David Johnson, President & CEO
David 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.
Dr. James Lemke, Founder and Chief Scientist
Dr. James Lemke is a serial entrepreneur with a history of founding and leading companies to successful exits and a personal passion for science, engineering and education. He founded Achates Power in 2004 with an idea that would revolutionize the automotive industry by revitalizing the opposed-piston, two-stroke engine. As an influential physicist holding more than 100 patents, Lemke understood that the rapidly increasing shortage of fuel and greater need for emissions reduction meant the world needed a solution. That solution came in a 1930s-era engine architecture that demonstrated great potential, but momentum had dissipated when the tools of the time could not produce an efficient version. Lemke knew the tools and the talent were now available to answer the transportation crisis. He started Achates Power with a collection of the brightest engineers and scientists with the condition that ideas and discourse flow unabated and the expectation that each fulfill their utmost potential. While amassing top talent in the industry, Lemke’s vision began to manifest results. However, instead of an engine that only moderately answered the need for efficiency, the Achates Power engine realized a more than 30 percent fuel efficiency improvement compared to the industry’s best diesel engines and nearly double the fuel efficiency of a standard gasoline engine at lower emissions levels and at 10 percent lower cost. While Lemke always believed in the engine’s viability, now the results have shown the industry the potential economic savings of trillions of dollars per year on fuel and components, and billions of gallons of fuel saved per year.
Prior to starting Achates Power, Lemke was the CEO and founder of Spin Physics Inc., which developed and patented magnetic recording transducers that employ unique magnetic materials instrumental to broadcast TV recording. At one time, 50 percent of the broadcast hours on television worldwide were recorded on Spin Physics’ magnetic heads. Lemke sold the company to Eastman Kodak and became a fellow of the Kodak Research Labs. Earlier in his career, Lemke was the research director of Bell and Howell Research, as well as an adjunct professor at the University of California, San Diego. He holds more than 100 patents with the U.S. patent office. Lemke is a member of the National Academy of Engineering as well as a fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Lemke earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Illinois Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in physics from Northwestern University and a doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
John Koszewnik, Chief Technical Officer
John Koszewnik joined Achates Power in June 2011 as chief technical officer. In this role, Koszewnik leverages his nearly 40 years of experience in the powertrain industry to further the development of Achates Power’s clean, efficient internal combustion engine design. He is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering. Koszewnik was previously director of production development for FEV Inc., an engineering services and consulting company, where he was responsible for ensuring that all functional requirements, quality, cost and timing of production programs were met. He also supported product development and strategic study projects for the automotive, heavy truck, locomotive and powertrain component supply industries. Prior to FEV, Koszewnik was a senior vice president at Case New Holland, an agricultural and construction equipment manufacturer, where he managed 10 engineering centers worldwide. Prior to Case New Holland, Koszewnik was at Ford Motor Co. for 30 years, most recently as director of North American Diesel. In this role, he improved quality and customer satisfaction with the power stroke diesel engine and implemented design and manufacturing strategies that resulted in significant cost savings. While at Ford, Koszewnik also was responsible for the engine engineering of all Ford’s gasoline V6, V8 and V10 engines. Koszewnik earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in general management from Harvard University.
Larry Fromm, Vice President, Global Business and Strategy Development
Laurence 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. In addition to his responsibilities with Achates Power, Fromm is a board member of NCast Inc., a company developing a webcasting Internet appliance, as well as a steering committee member of CommNexus NextStage, a nonprofit industry organization that mentors early stage companies through an entrepreneur advisory program. 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.
Fabien Redon, Vice President, Technology Development
Fabien Redon joined Achates Power in 2009 and is now the vice president of technology development. In this role, Redon is responsible for advancing the state-of-the-art Achates Power opposed-piston, two-stroke engine as well as preserving the organization’s technical leadership. Formerly, he was the vice president of performance and emissions development and oversaw support for customer projects and combustion development. 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. While there, he coordinated the integration of advanced light-duty diesel engines, and was responsible for the Mercedes medium-duty diesel engine application for 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, Vice President, Programs and Operations
Jerome Paye joined Achates Power in 2010. As the vice president of programs and operations, he is responsible for managing the company’s engine development programs with leading global OEMs. He also created and implemented the current product development system at Achates Power. 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 14 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.
Dnyanesh Sapkal, Vice President, Mechanical Systems
Dnyanesh 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
Dr. 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.