Leadership

David Johnson, President & CEO

David JohnsonDavid Johnson joined Achates Power in August 2008 as president and CEO. Johnson is leveraging his more than 25 years of industry experience to accelerate development of revolutionary internal combustion engines that provide superior fuel efficiency at lower cost and, ultimately, further the company’s goal of enabling a more sustainable future. Johnson was previously vice president of product operations for military and export markets at Navistar. As program manager for the MaxxProTM line of Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles, he delivered the vehicles in record time and record quantities for deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan to better protect U.S. soldiers. Prior to Navistar, Johnson worked for General Motors and Ford Motor Company. At GM he was program manager and chief engineer for multiple clean-diesel engine programs for Opel, Saab and Renault passenger vehicles. At Ford Motor Company Johnson led the development and launch of the SuperDuty, equipped with an all-new diesel engine. Johnson earned a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Cornell University.


 

Fabien Redon, Executive Vice President, Chief Technical Officer

Fabien Redon

Fabien Redon joined Achates Power in 2009, as the CTO he is responsible for the technical direction of the company. Redon has vast experience in the development of the Opposed-Piston Engine and has been integral for many of the technology programs and development in the company as the vice president for development, and performance and emissions. His many contributions included leading the work that unlocked the opposed-piston engine combustion system, allowing for demonstrable superior performance when compared to four-stroke engines. Before joining Achates Power, Redon was a lead development engineer for General Motors Corporation, where he oversaw the vehicle development of the 4.5L Duramax engine for the U.S. light-duty truck market. Earlier in his career, Redon was an advanced development and application engineer for Detroit Diesel Corporation working on advanced engines and with Freightliner.  Redon earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Florida Institute of Technology, a Master of Engineering in automotive engineering from the University of Michigan and a Master of Business Administration from the University of California, San Diego.

 


Dr. Jerome Paye, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer

Jerome PayeJerome Paye joined Achates Power in 2010. As the chief operating officer, he is responsible for managing the company’s engine development programs with leading global OEMs. He also leads the technical operations of the company: purchasing, manufacturing, material handling, assembly, and testing of opposed-piston engines . Previously, Paye worked for Renault SAS as the pre-program engineering deputy director for electric vehicles. In this role, he led early product development and managed collaboration with Nissan and other global partners. Paye was also Renault’s vehicle engineering deputy director for mid-size current models, overseeing worldwide value engineering and product upgrades for the company’s largest and most profitable vehicle line — which was produced in seven facilities and was distributed in 140 countries. Paye’s more than 20 years of automotive industry experience also includes positions at Ford Motor Company. While there, he was program management leader for the Mustang and launch leader for the 2005 Mustang convertible. In addition, he worked as a production superintendent, plant vehicle team engineer and design and release engineer for North American Car product development. Paye received a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, a Master of Science degree in solid-state physics and a doctorate in physics from the École Polytechnique in France. He also completed postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a joint manufacturing and business master’s degree from the University of Michigan.


Larry Fromm, Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer

Larry FrommLaurence Fromm joined Achates Power in 2004 as the market-facing executive of the company’s founding team. While managing the business development, government relations and marketing for Achates Power, Fromm leads engagements with leading engine, commercial vehicle and passenger vehicle manufacturers around the globe. Prior to Achates Power, Fromm served as CEO of Chaos Telecom, a venture-backed, early-stage company, where he helped create the company’s first product — licensed embedded software for digital subscriber line modems. Prior to Chaos Telecom, Fromm was the vice president of Widcomm, Inc. (sold to Broadcom Corporation), where he managed development of the Bluetooth LAN access point and developed the company’s channel program in Europe, North America and Asia. Previously, Fromm was part of the executive team at Dialogic as the company grew to $400M in annual revenue, went public and was purchased by Intel Corporation. Fromm earned a Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, in computer engineering from the University of Michigan and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.


John S. Major, Jr., Regional Vice President, Midwest Operations

John S. Major, Jr. joined Achates Power in March 2015 as the regional vice president of Midwest operations. He is responsible for initiating, building and growing API’s customer application engineering capability in southeast Michigan. As a geographical benefit to the southeast Michigan footprint, John is also the local lead for supplier development, interface and OEM, TACOM and TARDEC business and relationship development and supports Achates Power’s leadership team on all these fronts. Major brings a mix of small company leadership and big company engineering and program experience to the leadership team; most recently, he managed the transition from U.S. to foreign ownership for a small military optics company in New York. Previous to that experience, John was the U.S. chief operating officer for an Israeli vehicular armor integrator, designer and manufacturer. John began his career at Ford Motor Company, where he lived and worked in joint ventures in Japan and Turkey during his ten year tenure, and he served as the E-series vehicle engineering manager as his last role at Ford. During his five years at Navistar, Major worked in Navistar Defense, was a founding leadership team member of the NC2 joint venture between Navistar and Caterpillar and helped revamp RV product and program process as Monaco’s vice president of engineering and product development. John has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

 


Carol Mottershead, Vice President, Finance and Administration

Carol Mottershead joined Achates power in 2014 to lead the Finance and Administration functions, responsible for HR, payroll, accounting, pricing, revenue and cash flow performance and administration. Mottershead has extensive experience in financial reporting and leadership, as well as directing government contracts and reporting. She was previously controller at Trofholz Technologies, Inc., responsible for payroll, procurement, pricing, budgeting and forecasting, accounting and administration. While at Trofholz, she developed revenue and cash flow forecasting tools and  worked collaboratively to manage compliance with Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and contract budgets.  Prior positions include senior finance roles at Purple Communications (formally Hands on Video Relay Services & Goamerica, Inc.) and NIC Conquest, Inc, NIC Technologies, Inc. She holds a bachelor of science in Business Administration from San Jose State University.


CJ Kalebjian, Vice President, Development

Christopher (CJ) Kalebjian, vice president of development joined Achates Power in 2011 as a senior development engineer in the performance and emissions department. His contributions included analysis, controls development, calibration, and testing of the company’s opposed-piston, two-stroke engine. Some key areas of focus were on developing a strategy to achieve very low emissions levels and high exhaust temperatures for catalyst light-off; which fed into a base emissions calibration offering significant improvement in fuel economy for a light duty engine platform. Moving forward he became the Chief Engineer and Program Manager for Achates Power’s military business. The initial military project’s success led to the Advanced Combat Engine program, which is currently under development. To date this project’s success put the engine on the path to change the powertrain landscape for the military. Now as the vice president of development, Kalebjian is responsible for the development and demonstration of all engine programs.

Prior to Achates Power, Kalebjian spent more than five years as a diesel calibration engineer at General Motors where he oversaw performance, drivability and emissions for the current and future GM diesel pick-up platforms—including the Duramax engine used in U.S. light-duty trucks. Before that, he worked as a systems application engineer for Visteon Corporation, a leading global automotive supplier. While there, he led a team of hardware and software engineers in the creation of a next-generation powertrain control module, from concept to production intent. Kalebjian began his career at Ford Motor Company as a product design engineer responsible for developing innovative throttle bodies for several different engines.

He received a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Cornell University’s Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.


Dnyanesh Sapkal, Vice President, Mechanical Systems

Dnyanesh SapkalDnyanesh Sapkal joined Achates Power in October 2013 as vice president of mechanical systems. In this role, he is responsible for design, analysis and mechanical development of the Achates Power opposed-piston, two-stroke engine hardware. He also manages a team of engineers to ensure the product design robustness by utilizing modern analytical tools and demonstrating results through dynamometer testing. Sapkal has 21 years of light-, medium- and heavy-duty powertrain design experience, along with 17 years of experience in diesel and gasoline engine design, and he most recently worked as the department manager of commercial engines and advanced applications design at FEV Inc. in Auburn Hills, Michigan. While there, he managed the teams responsible for design and development of various powertrains including gasoline, diesel and dual fuel engines as well as automotive hybrid transmissions and wind turbine gear boxes. His tenure at FEV also included positions as a supervisor and senior lead engineer. Prior, Sapkal was the senior design and release engineer at Ford Motor Co., where he was responsible for design and development of the automatic transmission servo–hydraulics components. He began his career as an engineering manager at Mahindra in Mumbai, India where he oversaw the design and development of medium-duty diesel engines and also led various product development teams in the powertrain engineering department. Sapkal is a Six Sigma Green Belt and received his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, where he graduated with honors. Sapkal has also undergone a comprehensive management and leadership training program at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore.


Dr. Gerhard Regner, Vice President, Performance and Emissions

Gerhard RegnerDr. Gerhard Regner is responsible for performance and emissions development of the Achates Power opposed-piston, two-stroke engine, including technology advances and support for customer projects. He joined the company in July 2009 as the applications engineering leader before being promoted to director a year later. In January 2013, he was named the vice president of performance and emissions. Prior to Achates Power, Dr. Regner worked for AVL Powertrain Engineering Inc. in Plymouth, Michigan, as the skill team leader for thermodynamics and CFD. His responsibilities included overseeing the analysis of internal combustion engine performance and emissions as well as cooling and lube circuits’ performance using one- and three-dimensional simulation code. He also managed vehicle performance simulations. Before that, Dr. Regner was a senior project engineer for AVL List GmbH in Graz, Austria, where he oversaw engine performance and emissions simulations on heavy-duty on- and off-road engines and engines for passenger car applications; natural gas pre- and non-pre-chamber engines for gas compressors and gensets; diesel engines for locomotives; direct injection gasoline engines with homogenous and stratified injection strategies; and many other applications of reciprocating piston machines. Dr. Regner has authored and co-authored a number of technical papers for the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International and presented at technical symposiums in the U.S., Europe and Japan. He received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Hoehere Technische Bundeslehranstalt Kapfenberg in Austria. He went on to earn his master’s degree in mechanical engineering and his doctorate in internal combustion engines from Technische Universität in Graz, Austria.