy was Plant Manager and Laboratory and Test Manager for Ingersoll Rand Energy Systems group over the formative six year launch period for the IR microturbine product line. Prior to that, for over 24 years, Randy was a project engineer at Allied Signal/Honeywell, working on numerous land-based, military, and propulsion gas turbine development products. Randy holds Bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical and Civil Engineering, as well as a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of California, Long Beach. Randy brings experience from a career of aircraft and industrial turbine machinery to Brayton. Randy is also a veteran of the US Army stationed in Germany, where he was a fixed wing crew chief specialist.

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SHARON PUESCHEL - FINANCIAL MANAGER:

SHARON PUESCHEL

Sharon holds an Associates degree in Liberal Arts from El Camino College, and a Bachelors Degree, plus Multiple Credentials, and a Certificate in Education from the University of California, Long Beach. Sharon’s background includes teaching as well as building a high-end produce business which catered to Hollywood’s elite. She enjoys hiking and hopes to complete summiting all of the 4000 ft peaks in New Hampshire soon. In the meantime, she enjoys beating her kids at paintball.

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BILLY VANDERVALK - ELECTRICAL ENGINEER I:

BILLY VANDERVALK

Billy is an exceptionally versatile engineer at Brayton, active in power systems design, controls development, data system design, and fuel system design. At Brayton, Billy has led several advanced turbomachinery testing initiatives, preparing bread-board controllers, data acquisition systems in LabView™ , and running experiments. Billy holds a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Prior to joining Brayton, Billy worked at Lockheed/Sanders, supporting the F22 Raptor testing programs. Billy is also an expert in the conversion and operation of Diesel engines on alternative bio fuels.

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JEFF BEACH - PRODUCTION SPECIALIST:

JEFF BEACH

Jeff brings years of manufacturing experience to Brayton. Jeff leads the recuperator manufacturing team, performing a range of responsibilities including manufacturing process development, documentation, quality assurance, and cost analysis. Jeff also provides project scheduling and day-to-day project monitoring for Brayton’s staff. This assignment utilizes Jeff’s exceptional organizational and people skills. Prior to joining Brayton in 2008, Jeff served as the foreman of the Ingersoll-Rand recuperator plant in Portsmouth New Hampshire. His creative problem solving skills and attention to detail made him a key contributor in the development of that successful recuperator product line. Jeff holds a Bachelors degree in Forestry from Oregon State University, Corvallis. Jeff is an avid outdoorsman, pursuing hunting, fishing, snowshoeing and hiking.

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TODD BOWSER - SENIOR DESIGNER:

TODD BOWSER

Todd holds an Associate degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from New Hampshire Technical College. Todd brings a diverse mix of design and manufacturing experience having worked on laser systems and infrared optical systems in the defense industry. When not working, Todd is a boating enthusiast who enjoys spending time on the ocean.

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BILL CARUSO - MECHANICAL ENGINEER:

BILL CARUSO

Bill is deeply involved in heat exchanger manufacturing at Brayton, performing design, metallurgical analysis, and finite element analysis. He has led several of the performance characterization and endurance testing projects involving high-temperature recuperators. Bill works closely with the recuperator manufacturing center at Brayton, providing tooling design and process improvements. In conjunction with this work, he has created manufacturing costing models for recuperators and complete gas turbine engines. Bill has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Prior to Brayton, he has gained a unique blend of experience working on projects for London local government, Gillette, and Gallo Wineries. His passion for working in the alternative energy industry was first realized during a position as engineer II for a grassroots waste-to-energy company, where he helped design, build, and launch their onsite food waste conversion system. When not at Brayton, you may find him surfing, snowboarding or composing music.

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CHAD EVERBECK - MECHANICAL ENGINEER:

CHAD EVERBECK

Chad provides a blend of mechanical design, thermal-fluids analysis with his hands-on lab testing skills. He has maintained a key role in the system integration of gas turbines, analyzing and designing the mounting structures, strain-relief, and interconnecting piping and insulation. Chad is skilled in Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and CAD tools. He earned both B.S and M.S degrees from University of New Hampshire in Mechanical Engineering. His Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering focuses on thermal and fluid science while using a Brayton project for his graduate thesis. Chad has a strong interest in different forms of renewable energy as well as high efficiency home/building design. He also enjoys the outdoors; particularly during the snowboarding and golf seasons.

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JUSTIN CLARK - MANAGER of INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY:

JUSTIN CLARK

Justin began his post-secondary education studying mechanical engineering at the University of New Hampshire before changing his focus to the computer industry. Bringing mechanical understanding to various positions in the IT industry helped him succeed in a variety of roles, beginning as a PC technician and eventually becoming a self-taught senior level network technician. He eventually returned to college to complete an Associates degree in Information Systems Technology from Great Bay Community College. He holds various industry certifications including the FOA’s Certified Fiber Optic Technician (CFOT) and FTTx (Fiber To The Premises). With additional extra-curricular experience in electronics & automotive mechanics, he brings a new point of view to the IT environment here at Brayton. When he’s not at work he enjoys the outdoors by mountain biking, canoeing, fishing, hiking and camping, as well as fixing just about anything that’s broken.

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DAVID LAFFERTY - MECHANICAL ENGINEER:

DAVID LAFFERTY

David has an extensive background in mechanical design, robotics, system dynamics, controls, and the mathematical modeling of complex electro-mechanical systems. At Brayton, David is responsible for a range of mechanical design disciplines including to hybrid vehicle system models, gas turbine rotor dynamics, high speed alternators and bearings. His work in robotics includes the design of integrated electro-mechanical systems. Other specialized skills include prototyping and debugging, and the development of the software required to manage mechanical control systems. David has substantial experience designing wire harnesses and EMI shielding, as well as electronics and soldering. He spends his free time cycling long distances and exploring caves. David graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 2006.