Advisory Board

~BIOGRAPHIES~

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Jeff Anderson

Advisory Board Chairperson

President of MicroByer
Director of Activation Energy / Former CEO of CalCharge

Jeff is a serial entrepreneur and senior manager with over 20 years of experience in creating and growing organizations that accelerate the adoption of sustainable technologies.  He is currently the President & Co-Founder of MicroByre, an industrial biotech company, which domesticates novel strains of bacteria to sustainably produce chemicals currently made from petroleum. Recently he served as the founding Managing Director of Activation Energy, the non-profit that jointly operates the Cyclotron Road sustainable technology accelerator program with Berkeley Lab. Prior to that he was the founding President of CalCharge, an energy storage research consortium, and a Managing Director of the California Clean Energy Fund.

 

Jeff holds a Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Columbia University, a Master of Laws degree in Environmental and Energy law (LL.M.) from Pace University School of Law, and a law degree (J.D.) from Thomas M. Cooley School of Law.  As an undergraduate, he attended Michigan State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree (B.A.) in International Relations. 

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Neil Struthers

Advisory Board Member

Retired Head Building Trades - San Jose, CA
Chief Executive Officer - Atomic Ranch Co 

Neil Struthers is the recently retired head of the Santa Clara and San Benito County Building Trades. During his twelve year tenure, he oversaw over $8 billion dollars in completed construction and managed many high profile projects including the $900 million 49ers Stadium and the $3 billion Apple Campus, as well as major public infrastructure projects throughout Silicon Valley.

Neil's position frequently required establishing entitlements and permits to begin major projects such as Levi's Stadium, the local BART extension, the San Jose Convention Center and numerous corporate campuses. These project initiatives included codifying the terms and conditions for approval as well as leading collective bargaining agreements between project stakeholder representatives and local building trade contractors.

Presently, Neil owns and operates the Atomic Ranch Co which is in the early stages of developing electrical grid independent, net zero energy communities. These communities will be natural disaster resistant and further boast water and food positivity for community members. In other words, fully self-sufficient communities.

Neil is confident his experience and input to SunTrain will ensure the entitlements and construction of a SunTrain Compatible Solar Generator is carefully managed and straightforward.  

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Doug Avery

Advisory Board Member

Retired: Design & Engineering at Southern California Edison
Formerly: Project Manager at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Doug Avery is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM), with over 40 years of experience in the invest owned utility space. Prior to retiring July 1, 2021 Doug served as President and Co-Chair of the California Energy Alliance (CEA). He also was the Co-Chair of the statewide management team
for the California Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program, (CALCTP).

 

Doug was one of the main leaders in the creation of this Green Energy Job’s Creation program that was funded in partnership with Southern California Edison (SCE), IBW/NECA, the State of California, UC Davis's California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC), PG&E, Sempra, SMUD, and the California Community Colleges.

 

Lastly, Doug was a founding member of The Living Lab, a research and
educational effort pioneering cutting edge DC-to-DC technology and new methods of energy transmission. Funding for The Living Lab came from the Electric Training Institute (ETI) and the LA Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

Doug's expertise and industry connections will ensure coordination with utilities, grid-operators, and energy regulators is streamlined to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy and regulatory pitfalls.

Dr. Chris E. Forest

Contributing Author // Advisory Board Member

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Ph.D in Meteorology
University of Wisconsin-Madison: Mathematic, Physics, Engineering

Chris has a B.S. in Applied Mathematics, Engineering, and Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in Meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served as the lead for the climate science group for the NSF Network for Sustainable Climate Risk Management. He served as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 5th Assessment Report on Chapter 9: Evaluation of Climate Models. He was a review editor on the Climate Science chapter for the 3rd National Climate Assessment report for the US. He has served as Chair of the Topical Group on the Physics of Climate for the American Physical Society and served on committees for the American Meteorological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. He has served as Senior Research Fellow for Project Drawdown relating to Climate Science.

Chris is currently a Professor of Climate Dynamics in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science at The Pennsylvania State University, where he is also an associate in the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute and an affiliate in the Department of Geosciences. He is presently the Director of the Center for Earth System: Modeling, Analysis, and Data at Penn State. His research focuses on quantifying uncertainty in climate predictions and their implications for assessing climate risks. 

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Dr. Dennis W. Thomson

University of Michigan: Ph.D in Physics & Meteorology 

Contributing Author // Advisory Board Member

Denny completed his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in physics and meteorology, respectively.  His first post-doctoral experience included a year at the University of Hamburg, Germany.  He has since accumulated more than five decades of experience specializing in passive and active, remote sensing with surface-based acoustic, and surface, airborne and satellite sensing and reconnaissance systems, and many aspects of atmospheric measurements for studies of energetics and turbulence.  

Some special assignments and national service included many years on advisory panels at National Center of Atmospheric Research and NOAA's Environmental Research Lab, Argonne National Lab, Lawrence-Livermore National Lab, the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, trustee of the Univ. Corporation of Atmospheric Research, several U.S. Army Research Labs, and the National Academy of Science. With commensurate clearances in both Department of Energy and Department of Defense, he also has contributed to the development and operation of several classified analysis, communications, and reconnaissance systems.  

For nearly 70 years Dr. Thomson has had an avocational interest in trains, and railroad technology and history. This, combined with teaching responsibilities in the atmospheric physics of anthropogenically-forced climate change has stimulated his interest, advocacy, and approval of the "SunTrain" technology and operation.

Charlie Spencer

Current: Vice President - DynaPower

Former: Director of Engineering - Morrow Meadows

Advisory Board Member

As the former Director of Engineering & Productivity at Morrow-Meadows, a $600 million annual revenue electrical contractor, Charlie has navigated his company through the ever-evolving energy industry. Throughout his 15 year career at Morrow-Meadows, he has overseen countless cutting edge projects in the green energy, off-grid, and microgrid space. Additionally, Charlie has taken dozens of new electrical components through the Underwriting Labs Certification process, also know as UL Listing.

Charlie is now the Vice President of Division 1 Electrical and PreConstruction at DynaPower and is confident he can consult and assist with the engineering and conformance of SunTrain's custom electrical components through the overall pilot and go-to-market strategy.

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Doug Esposito

Property & Casualty Specialist - Assured Insurance Partners
Property & Casualty Specialist - Owen Dunn Insurance Services

Advisory Board Member

Doug Esposito has been a Property & Casualty Specialist with AssuredPartners-Owen Dunn Insurance Services since 2002 with specific expertise in risk management for the Construction and Renewable Energy industries. As Construction and Energy Practice Lead, Doug serves clients in solar energy & storage, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, roofing, energy efficiency, biomass, and commercial general contractors. In addition to his extensive experience with conventional insurance, Doug is one of AssuredPartners’ experts in alternative risk mechanisms including self-insurance and captive programs, a compelling, yet non-traditional insurance option well-suited for entrepreneurial businesses.

 

Doug focuses on helping clients reduce their overall risks and minimize claims through a proactive culture, HR and safety consulting, which lowers their total cost of insurance. Owen-Dunn has been recognized nationally as experts in captive insurance and alternative risk solutions.

 

Doug holds a BS in Animal Science from North Carolina State University and belongs to the CFMA, California Solar Storage Association and the CCIA.

Bob Eaton

CEO - Day & Night Solar

Advisory Board Member

As the Managing Member of Day&Night Solar, Bob offers all of the services necessary to design, install, finance and maintain boutique utility scale solar arrays. Since opening its doors in early 2009, Day&Night Solar has responded to the rapid demand in the growing solar industry by expanding across the entire United States. 
 
Bob has led the green industry in the engineering of a mobile microgrid where he holds multiple patterns for this product. Day&Night Solar excels when it comes to design build opportunities. Day&Night Solar is confident that the development and operation of a grid independent SunTrain Compatible Solar Array will be yet another specialized, but straightforward solar microgrid engineering project.


Bob has over 35 years of experience in construction, marketing and financial services; to include insurance and investments; with extensive knowledge in implementing and managing numerous national corporate accounts.

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Andrew J. Hall

Cornell University: Masters in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Cornell University: Bachelors in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Advisory Board Member - Future CTO

Andrew attended Cornell University where he focused primarily on energy systems and sustainability. He worked as a research assistant in the Cornell Energy and the Environment Research Laboratory and was published in Environmental Pollution for analyzing the impact of traffic controls, or implementation of EVs, on near-road air pollution in urban environments and was awarded a Verizon Sustainability Fellowship grant. Furthermore, he acted as an engineering lead on the Cornell 100+MPGe team to design and manufacture a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle which was entered in the 2010 Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE Competition.
 

Andrew’s professional experience comes from a decade spent at Bloom Energy in Product Development as both a Mechanical and Systems Engineer bringing their stationary fuel cell power generator to market and, subsequently, through the IPO. His work at Bloom Energy resulted in two patents for characterizing the electrochemical response of fuel cells to detect changes in the incoming utility gas supply, as well as development of specialized sensor technology to optimize overall AC efficiency of the plant. Most recently, Andrew has worked in the stationary energy storage sector designing lithium ion battery systems that integrate with photovoltaics to power telecommunication towers in remote areas in order to stabilize, manage, and/or replace power produced by an existing grid connection or diesel genset.