The BIC Team
Ben Wrightsman is a strategic industry executive with over 19 years of experience in high-tech manufacturing, electronics, advance battery, and product development companies.
Ben has held key positions with one of industry’s leading electronics contract manufacturers, large format lithium battery manufacturer, along with owning and advising several small business ventures/startups. Ben attended Purdue University at Indianapolis majoring in Electrical Engineering where he was co-captain of the Electric JAG (Indy) Car Team.
He is APICS-CPIM accredited, received Lushin (Sandler) President’s Sales Training, and is a dedicated Lean Six-Sigma Black Belt. He also serves on the advisory board for Indiana IoT Lab and Eclipse Energy.
Ashley Gordon, manager of the Cell Fabrication Team, oversees project resources, timelines, and deliverables for current projects while working with potential customers on new opportunities. She received her M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech where she was involved with multiple fuel cell projects focusing on various chemistries, including ethanol fuel cells, PEM fuel cells, and direct borohydride fuel cells.
Ashley joined the Battery Innovation Center in August 2014 after spending a year in Australia working in the energy measurement and verification field at Out Performers, assisting large companies in decreasing their energy consumption by implementing more energy-efficient measures. As a member of the cell fabrication team, Ashley is experienced in all steps necessary to construct a lithium-ion battery, from mixing and coating slurry to fabricating and testing cells.
Dr. James Fleetwood
Training and Outreach Director
James Fleetwood is the Research Director for the BIC, overseeing and providing consultation for work at the BIC as well as for external partners, including the development and implementation of the BIC’s educational services. His primary focus is working with the cell fabrication team to develop novel electrode materials, evaluate ancillary cell components, and assemble them in coin, pouch, and 18650 cells, optimizing processing parameters with a focus on prototype performance evaluation, optimization, and scale-up to commercialization.
He received his doctorate in Materials Science & Engineering from Purdue University for his research under Sandia National Laboratories’ Executive Fellowship exploring plasma spray deposition, electrophoretic deposition, precursor synthesis, suspension rheology, and coating formation mechanisms within the context of electrolyte fabrication for solid oxide fuel cells.
Since joining the BIC in October 2014, Dr. Fleetwood has helped setup electrochemistry laboratories from coast to coast and been involved in research on most lithium-based energy storage chemistries.
Tyson Craig is the Lead Cell Fabrication Technician at the Battery Innovation Center. He joined the BIC in May of 2014 after graduating from Vincennes University with an Associates in Electronics Technology. Tyson’s skill set includes cell design, cell fabrication, and hardware design and layout for all 18650’s, pouch and coin cell testing.
Jonathan Pace is the lead technician for the Test and Evaluation Team. Taking concrete actions to advance both personally and professionally, Jonathan is currently working towards finishing his Associate’s Degree in Electronics Technology at Vincennes University.
Jonathan spent 7 years in the United States Army as an Artillery Cannon Crewmember. Serving 2 tours overseas, he continually leverages the skills gained with artillery equipment, which translate to a great precision with test set-ups and evaluating batteries through the data recorded during test. His growth mindset creates a natural tendency to strive to pursue any knowledge he can get his hands on when it relates to his work.
In addition to gaining academic experience, Jonathan spends a substantial portion of his time outside of the BIC chasing mechanical problems and diagnoses with vehicles and tends to use those same techniques in his day to day operations at the BIC.
Jonathan Angelo received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University. While attending Purdue, he conducted research on the fabrication of novel anode materials for supercapacitors.
As the Advanced Battery Manufacturing Engineer, Jonathan is experienced in all steps necessary to construct a lithium-ion battery, from mixing and coating slurry to fabricating and testing cells of various form factors. Since becoming a part of the team Jonathan has also taken on the role of Shipping Manager and is certified to ship dangerous goods through 49CFR and IATA.
When Jonathan isn’t working at the BIC, he enjoys watching musicals and movies, playing hockey and disc golf, building computers, and cooking.
Evan Rugen has been a Battery Technician Intern for the BIC since July 2018, focusing on mixing and building the various cells and cell components manufactured at the BIC. His primary focus is working as a part the cell fabrication team to produce novel electrode materials, evaluate ancillary cell components, and assemble them in coin, pouch, and 18650 cells.
Evan received his MS in Materials Chemistry from Indiana University Bloomington for his research on the development of novel synthetic methods for producing metal oxide/nitride nanophotocatalysts designed for use in the alternative energy industry. His background also includes specialization in various materials characterization techniques and their corresponding data analysis requirements.
Heather Mischler is the Office Manager and Accounting Administrator for the Battery Innovation Center. Heather received an AAS in Accounting from Vincennes University in 2013 and a BA in Japanese Language & Culture from Eastern Michigan University in 2010. Since then, Heather has gained more than five years of practical accounting knowledge from bookkeeping to audits, cash management to financial statements, as well as accounts receivable and payable, to name a few.
Along with being the president of the local fire department and a distinguished first responder, Rodney is the owner and operator of Bad Wolf Fabrication.
Rodney brings a unique skillset to the BIC with more than 15 years of experience in the drag racing auto field, specializing in sales and fabrication. His diverse background also includes 5 years as team leader and head operator in a multimillion-dollar quarry, along with 3 years as the lead mechanic for a Kawasaki pro rider.
His experience-driven background serves to enforce both practicality in design, as well as an intuition on how to implement complex projects within budgetary constraints.
"A thirst for knowledge has always propelled me into new experiences, a byproduct of this is a well-rounded understanding of many industries."
Danny Marshall is a Test and Evaluation Team Engineer. Danny received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He joined the BIC in March 2019, pivoting from a Production Engineering role in the Automotive Industry where he gained 2+ years of testing experience.
Drawing from his 4 years as a Munitions Systems Journeyman in the US Air Force, Danny is highly driven and detail oriented. His drive manifests in a constant pursuit of both knowledge and innovation. Additionally, his detail-oriented nature influences everything from successful project management to troubleshooting complex electrical problems. His diverse background and eagerness to learn endow him with skills in testing, automation, machine learning, digital communications, and embedded systems.
Cara is an Advanced Battery Fabrication Engineer and she enjoys developing strategies and creatively leveraging resources to solve challenges.
Cara received her BSE with majors in Mechanical Engineering and Environmental Studies at Case Western Reserve University. At CWRU, she gained experience in materials laboratories using a big data approach to researching lifecycle extension for photovoltaics. Her work in alternative energy and electrical power systems co-ops provide a diverse background for supporting BIC initiatives in data management and research.