2021-01-18
IESA recognizes women at the forefront of energy storage and EV ecosystem around the globe

IESA recognizes women at the forefront of energy storage and EV ecosystem around the globe

From being the only woman in the room to paving the way for attracting more women to join the industry, on this International Women’s Day, India Energy Storage Alliance recognizes women who have contributed significantly to the clean energy, mobility, and technology industry both in India and globally.

These women come from diverse backgrounds, experience, and interests but each one of them has significantly shaped their respective organization’s outcomes, shown exemplary leadership acumen, and inspired more women to advance careers in the clean energy, technology, and service sector.

Amanda Brown – Senior Business Development Director at Aggreko

Amanda (Stevenson) Brown is the Sr. Business Development Director at Aggreko Microgrid and Energy Storage Solutions. She has more than 10 years of experience in the regulatory, market policy and business development. Amanda has been a strong advocate for the creation policies and protocols and implementation thereof to support utility-scale adoption of energy storage and promote the growth of the energy storage industry.

Amanda’s expertise and specialties include ISO regulatory and market policy experience, FERC & NERC compliance standard management, regional compliance TRE & PJM’s RFC; financial reporting of generation & revenue to FERC, PUCT & the DOE- EIA 860 & 923, contract management (PPA, TSA & WMA), RE contracts including registering the facilities as renewable generators & handling the accounts and process of transferring the REC's to buyers in ERCOT & PJM. She is also an active member of the Emerging Technologies Working Group in ERCOT.

Amanda has a double major BA in Pre-Law and English Literature from the University of Texas- Austin and she holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Legal Studies from Texas State University.

Archana Bhatnagar - Director, Sales & Project Development, Wartsila Energy Business

Archana Bhatnagar is Director of Sales & Project Development, Wartsila Energy Business, with more than 25 years of service at Wärtsilä. Archana started her career with accounting, growing to business control to Wärtsilä Development and Financial Services, before finally leading sales operations for India.  One of her unique contribution at Wartsila has been her implementation of a new concept of group captive power plants. In group captive power plants multiple end-users are attached to a single plant. With the development partners, Archana’s team steered the effort and examined all aspects of power -- starting from generation to delivery-- at the consumer boundary, all while preserving the reliability at the plant. The project turned out to be so successful, that it was later replicated by the company.

Bridgit Hartland-Johnson - Energy Storage and Market Entry Specialist, Orsted

Bridgit Hartland-Johnson is UK-based energy storage and market entry specialist. She currently spearheads the market entry activities for Orsted London’s first commercial BESS in the UK including integration within Orsted’s internal business processes. Bridgit is also responsible for setting up asset management and operations activities for Orsted’s first BESS.

Bridgit has been leading change with UK power sector stakeholders i.e. National Grid, BEIS, OFGEM, LCCC, Elexon to support the faster implementation of energy storage in the UK.

Bridgit holds a degree in electrical engineering as along with industry experience has led several projects globally. She is actively involved in Gujarat Energy Research Management Institute (GERMI) joint research and development project with Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Ltd (CMPDI) for establishing micro-grid at CMPDI campus, Ranchi. She’s also served as a Working Group Chairman and Project Lead on a draft of first state-level smart grids roadmap for Maharashtra including short, medium and long-term targets, technology solutions required to achieve targets, regulatory requirements, action plan, and estimated costs.

Danielle Fong – Scientist and Co-founder of LightSail Energy, Inc.

Danielle Fong is a young entrepreneur and scientist recognized popularly as the co-founder of LightSail Energy, a startup that worked on compressed air-vapor energy storage.

Danielle's contributions have been recognized and awarded by many institutions. She was recognized in Forbes Magazine’s “30 under 30” list and as the “Top 35 Innovators Under 35” by the MIT Technology Review. She was also named among the “30 People Under 30 Who are Changing the World” by TIME Magazine.

Danielle was the Chief Scientific Officer of LightSail Energy, a compressed air energy storage technology startup based in California working on energy storage devices based on compressed-air energy storage infused with water vapor to retain calorimetric energy and improve energy efficiency up to marketable levels.

Investors in LightSail included big names like Khosla Ventures, Peter Thiel, Bill Gates, Innovacorp, and Total S.A. By February 2016, LightSail had successfully raised about USD 70 million in venture capital investment and it sold its first compressed air-vapor energy storage by 2016. But by March 2018, the company closed. The emergence of cheaper energy storage alternatives such as the Li-ion batteries were cited as the primary reason for the failure of the commercialization of LightSail ‘s storage devices.

Emily Kirsch – Founder & CEO of Powerhouse and Managing Partner of Powerhouse  Ventures

Emily Kirsch is the founder and CEO of Powerhouse, an innovation firm and venture fund based in California that connects startups, corporations and investors in developing an energy and e-mobility ecosystem. She’s also the managing partner of Powerhouse Ventures, which invests in seed-stage startups which are active in transforming the way we consume power. Powerhouse startups have collectively raised USD 290 million and it has housed more than 40 energy startups, invested in 16 and to date, four Powerhouse startups have been acquired.

Prior to founding her own company, Emily’s noteworthy experience involved working with the former advisor to President Obama, Van Jones, on clean energy projects in California. The partnership culminated in the launch of Green Jobs Corps – the first solar job training program in Oakland, California. She has also served on the World Economic Forum’s Advanced Energy Technologies Council and was selected as the Young Global Leader for the class of 2019.

Emily currently serves on the Investor Advisory Board of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. She has a background and interest in Sustainable Urban Development.

Eva Gardow – Technical Lead, Principal at EPRI

Eva Gardow is a Technical Lead, Principal at EPRI. Prior to EPRI, she worked as a senior project manager, FirstEnergy Service Company for more than 15 years. At FirstEnergy, she steered strategy evaluation and demonstrations of energy storage technologies, and its analysis and integration into the power system.

She has in the past served as a Chair of EPRI’s Energy Storage Integration Council and as a board of director for the Energy Storage Association. She’s also gained industry experience at UTC Fuel Cells ad Stone & Webster Engineering Corp. 

Eva was the project manager for the EPRI Smart Grid Integrated Distributed Energy Resources project deployed in FirstEnergy’s New Jersey distribution company, JCP&L. She also has experience in handling JCP&L’s renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, the solar e-business of GPU Solar and she has provided technical guidance for the Ballard Generation Systems fuel cell power plant development.

Eva holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University and an MBA from the University of Hartford.

Hemalatha Annamalai - Founder and CEO, Ampere Vehicles Pvt. Ltd.

Hemalatha is the founder and CEO of Ampere Vehicles Pvt. Ltd, a wholly-owned electric mobility subsidiary of Greaves Cotton. The Coimbatore-based company that manufactures electric cycles, scooters, loaders for carrying the load, and special purpose vehicles (SPVs) for waste management. She hopes to empower women and create jobs in manufacturing using sustainable and disruptive technologies. Hemalatha’s aim is to increase women's workforce from the current 30% of her workforce to 80% in the coming years. She wants Ampere to grow into a national leader in E-mobility through lean engineering.

Hemalatha is the recipient of the Devi Award. She has also received the Exemplary Application of IT Award presented by the State Government of Tamil Nadu and the Disruptor of Tamil Nadu award in the manufacturing category.

Jacqueline DeRosa - Vice President Battery Energy Storage Systems, Ameresco

Jacque DeRosa is the Vice President of Battery Energy Storage Systems at Ameresco, a leading renewable energy and energy efficiency company based in Massachusetts. She has more than 25 years of experience in energy policy, regulatory, reform, energy storage consulting and commercial project development.

At Ameresco, Framingham office she strategically drives energy storage project opportunities, developing a business plan for storage-projects. Prior to Ameresco, Jacque served as the board member of the Energy Storage Association (ESA) and came with a rich market and industry experience after working with companies like Customized Energy Solutions (CES), California ISO, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Jacque began her career at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

During her tenure at CES, Philadelphia, the company was recognized by the ESA with the Brad Roberts Outstanding Industry Achievement Award. Jacque holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Rutgers University and an MBA in International Business from the George Washington University School of Business.

Janice Lin – Founder and CEO of Strategen

Janice Lin is the founder and CEO of Strategen. She has been in the consulting business for decades and has a track record of advising a diverse range of clients starting with renewable energy technology and service providers to utilities and non-governmental organizations such as the World Bank.

In 2014, Janice co-founded the Global Energy Storage Alliance (GESA) and she currently serves on the Board of Directors and as the Chair of the Executive Committee. Prior to GESA, she co-founded the California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA) in 2009, where she completed 10 successful years building the organization and making it a voice to reckon with for all matters of energy storage in the state and beyond.

Her areas of expertise include clean energy strategy, product, and new market strategies, business development, regulatory affairs, strategic partnerships, investor relations, and customer finance. Janice launched the Green Hydrogen Coalition, an education non-profit devoted to transitioning to a carbon-free energy supply with renewable hydrogen.

Janice’s contributions have won her several awards, to name a few, she won the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year Cleanie Award. She also won the 2014 NAATBATT Market Development Award and the ESA 2013 Phil Symons Energy Storage Award.

Dr. Judith Jeevarajan – Research Director, Underwriter’s Laboratories Inc.

Dr. Judith Jeevarajan is a Research Director at Underwriters Laboratories Inc. She has over 15 years of experience with a focus on Lithium-ion chemistry and battery chemistry.

Prior to joining Underwriter’s Laboratories Inc, Judith worked as a senior scientist at NASA-Johnson Space Center in Houston for eight years and was later the Battery Group Lead for Battery Safety and Advanced Technology there. At NASA-JSC she was responsible for approving all batteries for crewed space flight. She joined NASA as a civil servant in 2003, and in the initial years, she worked on-site at NASA-JSC for Lockheed Martin Space Operations before rising to the position of Lead for the Battery Group.

Judith completed her MS in Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame and Ph.D. in Electrochemistry from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, US. She later worked as a postdoctoral fellow for a year at Texas A&M University on NASA Li-ion battery projects.

Judith Judson – Vice President, Distributed Energy Systems at Ameresco

Judith Judson is the Vice President, Distributions Energy Systems at Ameresco. She joined Ameresco from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Energy Resources (MassDOER) where she served as a commissioner in the Department of Energy Resources for close to five years.

Judith is credited for launching the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program with the objective of doubling the amount of distributed solar in the state of Massachusetts. She is also been instrumental in the launch of a USD 20 million Energy Storage Initiative in 2015, which is a short span of four years, enhanced storage development in Massachusetts from 1 MWh of storage capacity to over 700 MWh.

Judith has more than 10 years of experience in the field of energy policies and program implementation with a combination of policy, regulatory, project and business development experience. She has successfully led and advocated for market regulations and legislations at the regional, state and federal level.

In addition to her industry experience, Judith serves as the chairman of the Energy Efficient Advisory Council in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She’s also the board member of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Inc.

Judith completed her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Kettering University and holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School.

Julia Hamm – President & CEO at Smart Electric Power Alliance

Julia Hamm is the president and CEO of the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC that offers solar energy, storage, and advisory services. SEPA serves customers in the United States. Julia is also the Chairman of the Board of Clean Energy Leadership Institute. 

Prior to SEPA, Julia served in various capacities at the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP), Grid Alternatives MidAtlantic and E Source, Keystone Policy Center and the National Energy Foundation (US).

Julia has close to 15 years of experience in advising and collaborating with utilities, manufacturers and government authorities on RE and energy efficiency strategies and programs. She is reckoned as one of the world’s leading experts on the nexus between utilities and solar energy.

In her role as SEPA head, Julia oversees and directs SEPA’s research, education, and collaboration activities over 900 member companies. Her unique expertise is the business models and solar programs of more than 400 utilities throughout the U.S., as well as utilities in Europe and Asia.

Dr. Julia Song – Co-founder & CTO at Energy Storage Systems (ESS) Inc.

Dr. Julia Song is the co-founder of ESS Inc. and the company’s Chief Technology Officer. As the CTO of ESS Julia led the company's technical activities on grid-scale energy storage systems based on ESS' all-iron redox flow battery technology. She’s also responsible for leading the company’s patent and IP activities.

Prior to joining ESS, Julia was the VP, Research and Development at ClearEdge Power Inc., where she led more than 20 cross-functional scientists and engineers corporate R&D projects and the commercialization of the 5 kW Combined Heat and Power Fuel Cell system.

Her expertise includes redox flow batteries, fuel cells, batteries, electrochemistry, material degradation, and mitigation and the catalysis properties of nanoparticles.

Julia holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Peking University and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Katherine Hamilton - Co-founder and Chair at 38 North Solutions

Katherine Hamilton is a co-founder and Chair at 38 North Solutions, a public policy firm focused on clean energy and innovation. Prior to her current role, Katherine served as the president of GridWise Alliance and advocated for about USD 5 billion in funding for smart grid projects in the Recovery Act. She has also served as a policy advisor for Good Energies Inc. 

Katherine’s unique contribution to the renewable energy sector includes, her time co-directing the American Bioenergy Association, where she advocated the creation of renewable portfolio standards for the states of Maryland and New Jersey.

Among her many accomplishments, she was named an Ambassador to the Secretary of Energy’s Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) under the Clean Energy Ministerial. She’s also the co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Advanced Energy Technologies, and she’s served on the Board of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic.

Katherine completed her electrical engineering at Northern Virginia Community College, and she holds a double master’s degree from Cornell University and the Université Paris-Sorbonne.

Kelly Speakes-Backman - Chief Executive Office, Energy Storage Association (ESA)

Kelly Speakes-Backman is the first-ever CEO of the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA). Prior to stepping into this role at ESA, Kelly was senior vice president of policy and research at the Alliance to Save Energy. She also has served as a commissioner with the Maryland Public Service Commission and as the clean energy director for the Maryland Energy Association. Kelly has been a leader with more than 20 years of experience and much of her work has been focused on energy storage and environment, specifically speaking, the regulatory structures affecting generation, reliability, sustainability, and renewable energy business strategies.

In September 2019, she won the Cleanie Awards Woman of the Year, an award that recognizes innovation, excellence and business leadership in the cleantech industry.

Maria Skyllas–Kazacos – Emeritus Professor at the University of New South Wales, Sydney

Maria Skyllas–Kazacos is a chemical engineer and a professor in the School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia. She is renowned globally for her groundbreaking work on the vanadium redox battery which she developed at the University of New South Wales in the 80s. Her designs which were later patented, used sulfuric acid electrolytes.

Among her many scientific and academic accomplishments, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to the field of science and technology, specifically, for the development of vanadium redox battery as an alternative power source.

Maria holds an Industrial Chemistry Engineering degree from UNSW and a doctorate degree from UNSW’s School of Chemical Technology. Maria worked as a post-doc fellowship at Bell Laboratories in the U.S. and during her time at the labs, she discovered soluble lead-ions in the charging and discharging reactions of a lead-acid battery. Her paper about the discovery was awarded the Royal Australian Chemical Institute’s Bloom-Gutmann Prize for the best young author under 30.

Her research and professional interests include metal extraction and molten salts, battery research, electrode processes, and electrode materials and membranes for electrochemical systems.

Mary Hendriks - Industry Executive, Australia Energy Storage Alliance

Mary Hendriks is an Industry Executive of the Australian Energy Storage Alliance. She has more than 10 years of experience in the clean energy sector and prior to taking on the role at the Australian Energy Storage Alliance in 2014, she worked with the Renewable Cities Australia, the Australian Solar Council, All-Energy Australia and also coordinated Australian-government funded program, aimed at building entrepreneurship in small business.

Mary holds a degree in Science from the Australian National University and has tirelessly pushed the mission towards the transition from traditional to renewable energy. Her specialties are energy storage advocacy, thought leadership with a special interest in the Internet of Energy (IoEn). She also provides consultancy services for businesses seeking to work in the renewable energy industry with a focus on energy storage solutions through her own company GoBizGreen.

Apart from being an Industry Executive, she also serves as a conference advisor for the annual Australian Energy Storage Conference.

Mirunalini Chellappan – Head of HHV Solar (PV Module Division of SWELECT)

Mirunalini Chellappan is the Director at SWELECT Energy Systems Ltd a Karnataka-based leading solar power systems company. Mirunalini began her career as a Product Development Engineer at SWELECT in 2008 and rose from ranks to become Director in 2017. She currently heads the of HHV Solar (PV Module Division of SWELECT) Solar Products and Special Projects.

Mirunalini holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Anna University.

Netra Walawalkar – Founder & Director, India Markets; Customized Energy Solutions (India) and Director, Strategic Partnerships, IESA

Netra Walawalkar is the founding member of Customized Energy Solutions India operation and Director of India Markets at CES. Netra has more than 15 years of experience in the Energy sector and helps manage commercial and industrial consumers' energy portfolios profitably. At CES India, she leads CES’s participation in the India Energy Exchange for Energy trading and REC trading. She is also involved in developing the bidding strategy for energy market participants to maximize their profits. Netra has been active in the analysis of various commercial energy storage projects in the US & India. She’s developed optimization programs to maximize profits of energy storage systems by participation in energy, capacity and ancillary service markets. She also spearheaded the demand response team’s service expansion into challenging areas such as ancillary services, by supporting the development of custom applications and automation projects by understanding the client's needs and market rules. Her expertise spans multiple electricity markets

Additionally, Netra manages strategic partnerships of India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), that is committed to the advancement of energy storage, renewable (solar and wind) integration, microgrids, e-mobility and emerging technologies in India.

Netra has also been instrumental in heading the publication's efforts at CES, particularly Emerging Technology News – a bimonthly magazine that publishes research and feature stories of interests for the renewable energy, storage, and cleantech community. She is also the host of Emerging Tech Radio (ETR), a weekly podcast that features veteran business leaders, policymakers, researchers and entrepreneurs active in the field of energy, e-mobility, and other emerging technologies space.

Netra holds an MBA degree from Drexel University, Philadelphia and an electronics engineering degree from the University of Mumbai.

Nidhi Agarwal – Principal Scientist and Senior Manager Pluss Advanced Technologies

Nidhi Agrawal is a researcher with more than 12 years of experience in industrial R&D. Nidhi has an M. Phil in Organic Chemistry from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and her expertise includes commercialization of products from the R&D stage through the innovation process to new concepts. She is also experienced at setting up analytical and R&D laboratory.

Nidhi currently works as a principal scientist and senior manager at Pluss Advanced Technologies based in Haryana. Pluss is a Gurgaon-based material research and manufacturing organization involved in the field of specialty polymeric additives and phase change materials for thermal energy storage. Nidhi has worked at Pluss in various roles and capacities for almost a decade.

Nina Munzke – Team Lead Stationary Energy Storage Systems, at Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Germany

Nina Munzke is a Team Leader of Stationary Storage Systems at Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Germany.

Her research and work interests include managing projects in the field of stationary energy storage as well as for dimensioning and simulation of stationary storage systems. She has also been a project manager of the “Safety First” project – that investigated 20 commercial home storage systems for safety, performance and network usability. Nina has also been responsible for software programming of an intelligent control system for the stationary PV battery storage.

Nina holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Hochschule Reutlingen and a Master of Science in Renewable Raw Materials and Regenerative Energy from the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany.

Patricia Phillips – Former Executive Director of Energy Storage Canada

Patricia Phillips is an independent consultant and advisor with experience in energy, financial services and consulting in both private and public sectors. She has more than 15 years of experience in building capabilities for organizations, developing business and marketing strategies. 

Among her many contributions to the field of renewable energy, Patricia has advised Energy Storage Canada on growth and advocacy approaches. She served as the founding Executive Director of Energy Storage Canada (ESC). She founded ESC, with a view to serve as a national trade association to an emerging new sector that links carbon reduction, economic development, and clean energy and technology together.

As ESC’s Executive Director, Patricia led all aspects of its functioning from advocacy to marketing and managing member development and engagement. Patricia holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and Schulich School of Business.

Prabhjot Kaur - Senior Advisor, Centre for Battery Engineering and Electric Vehicles; Co-founder and CEO at Esmito Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Prabhjot Kaur is a senior advisor at the Centre for Battery Engineering and Electric Vehicles and is the Co-founder and CEO of Esmito Solution Pvt. Ltd. Esmito is housed at IIT Madras and offers SaaS, a cloud-based platform that enables real-time monitoring, control, and management of EV Infrastructure. The platform spans charging and swapping management, battery performance analytics, EV operations management, driver management, advanced billing, data analytics, web, and mobile apps and can effectively integrate with any third-party system. She has been proactively working in the battery engineering and electric vehicle space in India and her efforts have been focused on the translation of R&D to commercialization.

Prabhjot holds B. Tech in Electronics and Communications Engineering from the Punjab Technical University and MS in Electric Product Design & Technology from Punjab Engineering College. She completed her Ph.D. from the National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar.

Rachna Vidhi – NextEra Energy Resources

Rachna Vidhi is a Sr. Project Manager at NextEra Energy Resources and renewable energy professional with extensive experience in energy storage, photovoltaic and concentrated solar thermal and fuel cells.

At NextEra Energy Resources, Rachna manages project development of renewable and storage integration projects and determines the best renewable solutions that can solve the future energy needs.

Prior to the current role, Rachna spearheaded engineering design and construction of energy storage projects integrated with solar and other renewable energy technologies. She also provided technical due diligence for the development of energy storage projects totaling USD 50 Million dollars.

Rachna holds a bachelor’s degree in Energy Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Florida. Her doctoral research focused on power generation from solar thermal, geothermal and waste heat. Rachna also secured a master’s degree in Management from Harvard University. 

Ramya Swaminathan – CEO at Malta Inc.

Ramya Swaminathan is the CEO at Malta Inc based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to joining Malta, she was associated with Rye Development, where she was CEO, co-founder, and Member of the Board of FFP New Hydro.

Under her stewardship, Rye Development scaled to new heights becoming the leading developer of new hydropower projects in the United States. She was also responsible for the expansion of Rye’s platform into energy storage, with the addition of two sizable pumped hydro storage development projects in the Pacific Northwest. Ramya has experience leading multi-disciplinary teams, with specialists in engineering and construction, regulatory and environmental aspects, and power marketing. 

Ramya holds a master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Amherst College, Massachusetts.

Rashi Gupta - Founder, Vision Mechatronics

Rashi Gupta is the founder of Vision Mechatronics, a company that provides advanced and smart lithium batteries manufactured in India for both commercial and domestic use and in electric vehicles. Today, she is fondly known as "Batterywali of India". Rashi is a Pioneer in India in Advanced Lithium Batteries bringing the “World’s Smartest Lithium Battery" to India.

She is a committee member of the International Electro-Technical Commission, National Energy Storage Committee, FICCI and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) where she has been involved in preparing Indian Standards for electrotechnical aspects of totally or partly electrically propelled road vehicles.

Her company operates in robotics, renewable energy, and Li-ion energy storage and provides storage solutions for solar requirements. Its products include OneBox, Li-rack system, Li-Rack Eco, Li-V, Joulie, Joulie + and CELPAK.

Rashmi Urdhwareshe - Director, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI)

Rashmi Urdhwareshe is the Director of the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). She joined ARAI as a trainee and has risen through ranks to become the director at the company. Rashi completed her post-graduate in electronic engineering from the College of Engineering, Pune, and soon after opted for a research position in instrumentation at ARAI in 1983. In 1986 she received UNDP fellowship to Germany to train in instrumentation development, where she was exposed to a systematic approach to R&D of projects, application of electronics in automotive and learned to lead a team at an R&D center of a renowned vehicle maker in Germany.

At ARAI, some of her noteworthy contributions include the development of electronic controls of hydraulic testing machines which were used extensively to set up of fatigue test laboratory at ARAI. She has also contributed towards emission measurements under which the first-ever emission laboratory was formed in India, which later resulted in bringing in various CO2 emission regulations in the country.

Shore Lin – Managing Director at China Energy Storage Alliance (CESA)

Shore Lin is the Managing Director at China Energy Storage Alliance (CESA). Shore has led CESA for close to a decade since she joined the organization in 2009 and during her tenure, she strongly pushed for the application of energy storage in the power industry. Shore’s expertise includes research, consulting, business development and marketing communications.

Prior to CESA, Shore has worked with IBM China and she also briefly ventured into independent consulting business through Future Base International Consulting.

Shore holds an MBA degree from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

Shubhra Mohanka - Director, Galo Energy Pvt. Ltd.

Shubhra Mohanka heads the Galo Energy, a business of Gautam Solar – one of the largest manufacturers of solar lights in India. She joined the company in 2005 when Gautam Polymers was a leading component supplier in the Indian solar industry. She led the initiative for the manufacturing of completed solar lights and branded it ‘solid solar’. Under her stewardship, Gautam Polymers became India’s largest solar lights manufacturer, reaching more than 1000 Indian villages and non-profits organizations -- electrifying rural non-electricity connected villages.

Shubhra has more than 17 years of experience in the solar industry in the off-grid sector, working in renewable energy access for rural, tier 2 and tier 3 regions in India. Galo Energy provides 100% made in India lithium battery packs, solar panels, solar lights, and solar pumps.

Sulajja Firodia Motwani - Founder and CEO of Kinetic Green Energy & Power Solutions

Sulajja Firodia Motwani is the Vice Chairperson of Kinetic Engineering Limited and Founder & CEO of Kinetic Green Energy & Power Solutions Ltd. The Kinetic Group under her leadership expanded from being a mere moped manufacturer to a manufacturer providing a comprehensive range of two-wheelers including mopeds, scooters to motorcycles. Sulajja has also been a major push behind the group’s decision to expand its activities into automotive systems and green energy. Following the mission of adopting green energy, she founded Kinetic Green Energy and Power Solutions, with the view to serve an expert in green mobility and EVs and bring this technology to the wider audience through the launch of electric autos, taxis, and buggies.

Sulajja has a graduation degree in Commerce and holds an MBA degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

Sulajja has received several awards for her pioneering initiatives at the company. She was awarded India Today magazine’s title of business Face of the Millennium award. It ranked her among the top twenty-five business entrepreneur in the country. Sulajja was also presented with the Society Young Achiever`s award for Business in the year 2002. In 2003, she was awarded the Young Super Achiever Award by Business Today magazine. She has been selected by the World Economic Forum as a Global Leader of Tomorrow and Young Global Leader.

Dr. Sunita Satyapal – Director, Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program & Fuel Cell Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy

Dr. Sunita Satyapal is the Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Sunita manages the overall strategy and execution of hydrogen and fuel cell activities including the management of more than USD 100 million per year R&D programs and staff.

She has cumulative two and a half decades of experience in the industry, academia, and government. Some of her prior positions have been at the Department of Energy (DoE) and United Technologies Research Center and at UTC Fuel Cells in Connecticut. Sunita has also worked as a visiting assistant professor at Vassar College and a visiting scientist at Columbia University. Apart from hydrogen and fuel cell research, Amanda has worked in various energy-related technologies, such as laser diagnostics in photodissociation and the combustion of chemical warfare agents.

Sunita holds a doctorate in Physical Chemistry from Columbia University and completed her post-doctoral work in Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University.

Svati Bhogle – Founder of Sustaintech India Private Limited and TIDE; Chairperson CLEAN

Svati Bhogle is the founder and MD of Sustaintech India Private Limited (SIPL) based in Madurai, Tamil Nadu and Chief Executive of Technology Informatics Design Endeavour (TIDE) an environment-focused non-profit founded with the intention to serve as a link between research and grassroots. TIDE’s work focuses on water, women, and livelihoods. She’s also the chairperson of Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN), a network of professionals active in the distributed renewable energy space.

SIPL addresses the commercial cooking stove market in small towns, rural areas, and semi-urban areas. Through its product line up under the brand PYRO, the company offers a range of environmentally friendly fuel-efficient cooking stoves.

Svati holds M.Tech in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. 

Dr. Shirley Meng – Professor at University of California, San Diego

Dr. Shirley Meng is a materials scientist and professor of NanoEngineering and Material Science at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Shirley currently holds the Zable Endowed Chair Professor in Energy Technologies and is the founding Director of Sustainable Power and Energy Center – an interdisciplinary faculty member group at UCSD focused on making advances in energy storage and distributed energy generations and the accompanying integration management systems.

She is reckoned for her work in the field of energy storage, battery, nanomaterials, electrochemistry, and material characterization. In addition to her academic and research involvement, she serves as the executive board member and secretary for battery division at the Electrochemical Society and the executive board member for the International Battery Association (IBA). She is the technical editor for the Journal of Power Sources and serves as the Editor-in-Chief for MRS Energy & Sustainability – a publication that disseminates research and information that interests materials and energy storage community.

Shirley studied material engineering at the Nanyang Technological University and received her Ph.D. in advance materials for micro and nanosystems from the Singapore-MIT Alliance in 2005. Following her doctorate, she worked as a postdoc research fellow and became a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

She received several awards for contribution in the field of energy storage and sustainability the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2013, Science Award Electrochemistry by BASF and Volkswagen in 2014, Charles W. Tobias Award by the Electrochemical Society in 2016, the IUMRS-Singapore Young Scientist Research Award in 2017, the Inaugural Young Career Award in 2018 by the American Chemical Society ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces Young Investigator Award 2018, International Coalition for Energy Storage and Innovation (ICESI) and IBA 2019 Research Award of International Battery Materials Association.

IESA wishes you all a very happy women’s day!

We recognize that celebrating the work of women leaders in clean energy, emerging technology, and the storage sector is an ongoing process. If you know someone whose work merits attention, please reach out to us, and we would be more than happy to feature them in future posts.