The BIC Team

Ben Wrightsman

Ben Wrightsman

Ben Wrightsman is a strategic global industry executive with over 22 years of experience in high-tech manufacturing, electronics, advance battery, energy economy, and product development companies. He has a passion for finding and utilizing untapped resources and capabilities within a company to open up new opportunities for growth and revenue generation along with rehabilitation.

Ben’s diverse background in executive leadership, mergers and acquisitions, research and development, new production introduction, engineering, business and product development, operations, field support, and supply chain gives him a broad range of understating to tackle problems at all levels of the organization.

Ben has held key positions with one of industry’s leading electronics contract manufacturers, large format lithium battery manufacturer, advanced energy development firm, non-profit battery commercialization center, and owns and advises multiple small business ventures/startups. His career has taken him all over the world; working, living, supporting, and building companies in the US, Mexico, Asia, Canada, and portions of Europe.

Ben attended Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) majoring in electrical engineering where he was co-captain of the Electric Jag (Indy) racecar team. He is a Lean Six-Sigma Black Belt, APICS-CPIM accredited, and received Sandler President’s Sales Certification. In addition to his primary role, Ben also is on advisory boards for Indiana IoT, CareBand, Eclipse Energy Labs, EMC2 lab, and Switchback Energy.

In his spare time he enjoys off-road motorcycle adventure riding, mountain biking, and tinkering on car, home, and technology projects with his daughters.

“Let up for a second, and that is where you will finish” – BMW

Heather Mischler

Heather Mischler

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.

Tyson Craig

Tyson Craig

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

Jonathan Pace

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

Jonathan Angelo

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.

Rodney Kidd

Rodney Kidd

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

Danny Marshall

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 Fagerholm

Cara Fagerholm

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.

Scott Gray

Scott Gray

Scott Gray is an Advanced Battery Scientist for the Battery Innovation Center with a focus on data
processing and analysis. He received his MS in Materials Science & Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2019. During his time at Georgia Tech, he participated in the research and development of experimental molten-salt batteries.

As a battery scientist, Scott is experienced with each step of the cell manufacturing process, as well as with using electrochemical analysis techniques such as EIS and dQ/dV to characterize the behavior and performance of experimental electrodes. Currently, Scott is working developing a portfolio for the Battery Innovation Center to document how changes in each step of the battery development process can impact the final performance of a cell.

When he is not in the lab, he enjoys developing scripts to help automate tasks for the team and
following up on the successes of previous customers.

Wan Si Tang

Wan Si TANG, PhD

With over 10 years of experience on functional materials for renewable energy systems, Wan Si has been working on various novel hydrogen storage, battery, and solar cell research. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Chemistry at the National University of Singapore, she then moved to Europe for an Erasmus Mundus Master of Science in Materials for Energy Storage and Conversion. Wan Si subsequently defended her Doctorate dissertation entitled “Alkali monosilicide Zintl phases as materials for hydrogen storage” at the Université de Picardie Jules Verne with First Class Honors.

Her postdoctoral tenures include understanding poly(car)borates as solid-state electrolytes at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and discovering crystalline polymeric photocatalysts through high-pressure chemistry at the Carnegie Institution for Science.

Other than pursuing various scientific endeavors, Wan Si enjoys learning new musical arts, including dance (pole-fitness, ballroom, Latin) and musical instruments (piano, cello, kalimba)

Bill Walter

Bill Walter

Bill Walter joined the BIC in August of 2021. Bill oversees project resources, timelines, and deliverables for current projects, assists and collaborates with internal and external partners on business development opportunities. He manages operational strategy and supports the Administration team, aiding the organization in advanced cell manufacturing, testing and evaluation, R&D, technical advisory, standards development, and strategic alliances.

Bill brings more than 25 years’ experience with Pb-A, NiMH and other battery chemistries. He experts distinction in testing, product development and technical advisory to accelerate growth, restore domestic knowledge leadership and catalyze development and commercialization of innovative, safe, and reliable energy systems.

Prior to joining the BIC, Bill set up and expanded research and product development energy storage battery testing laboratories and held technical and managerial roles at battery and battery component manufacturers and automotive battery retailers. Bill received his MBA and BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Iowa.

Kevin Nielson

Kevin V. Nielson, PhD

Kevin received his PhD degree in inorganic chemistry from Utah State University in May 2021. The title to his dissertation is “Developing Advanced
Electrodes and Electrolytes for Energy Storage Beyond Li Ion Batteries.” Kevin has extensive experience
in materials synthesis, spectroscopy, and electrochemistry. He likes to read, travel, and spend time outdoors.

Jacob Trogan

Jacob Trogan

Jacob received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University. Through his involvement with Michigan State’s Chem-E-Car engineering competition team, he gained an introduction into energy storage engineering and decided to pursue a career in the field.

As a battery manufacturing engineer, Jacob is active in all aspects of cell fabrication, from the slurry mixing process to the test of fully constructed cells. Outside of work at the BIC, Jacob is an avid sports fan and likes to stay active out on a hiking trail or a basketball court.