Today the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the 2024 cohort of scientists and engineers selected to join Cyclotron Road — a DOE Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program (LEEP) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

Launched in 2015, the Cyclotron Road fellowship program was the first DOE LEEP. The program provides fellows with a living stipend, research funding, entrepreneurial training in collaboration with non-profit partner Activate, and access to the multidisciplinary researchers and resources of Berkeley Lab.

This new cohort of 14 fellows adds 10 companies to the program, bringing the total number of companies advanced by Cyclotron Road fellows to 84 and the all-time number of fellows to 109:

  • Pauliina Meskanen and Nate Weger, Calectra: provides zero-carbon, low-cost industrial process heat up to 1,600°C with its patent-pending thermal storage technology 
  • Mert Akin, EELI Technology: develops advanced lithium extraction and purification solutions to enable sustainable and feasible lithium production from untapped domestic sources
  • Carla Pinzón, Expand Power: increases access to electrification through improved power electronics
  • Nikita Khlystov and Nicholas Sarai, Huminly: develops enzymes that break down plastic to enable infinite textile waste recycling
  • Gabriella Dweck and Kelly Redmond, Oleo Sustainable Palm Oil Solutions: transforms wasted biomass into sustainable oil inputs
  • Advait Holkar, Praio: will economically manufacture bio-derived commodity chemicals, such as aviation fuel, using synthetic protocells with a reduced carbon footprint
  • Nosa Edoimioya, Reforge Robotics: creates software that helps manufacturers reduce costs by using low-cost robots instead of expensive machines for precision manufacturing
  • John Slack, Rhoic: designs and makes nanomaterials that durably capture CO2 cheaper and faster
  • Rakkiyappan Chandran and Hitesh Manglani, Supercarb: converts carbohydrates from waste biomass into high-performance, low-impact, and cost-competitive fibers
  • Rushin Contractor, Topolight: using extensive experience in optoelectronics and photonic design to enhance the performance of semiconductor lasers

“Our program supports scientists and engineers as they advance technology projects with the potential for global impact in many fields including biosciences, semiconductors, energy, and robotics,” said Todd Pray, Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer at Berkeley Lab. “Each member of this tenth cohort is remarkably accomplished and focused on the accelerated development of their companies, their technologies, and their careers.”

In the two-year fellowship, these Cyclotron Road innovators will have access to the world-class lab facilities, multidisciplinary researchers and experts, and entrepreneurial training needed to validate, scale, and fund their ideas from prototype to production.

Cyclotron Road fellows have raised more than $1.85 billion in follow-on funding, hired more than 1,400 employees, and brought innovative products and services to market across industries including agriculture, energy, and manufacturing.

The DOE’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO) and the Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO) in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) are the founding and anchor sponsors of the program. Other partners supporting the program include the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) with the State of California, the California Energy Commission (CEC), the DOE Building Technologies Office (BTO), the DOE Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO), the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), Office of Electricity (OE), the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and Activate.


Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is committed to delivering solutions for humankind through research in clean energy, a healthy planet, and discovery science. Founded in 1931 on the belief that the biggest problems are best addressed by teams, Berkeley Lab and its scientists have been recognized with 16 Nobel Prizes. Researchers from around the world rely on the Lab’s world-class scientific facilities for their own pioneering research. Berkeley Lab is a multiprogram national laboratory managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit