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About LiNa Energy

LiNa Energy was formed in the summer of 2017 and is a spin-out of Lancaster University. LiNa is applying modern materials engineering to the sodium-nickel-chloride battery to create a game-changing storage technology.

The founders have all previously worked together for many years, and between them have a diverse and complementary skill set.  With extensive know-how and utilising an extensive network and supply base, LiNa has quickly established partners in all key areas of the business.

Lina’s leadership team

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Gene Lewis


Following his PhD from Imperial College in 2002 in Engineering Materials, Gene has held senior management and board level positions in public clean-tech energy companies for over 15 years. Gene has considerable experience in building and leading world-class teams in taking a concept and turning it into a commercial reality.

Gene is a founding director of LiNa Energy.

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Richard Dawson

Technical Director

Richard has a PhD in Electrochemical Engineering from Imperial College and a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cambridge.

Richard is the principal author of many scientific papers and patents and is an expert at managing industry and academic research programmes. Richard is a founding director of LiNa Energy and oversees all technical innovation.

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Andreas Bäckström

Director of Product Development

Andreas is a design engineer with many years expertise and leadership in developing novel energy technologies.

In his previous role as Head of Design at AFC Energy, he led the team which designed the world’s first large-scale stationary alkaline fuel cell system.

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James Morrish


James joined from PwC where he spent over 20 years advising both large corporates and SMEs on investment appraisal, acquisitions, divestments, M&A and restructuring. During this time James worked on projects for clients across the globe in a variety of sectors including automotive, aerospace and consumer goods. James brings commercial finance expertise to support LiNa’s strategic development on the journey to commercialising our technology.

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Mark Boland

Company Secretary

Mark has a honours degree in English and French Law from the University of Essex and the University of Paris (Nanterre). He worked in the editorial department of the Financial Times for 15 years, before moving to Deloitte’s tax and incentives consultancy, advising clients on sources of non-dilutive funding.

Mark is a founding director of LiNa with special responsibility for coordinating the company’s grant-funded projects.

Niall O'Keeffe

Non-executive director

Niall has spent almost 20 years investing in industrial and energy companies, having managed the largest dedicated industrial and energy portfolio in Europe as a partner at US blue-chip hedge fund, Citadel. He is the co-founder of FIFTHDELTA, a global long-short equity fund trading industrial and technology stocks.

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Tom McColm

Non-executive director

Tom, a founding director of LiNa Energy, is an experienced clean-tech equity specialist with a strong track record in both public and private equity fund raising. Prior to moving into the finance sector in the City of London, he worked on technology development for Ceres Power and fuel cell groups at Imperial College and St Andrews University.

Tom has a PhD from Berkeley in materials engineering.

Expert Advisory Panel

Rick Dauch

Expert Advisor

Mr. Dauch is a proven and highly respected leader in the mainstream automotive and commercial vehicle industries, with decades of board-level experience. Most recently, he was CEO of Delphi Technologies plc, leading its sale to BorgWarner for $3.3bn in 2020.

Rick has considerable manufacturing and commercial expertise and will support the LiNa team implement and achieve its strategic goals of commercialising its solid-state sodium battery technology.

Dr. Ainara Aguadero

Expert Advisor

Ainara has extensive and world-leading knowledge in the materials used in batteries, fuel cells and electrolysers. Importantly, for LiNa, Ainara also has considerable experience in the electrolyte materials that constitute LiNa’s platform, and has published over 70 research papers.

Ainara is a Reader in Energy Materials at the Department of Materials, Imperial College, London.

Alex Burns

Expert Advisor

Alex is a hugely experienced leader within the high-performance engineering sector. He was most recently President of Millbrook Proving Ground between 2014 and 2020, where he led the transformation into an independent automotive test services provider working with customers around the world, and through PE ownership to sale to Spectris plc. His previous roles include CEO of Williams F1 where he helped found Williams Advanced Engineering, and Director in various Meggitt plc divisions.

Jeetej Jandu

Expert Advisor

Jeet is a highly experienced trade professional having worked globally with various governments and private sector entities. He is presently Trade Specialist at the Department for International Trade in the UK. His fields of expertise include automotive and advanced engineering and manufacturing, entrepreneurship and trade links with India, with a particular focus on the development of batteries and clean energy.

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