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NanoCarbon appoints advanced materials expert to spearhead growth

NanoCarbon, a developer of commercial graphene products, has appointed Phil Aitchison as chief operating officer to drive the company’s global expansion and creation of a manufacturing facility in Australia. 

“NanoCarbon has an incredibly compelling story,” Aitchison said. "I believe that we will have the ability to deliver quality assured functionalised graphene early in 2015, and then take the next step towards manufacturing graphene-based industrial products at scale."

Aitchison has more than twenty years’ experience as a senior R&D executive in the advanced materials, supercapacitor and energy storage industries. He has previously held senior roles developing high volume manufacturing capabilities for energy storage devices in the wireless communications and mobile phone LED camera flash markets. 

He has also led the development of super-capacitors for automotive applications. Aitchison said NanoCarbon is well positioned to deliver commercial high-quality graphene products to an array of industries.

At NanoCarbon, he will assume responsibility for developing and executing plans to build a pilot graphene plant to manufacture Surfactant-Free Graphene (SFG). He will also directly manage the research and development agreements that NanoCarbon secures with relevant research groups to validate the applications for SFG. 

NanoCarbon’s pilot plant process will enable delivery of functionalised SFG graphene at industrial scale. The surfactant-free process enables delivery of functionalised graphene at industrial scale, with lower environmental impact than chemical solvent-based processes. 

The company plans to work with leading composite materials and advanced manufacturing companies to develop applications for SFG in high barrier films, lithium ion batteries, and water purification. 

NanoCarbon has already secured alliances to work on R&D with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) and the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) at the University of Wollongong. 

Chris Gilbey, CEO of NanoCarbon, said: “Phil is respected internationally as an expert materials scientist and has tremendous business acumen. He brings a market driven focus and an ability to provide leadership in operational excellence in composite materials manufacturing.”

He added: “I believe that Phil’s presence within the management team as well as his reputation globally, will help NanoCarbon become an innovation engine in Australia for advanced manufacturing.”

Aitchison added: “Our vision is to develop solutions for manufacturing that create highly effective end products with revolutionary implications for manufacturing industries. Graphene has the potential to positively impact almost every manufactured product,” he said. 

Aitchison is a foundation shareholder in NanoCarbon, along with directors Roger Buckeridge, and Julian Malnic.

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