David Stone, PhD, CTO
Dr. Stone is the founder of Iron Shell Material Technologies and the inventor of Ferrock and Polymiron. He studied environmental iron chemistry at the University of Arizona and it was there that he made the initial discovery of Ferrock in 2006, which was subsequently patented. Since then he has focused on practical applications of the Iron Carbonation Process for multiple benefits including carbon capture and solid waste recycling as well as product manufacture. As part of this effort, he spent 8 years doing field trials using Ferrock on the Tohono O'odham Nation funded by multi-year grants from the EPA, USDA, and NSF (totaling nearly $800,000). Since then he has invented another iron-based, carbon-negative material called Polymiron and has expanded the range of applications for these composites beyond construction. This includes utilizing the hydrogen and fuel gas by-products of the curing reactions for energy conversion systems. He now is focused full time on commercializing these green material technologies through the Iron Shell venture.
Bill VerDuin, CEO
Mr. VerDuin is a mechanical engineer and currently a commercialization partner at the University of Arizona's Tech Launch Arizona. He is versed in technology commercialization and application, and technology-enabled economic development. His career accomplishments include restoring $21 million funding for State of Ohio Third Frontier Program technology-based economic development program (WCSSE), utilizing Third Frontier expertise to support State of Oklahoma economic development program (EDGE), and commercializing university spinoff technology. He has identified market needs and application opportunities through interactions with customer operations staff through C-level management, and has successfully funded development, demonstration and application of technology through Federal, state and private sources. VerDuin has built effective teams and is comfortable working in business, academic and government cultural environments. He also brings general management, development/marketing/sales and fundraising skills.
Tech Launch Arizona, The University of Arizona
Iron Shell Material Technologies has long been strongly supported by Tech Launch Arizona, the technology commercialization arm of the University of Arizona. Without them this venture would never have begun let alone have a chance at success. TLA provided the guidance, connections and education critical that startups like Iron Shell need to survive, and they count us among the great success stories of the UA. Several members of TLA have been especially helpful including Robert Sleeper, Senior Licensing Manager and the case manager for Iron Shell, Joann MacMaster, Senior Director of Venture Development, Paul Tumarkin, Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications, John Geikler, Assistant Director of Physical Sciences Licensing, and Doug Hockstad, Assistant Vice President. More recently, several other members of the TLA team played an active role in guiding us through their NSF I-CORPS entrepreneurship program including Eric Smith, Aileen Dingus, and Grace Ratje.
Dr. Narayanan Neithalath
Dr. Neithalath is a Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University. He is also Senior Sustainability Scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability (ASU's innovative and award-winning program). Dr. Neithalath is an internationally recognized expert on cementitious binders and it was in his labs that Ferrock was extensively studied as a new iron carbonate binder. His research activities are focused on the development and characterization of novel and sustainable cementitious materials and systems for infrastructure. The major funding for this work comes through a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. He is actively pursuing research on novel and non-standard cement replacement materials for concrete such as glass powder and limestone powder. Efforts are underway in his research group to understand the performance of concretes containing no cement, where waste materials such as fly ash are turned into binder systems for concrete. He also works on energy efficiency attained through material modifications in concrete where phase change materials and other composite systems are used to make the building envelope more energy efficient. His research has been funded by several federal, state, and private funding agencies. His research website can be accessed here.
Dr. Sumanta Das
Dr. Das did the research for his PhD on the Ferrock iron carbonate binder under the direction of his advisor, Dr. Neithalath (above). His excellent work resulted in five scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and the Dean's Prize in the College of Engineering for his dissertation. Now he is Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Rhode Island where he is Director of the Laboratory for Advanced Materials in Civil Infrastructure (LAMCI). There he and his students conduct research on self-sensing cementitious materials, cementitious binders for 3-D printing, CO2 utilization in construction materials, ballistic resistance, and other topics. Dr. Das' highly productive research has resulted in almost 30 papers in the last four years. His website is here.