A healthier planet via affordable and accessible energy generation.


Empower people to make their own energy by delivering breakthrough technologies.

Company Story

Modern Electron is a breakthrough energy technology company. Our mission is to enable anyone to generate efficient electricity using our breakthrough technology. Over 80% of electrical power consumed worldwide is still produced from heat, using engines & turbines invented centuries ago. Modern Electron is developing advanced thermionic converters, a new direct heat-to-electricity technology, that will revolutionize thermal power and enable efficient, on-demand distributed generation.

Meet the Team


Employee Spotlights


Meet the Advisors


Modern Electron Alex Molinaroli

Alex Molinaroli

Alex Molinaroli served as the Chairman and CEO of Johnson Controls, a leader in building systems and efficiency products with over 100,000 employees worldwide and $30 billion/yr revenue. He was with the company for 34 years serving as CEO beginning in 2013 to 2017. Prior to that he was the President of the company’s Power Solutions battery business.

Modern Electron CHP David J. LaGrand

David LaGrand

David J. LaGrand was the CEO of Nortek, a major manufacturer of Residential and Light Commercial Heating and Air Conditioning products. He was with the company for 29 years serving as President since 1997 and CEO beginning in 2001 to 2017. During his tenure the business grew more than six fold. Mr. LaGrand also served on the Board of Directors of the Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).

Modern Electron Ed Williams

Ed Williams

Ed Williams is a serial entrepreneur in the technology and energy industry. Ed was the CEO of SilLion, Novinda Corporation, Firefly Energy, and Accumedia, and has served on the boards of Solid Power, Catalyst Repository Systems, and the Colorado Cleantech Industry Association.

Join Our Team

You could be here! Visit our careers page for information about opportunities at Modern Electron.


Materials Engineer

Alex is a Materials Engineer at Modern Electron with significant experience working at intersection of semiconductor processing and energy technology. He specializes in surface science, thin film processing, solid state and nonaqueous electrochemistry, and vacuum engineering.

Prior to joining Modern Electron, he worked as part of a multi-institutional Department of Energy funded Energy Frontier Research Center, where he successfully developed the first solid state lithium-ion battery fabricated using conformal, vapor-phase chemistry. He is wrapping up a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Maryland based on this work. He has co-authored 20+ scientific publications and one patent on topics ranging from colloidal nanolithography to lithium-air batteries. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Alex’s hobbies include hiking, diving, skiing, and fossil hunting.


R&D Engineer

Andrew is a research and development engineer for Modern Electron with expertise in low-dimensional carbon materials, ultra-high vacuum systems, and nanofabrication. Andrew earned a MASc at University of British Columbia, where he designed and fabricated nanostructured devices for heat-to-electricity conversion.

During his two-year Master’s studies, he was published in a multitude of peer-reviewed journal papers and conferences. He earned a BS and graduated #1 in Electrical Engineering at The Ohio State University. His passions include writing and producing music, teaching science to grade-school students, and consuming spicy food.



Arvind is a Computational Physicist at Modern Electron. He holds a BS in chemical engineering (biomolecular track) from the California Institute of Technology and an MPhil in chemistry from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Churchill Scholar. His research experience spans from protein folding and atomistic simulation to biocatalysis and drug discovery, and he is broadly interested in applying techniques from computational physics and statistics towards problems of societal interest.

Arvind is currently pursuing a PhD in chemical engineering as a Hertz Fellow at Stanford University, where he is working with Professor Jennifer Cochran on enzymology and high-throughput biochemistry projects. He has coauthored ten publications and patents, and enjoys homebrewing and electronic music production in his spare time.


Director of MEMs Engineering

Bill is the Director of MEMs Engineering at Modern Electron. He has over 30 years of professional experience in product R&D, involving a wide range of science and technology. He has led numerous multi-disciplined R&D engineering teams throughout his career. Bill has held leadership positions in a number of start-up companies, and has also worked for a number of fortune 100 companies including Boeing, United Technologies, Dow Chemical, Martin Marietta (now Martin Lockheed), and Johnson & Johnson.
Bill earned his BA in mathematics from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe Pennsylvania, and his BSEE from the Pennsylvania State University. He also holds an M.S. in Physics from the University of Washington.
Bill’s hobbies include cooking, kayaking, fishing, and golf. In his free time, he also enjoys spending time with his family, reading, eating, and watching football and ice hockey on TV.


Mechanical and Thermal Engineer

Daniel K. is a mechanical and thermal engineer at Modern Electron.  He has nearly a decade experience in solid-state power conversion ranging from semiconductor materials development and characterization to prototype device design and testing. 

Daniel holds a BS and MS from ETH-Zurich, and earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from MIT by spearheading multiple research projects ranging from the experimental demonstration of solar thermoelectric generators, the development of high-temperature solar absorbers and highly thermally conductive polymers. 

He is the author of 20+ peer-reviewed publications and 2 book chapters and is a co-inventor on 7 patents and patents pending.  His hobbies include windsurfing, basketball, exploring cities and national parks by car and foot and trying new restaurants.


R&D Physicist

Daniel M. is an R&D Physicist at Modern Electron. He earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Southern California, studying doped superfluid helium nanodroplets. Prior to his Ph.D. he worked at Sandia National Laboratories, analyzing the fundamental chemical kinetics of hydrocarbon combustion, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, applying state-of-the-art metrology techniques to help service x-ray optics at the Advanced Light Source.

Besides work-related subjects, Daniel is passionately curious about a wide range of topics in physics, chemistry and mathematics. He also enjoys running, swimming and hiking in his spare time.


Materials Engineer

Daniel V. is a materials engineer at Modern Electron. He’s an expert in thin film synthesis and characterization through the use of ultra-high vacuum and synchrotron radiation-based techniques for applications in photocathode, photovoltaic and nuclear materials, and is an author of 10+ publications.

Daniel holds a Ph.D. in Accelerator/Condensed Matter Physics from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he developed ultra-thin multilayered heterojunctions with tunable photoemissive properties. In his free time, Daniel enjoys making and listening to music as well as impromptu road trips.


Dave is a Product Manager at Modern Electron. Previously, Dave worked for Google in their consumer hardware group and for Fluke Corporation in advanced R&D. Dave received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from The University of Washington and an MBA and MS in User-centered Design from Northwestern University.

In his spare time, Dave enjoys playing live music, cooking, traveling, running and brewery hopping.



Eric is a Computational Physicist at Modern Electron.  Eric specializes in modelling physical behavior of plasmas and electromagnetic phenomena in silico.  Eric had built hybrid parallel codes to simulate everything from collisionless shocks to electrostatic instabilities. 

Previously, Eric was at SAIC modelling electromagnetic waves for airborne RADAR defense applications.  He holds a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from UC San Diego, and a Ph.D. in Physics from UCLA.  Eric is an author of 18 publications.


Process Development Engineer

Gary is a Process Development Engineer at Modern Electron. Prior to Modern Electron, he has worked in the semiconductor industry for various companies since 1990. During that time, he has worked in many sectors of the industry including semiconductors, solar and display in both manufacturing and R&D roles. Gary has participated in three fab startups and two company startups and enjoys the challenges involved in these fast-paced environments.

Gary received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has co-authored 3 patents in the semiconductor and solar industries.

Gary enjoys listening to live blues and jazz music. He can be found on many area trails walking his dog and enjoying all the beauty that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. He is an avid cyclist and enjoys riding with friends on weekend excursions in Oregon and Washington.


R&D Scientist

Hsin-I is a R&D scientist at Modern Electron. She has a decade of experience in applied physics, with expertise in surface science, atomic/molecular/optical physics, cryogenics, and quantum physics.  She holds a PhD from Harvard, where she developed new cooling and trapping methods for molecules, and pioneered magnetic trapping of CaF.  During her postdoctoral work at the Joint Quantum Institute, she optically cooled atoms to the nanokelvin regime and performed quantum simulations.  She’s authored 15 publications in high impact journals including Science. 

Hsin-I was trained as a professional badminton player for 6 years and still enjoys playing competitive badminton.



Jason has over a decade of experience in semiconductor process development, ranging from cutting edge interconnect R&D at Intel to novel silicon photovoltaics development at a startup.

He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, where he developed devices using nanowires and carbon nanotubes. He received a B.S. with honors in Electrical Engineering and a B.A. in German Language and Literature at the University of Washington, where he was also a Goldwater Scholar and NASA Space Grant Scholar.

He enjoys playing piano, learning about other cultures, backpacking, running, and biking.


R&D Engineer

John is a R&D engineer at Modern Electron.  He has 20 years of experience working in the field of vacuum tubes and cathodes, ranging from CRT manufacturing to field emission to mass spectrometers and ion thrusters.  He is a co-inventor on 4 patents and co-author on 6 publications.  He has helped start-ups bring products from concept to prototype to market.  John holds a B.S. in Physics from Truman State University.

John’s interests include planetary science, movies, science fiction, and travel.  He enjoys spending time with his family hiking, canoeing, and visiting waterfalls.


Justin is the VP of Product at Modern Electron and leads all product development and technology commercialization. He is a serial entrepreneur and prior to joining Modern Electron, he co-founded and grew the leading electrified powertrain technology company in the USA for commercial vehicles, XL Fleet, as well as a fast-growing consumer e-commerce company. Justin earned an MBA from MIT and studied electrical engineering with a focus on machine learning at UC San Diego.

Justin also served as an intelligence officer in the US Air Force on assignment in 26 countries around the world and is a veteran of the Iraq War.



Kevin is a Materials Engineer at Modern Electron. His expertise is in thin film synthesis and ultra-high vacuum experimentation. He earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon and a PhD from Cornell, where he held a fellowship from the Semiconductor Research Corporation. His thesis work involved atomic layer deposition, and the use of organic layers to control interface formation during thin film growth. Before Modern Electron, he was as a research engineer at the Lubrizol Corporation, and a process development engineer at Intel.

Kevin is also an expert in the area of surface and colloid science in nonaqueous fluids, and co-authored a book chapter on nonaqueous foams. He enjoys hiking, exploring and learning about new areas of science, and is an avid hockey fan.


Associate Mechanical Engineer

Levi is an Associate Mechanical Engineer at Modern Electron specializing in MEMS-based device design and rapid prototyping. He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California, and has over four years of experience designing, building, and validating implantable drug infusion pump systems and general consumer electronics. Levi has extensive hands-on experience with a variety of fabrication, manufacturing, and testing processes.

In his spare time, you can find Levi skiing, backpacking, mountain biking, or exploring the wilderness on 4×4 overland adventures.


Luisa is the Human Resources and G&A Manager at Modern Electron. Luisa graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in Public Health. Her passion lies in growing startups & small businesses and working to make the world a healthier place for all, and she’s grateful to be able to combine both passions at Modern Electron.

In her spare time, Luisa enjoys running, hiking, and trying new foods. However, she is also just as content curling up with a good book and listening to the rain.


Nanofabrication Engineer Associate

Mark is a Nanofabrication Engineer Associate at Modern Electron and holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Florida International University in Miami, FL. His research consisted of understanding and developing next generation energy-efficient information processing devices. He focused on developing spintronic nanodevices as a promising alternative to the semiconductor microprocessor and memory technologies.

Mark enjoys playing sports and traveling abroad with his wife. He’s passionate about Spanish culture, food, and literature.


Materials Engineer

Matthew is an Associate Materials Engineer at Modern Electron with expertise in prototyping, development, and automation of experimental test stations, and materials research.  He graduated from UC Davis in Chemical Engineering (MS, 2014) with research projects in synthesis and characterization of ceramic electrolytes for batteries and fuel cells.

He was involved in the development of novel X-ray sources based on the triboelectric effect at a startup in Los Angeles called Tribogenics and more recently was involved in SBIR projects related to X-ray scanning and optical metrology at Physical Optics.

For fun, he enjoys bouldering, kiteboarding, and board games. 


Co-Founder & CTO

Max Mankin is the co-founder and CTO of Modern Electron. He has a decade of experience building and leading teams, as well as designing, fabricating, and characterizing semiconductors and functional nanomaterials. Max earned a BS with honors in chemistry from Brown University and a PhD in physical chemistry from Harvard University, where he held fellowships from the Hertz and National Science Foundations.

Max is an inventor on a few dozen patents pending and granted. His accolades include one of Inc. Magazine’s most brilliant entrepreneurs under 30 (2017) and Forbes 30 Under 30 (2016). His hobbies include squash, skiing, and home automation.


Patrick is a Mechanical Design Engineer on the Full Device Engineering team. He brings over 10 years of thermal-mechanical design experience, designing several components in power-generating industrial gas turbines with GE Power. Most recently, he helped develop conceptual designs for hybrid propulsion systems for the aircraft startup Zunum Aero. His engineering experience has been focused on exploring the full design space and bringing parts from sketches to prototype, test, and production phases.

Outside the office, Patrick enjoys attending and performing live music, cooking and eating food, and exploring new cities.


Patrick is the Lab Facilities Technician at Modern Electron. He has over 10 years of Maintenance world experience from his time in the US Army as an Air Defense Crew Member leading teams in tactical and technical operations, and from his time working as a Maintenance Technician for a Semiconductor Fab.

Prior to joining Modern Electron Patrick Received his BS in Electrical Engineering Technology with a Specialization in Renewable Energy.

In his free time, Patrick enjoys snowboarding, motorcycle riding, listening to music, troubleshooting and fixing equipment, Scottish Festivals, and spending time with his family.


Computational Physicist

Peter is a Computational Physicist at Modern Electron, with more than 11 years of experience in quantum mechanics, condensed matter theory, and computational simulations of materials. He received his his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago where he studied high-temperature superconductivity, and his B.S. from Harvey Mudd College. Before joining Modern Electron, he studied methods for atomic-scale fabrication of quantum information devices as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago. He is the first author on nine papers, and is a recipient of several national fellowships, including the Hertz Fellowship, the Goldwater Scholarship, and the IC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship.

Peter plays cello and piano, pursues landscape photography, and enjoys lightweight backpacking, bicycling, and gardening.


Computational Physicist

Roelof is a Computational Physicist at Modern Electron. He has extensive experience in computational condensed matter physics, ranging from ab-initio studies to method development for computing many-body interactions. He holds an MS degree in computer science and a PhD in condensed matter physics from the University of Southern California.

Outside of science he enjoys motorcycle riding, sailing and traveling. He is also a big rugby fan.


Sarah is the Office Administrator at Modern Electron. Sarah has a B.A. in poverty and development studies from The Evergreen State College and a M. Ed. with a focus in environmental education from Concordia University. She is passionate about improving the lives of others while increasing environmental sustainability. While much of Sarah’s work experience has been in the non-profit and education fields, she is excited to explore the role that companies have to play in making people’s lives better while reducing our strain on the planet.

Sarah enjoys doing anything outside, from camping to hiking and kayaking, as well as cooking (and eating!), reading, and traveling.


Co-Founder & CEO

Tony is the co-founder and CEO of Modern Electron. He is a polymath inventor of 200+ patents and patents pending, spanning technologies in energy, nanotechnology, and biomedical devices. He went to college at Stanford and obtained his PhD in physics from Harvard, where he held national fellowships from the Hertz, Soros, and National Science Foundations.

Tony is a Global Shaper and member of the Global Future Council on Energy at the World Economic Forum. He was formerly a strategist at Goldman Sachs. In 2015, Tony was one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in science.


Zak is a Machinist at Modern Electron. He has past machining experience from Turbocam International. Zak has done everything from front line production to prototyping with engineers, as well as CNC programming using Mastercam. Coming from a production environment, he is very passionate about efficient machining and is always happy to share his knowledge with others.

Outside of machining Zak really enjoys outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, water sports, and downhill skiing. If the weather isn’t cooperating then he enjoys indoor bouldering and PC gaming.