About AKHAN

AKHAN Semi logo

Formed in 2013, AKHAN is a premier semiconductor company focused on Diamond and Nanocarbon technologies. We’re revolutionizing the transition from Silicon to Diamond as we pioneer the future of semiconductor markets: from display glass to optics, from thermal management to monolithically integrated diamond ICs, AKHAN is ushering in a ‘Diamond Age’ of Electronics. The company is based in Gurnee, IL.

Board of Directors

Adam Khan - Founder

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Adam has authored several patents and technical publications, and is also a frequent speaker on Diamond Semiconductor & Clean Technology. As a result of his award winning research, which he began as an electrical engineering student at age 19, Adam is inventor of the Miraj Diamond® Platform. Adam has also served as a speaker and expert witness to a variety of Federal bodies, including the U.S. House Space, Science, & Technology Committee and the U.S. Department of Energy. Additionally, Adam's work was recognized and individually honored by the United States Congress in the 114th Congressional Records & Proceedings. Adam’s professional affiliations include the Materials Research Society, Board of Directors for the Chicago Council on Science and Technology, and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness.

Adam earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Physics from the University of Illinois Chicago, before pursuing graduate research at the Stanford University Nanofabrication Facility. He has been everything from a CleanTech Open Midwest Innovation Summit winner, a Forbes 30 Under 30, to a Modern Day Nikola Tesla in the International Documentary Film ‘Tesla’s Children’ (2016).

Tom Lacey - Chairman

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Lacey’s successful 30+ year career includes various leadership positions for a number of premier technology companies, including Chief Executive Officer of Tessera/Xperi Corp, a technology licensor in mobile computing, communications, memory and data storage and 3D integrated circuit technology. He also served as the President of Intel Americas, Chairman and CEO of Components Direct and President/CEO of Phoenix Technologies. Tom’s Board and Advisory roles include both public and private companies like Prison to Employment Connection, Smartron, DSP Group, Immersion Corp, Xperi Corp and International Rectifier.

Tom’s vast experiences with large enterprises, mid-size and startup companies will power his leadership of AKHAN’s growth phase. As the company scales operations while focusing on customer satisfaction, the company’s priorities and communications require specific expertise to bring its Miraj Diamond®​ Glass, Optics and Electronics solutions to global markets. A well-rounded business executive, Tom’s roles have spanned positions in leadership, engineering, marketing, sales, licensing, OEM, retail channel, distribution, management, operations, Intellectual Property, P&L, Wall Street, fund raising, international geographies (especially Asia) and merger and acquisitions.

A UC Berkely and Santa Clara University – Leavey School of Business graduate, Tom lives in California with his wife Janet and four children, enjoys all sorts of exercise, Sacramento Kings and SF Giants.

Craig Mitchell – Chief Executive Officer and AKHAN Director

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Craig has a unique combination of business, technical and IP expertise that has been refined over the past 30 years developing, licensing and broadly commercializing technologies in the semiconductor and electronics industries. The former President of Invensas Corporation and General Manager of the Semiconductor IP Business at Xperi, Mr. Mitchell has held several senior leadership roles including CTO, SVP of Business Development, and VP of Licensing. Throughout his career, he has built and managed diverse teams to develop, license, and transfer to production advanced technologies; established global manufacturing ecosystems and partnerships to support high-volume manufacturing; and, negotiated complex, multi-year, high-value contracts with industry leaders.

Craig’s deep understanding of intellectual property development, management and monetization is a great asset to the AKHAN team as the company proliferates its diamond coating technology to a range of industries and applications.

Craig holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Manhattan College, is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program, and a co-author of more than 100 US patents.  He lives in San Jose, California with his wife and three children.

Haydar F. Alireza

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Haydar F. Alireza has been Cohead of Reza Investment Company for the past 20 years. It is a diversified private conglomerate with over 16 companies with interests in Manufacturing, Construction, Industrial and Commercial Services, Oil Services, Retail, Food, and Advertising. The companies’ operations span the Middle East and South East Asia Region with over 31,000 employees. Prior to joining Reza he worked as Corporate Banking Manager for SABB an HSBC bank. His entrepreneurial spirit drives him to identify new opportunities that lead to creating new businesses and new jobs. He is also an experienced investor with pre IPO investments in DocuSign, Lyft, Palantir Technologies, Chime, Robinhood, InVisionApp, Fiscal Note, Fathom Computing, Vicarious, Sophia Genetics, ZocDoc, and Humanitus to name a few. Mr. Alireza served on numerous Boards including the Young Entrepreneurs Organization, the Young Presidents Organization. Mr. Alireza is currently on the Board of several private companies. He is passionate about businesses being socially responsible. He believes strongly that businesses should strive to implement programs that promote a positive rather the negative impacts on all aspects of a business including the environment and communities in which they operate.

Vice Admiral Charles Moore

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Vice Admiral Charles Moore, Jr. is a distinguished 36-year veteran of the United States Navy, who began his military career as a Naval Aviator and rose to the rank of Vice Admiral serving as the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics and as Commander, United States Fifth Fleet and Commander, U. S. Naval Forces Central Command headquartered in the Middle East in the country of Bahrain. Upon retiring from the U.S. Navy in 2004, Admiral Moore joined Lockheed Martin as Vice President, F-35 Program Assessment. Subsequently, Admiral Moore served as Vice President, Global Sustainment and President of Lockheed Martin Middle East and Africa. After retiring from Lockheed Martin in 2013, Admiral Moore joined the Dodsal Group, where he served as Chairman and President of Dodsal Resources, an oil and gas exploration and production company in the Dodsal Group. He also served as Chairman of Dodsal Group Executive Board, before retiring from Dodsal in 2016. A 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering, Admiral Moore earned his first Master’s Degree in International Relations from Salve Regina University and his second Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.

Abdulla Al Khalifa – Board Director

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An AKHAN investor since 2015, Abdulla Al Khalifa has been a key partner in AKHAN’s growth. With deep expertise in financial services, Abdulla is involved in managing his family’s interests in various industries spanning financial services, construction services, mining services, real estate, and venture capital.

Kirk Hasserjian

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Kirk Hasserjian has over 38 years of experience in the high technology arena. He has been in a variety of leadership roles in R&D, operations, manufacturing, strategic development, and data analytics at Intel, Formfactor, and Applied Materials. He spent 25 years at Intel Corporation, where his responsibilities included leading Intel’s Flash memory technology development activities and future non-volatile memory technologies as Vice President and General Manager of California Technology and Manufacturing. He also held technical and management positions in the company’s D2 development and manufacturing facility, including five years as D2 plant manager managing the facility’s factory performance and all technology module development activities. He was Senior Vice President at Formfactor running worldwide operations. Most recently, he spent 11 years at Applied materials in a variety of roles. He joined Applied Materials in 2009 to head the SunFab operations and was corporate vice president and general manager of the SunFab Thin Film Solar business. He led several strategic programs for Applied, including the 450mm program and the creation of comprehensive service products utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to improve equipment performance for Applied’s customers.

He is currently on the board of directors at Halo Industries and a strategic advisor to Phronesis AI. He was also on the board of directors at GT Advanced technologies, a leader in SiC crystal growth.

Mr. Hasserjian received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University.

Executive Management Team

Craig Mitchell – Chief Executive Officer and AKHAN Director

Headshot of Craig Mitchell

Craig has a unique combination of business, technical and IP expertise that has been refined over the past 30 years developing, licensing and broadly commercializing technologies in the semiconductor and electronics industries. The former President of Invensas Corporation and General Manager of the Semiconductor IP Business at Xperi, Mr. Mitchell has held several senior leadership roles including CTO, SVP of Business Development, and VP of Licensing. Throughout his career, he has built and managed diverse teams to develop, license, and transfer to production advanced technologies; established global manufacturing ecosystems and partnerships to support high-volume manufacturing; and, negotiated complex, multi-year, high-value contracts with industry leaders.

Craig’s deep understanding of intellectual property development, management and monetization is a great asset to the AKHAN team as the company proliferates its diamond coating technology to a range of industries and applications.

Craig holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Manhattan College, is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program, and a co-author of more than 100 US patents.  He lives in San Jose, California with his wife and three children.

John Thode – President and Chief Operating Officer

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John is a widely recognized technology leader who has architected and led the growth of a multitude of businesses, as Chairman, Board Member, CEO, and senior executive. A successful intra/entrepreneur, he built profitable businesses ranging from startups to multi-billion-dollar companies in the mobility, computing, security and imaging sectors.

As president of DigitalOptics Corp. he led a highly differentiated imaging products portfolio using computational optics and MEMS actuators. Over his 35-year career, John has been a significant leader in technology innovation contributing to the development of the first cellular system (AMPS), the first smartphone (Motorola), the world’s first 3G cellphone with video chat, and the world’s first touchscreen-only smartphone. At Dell, John led teams that developed countless innovations in tablets and convertibles.

John has also served on several boards of directors including Illinois Super Conductor, Symbian Ltd. and Ancient Oaks Foundation, a nonprofit he and his wife founded in 2014.

Thode has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He also holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois – Champaign.

Adam Khan - Founder

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Adam has authored several patents and technical publications, and is also a frequent speaker on Diamond Semiconductor & Clean Technology. As a result of his award winning research, which he began as an electrical engineering student at age 19, Adam is inventor of the Miraj Diamond® Platform. Adam has also served as a speaker and expert witness to a variety of Federal bodies, including the U.S. House Space, Science, & Technology Committee and the U.S. Department of Energy. Additionally, Adam's work was recognized and individually honored by the United States Congress in the 114th Congressional Records & Proceedings. Adam’s professional affiliations include the Materials Research Society, Board of Directors for the Chicago Council on Science and Technology, and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness.

Adam earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Physics from the University of Illinois Chicago, before pursuing graduate research at the Stanford University Nanofabrication Facility. He has been everything from a CleanTech Open Midwest Innovation Summit winner, a Forbes 30 Under 30, to a Modern Day Nikola Tesla in the International Documentary Film ‘Tesla’s Children’ (2016).

Carl Shurboff - Chief Engineer

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Carl has extensive experience in engineering management, Intellectual Property portfolio strategy, licensing and litigation, and customers acquisition. Prior to AKHAN, Carl was the Manager of Industry Partnerships at Argonne National Laboratories, leading the team to develop IP Strategy, negotiating Patent Licenses, and forming industry partnerships. Before Argonne, Carl spent 25 years at Motorola as the Director of technology and product initiatives, and integrated circuits. Carl has 30 patents and patent applications, and authored several semiconductor articles. He received his Executive MBA from Kellogg at Northwestern University, his MS in Semiconductor Device Physics at ASU, and his BSEE at Purdue.

Tom Davis - Chief Marketing Officer

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Tom has held several executive positions throughout his distinguished career, most recently with Forbes as Chief Growth Officer and Chief Marketing Officer. Before joining Forbes in 2008, Tom held multiple roles at International Data Group - a global technology media company. He was Associate Publisher of Network World and became the General Manager of IDG's Customer Access Group. Tom joined the Ad Council Board of Directors in 2016. He was recognized by the Advertising Club of New York with the 2016 Action Award which honors advocates for the importance of diversity and inclusion through MEDIACTION. Other awards include the 2016 Revvie Award as Marketing Executive of the Year and the 2014 Min Award for Sales Leader of the Year.

Technical Team

Robert Polak, Ph.D.- Optical Engineer

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R&D Engineer with extensive experience in identifying, implementing and sourcing product-differentiating advanced technologies into consumer electronics. Dr. Polak spent 10+ years with Motorola, involved in all aspects of display development within Motorola’s cellular phone business. He has authored 15+ patent applications (2 issued). He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University.

Ernest Schirmann - Director of Engineering

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30+ years of broad industry experience in definition and development of RF system architectures, components, and semiconductors. Ernie was an RF engineer at Motorola Mobility, GaAs device development engineer at Motorola Semiconductor, and a GaAs development/characterization engineer at Lockheed Sanders. He has co-authored 14 issued patents in the areas of GaAs semiconductors, RF PAs, and RF transmitters.

Pete Shurboff - Operations and Quality Manager

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12 years with Motorola as a Manufacturing Operations Manager developing new process lines, and driving quality assurance. Program Manager at Dell for Latitude and Inspiron mainstream laptop computers. Program Manager at Microsoft for Business Architecture of Enterprise Resource Planning responsible for business modeling to implementing ERP software. Previous Security Clearance working with Motorola and ITT Aero.

Kiran Kumar Kovi, Ph.D. - Director of Research

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Previous to joining AKHAN, Dr. Kovi worked as a Research Engineer for Euclid TechLabs and the Swedish Institute of Space Physics. Dr. Kovi has extensive background in diamond materials and diamond electronics with published peer-reviewed work in such prestigious journals as Nature Materials, Applied Physics Letters, IEEE Electron Device Letters, among others. He received his M.S. from Chalmers University of Technology and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Uppsala University with Post-Doctoral appointment at the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory.

Tae Sung Kim, PhD - Research Engineer

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Tae Sung Kim has accumulated multiple years of experience as a research engineer in the design, simulation, and fabrication of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) devices. He has held internships and research positions at the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility, NASA’s Ames Research Center, EPIR Technologies, CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Dr. Kim’s research experience included MEMS-based IR filters, optical camera systems, MEMS adaptive optics, radiation damage of silicon sensors, gas avalanche devices and RF system design.

Tae holds a doctorate in Electrical Engineering and a master’s degree in Physics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He also earned a master’s degree in Mathematics and a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics and Physics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Srujana Valluri - Process Engineer

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Srujana earned her master’s in electrical engineering from Northern Illinois University, Illinois. She also holds a second masters in VLSI system design from GITAM University, India. She has more than 2 years of research experience in developing processes for the fabrication of ultra-fine, high density cathodes. She co-authored papers that are published in journals like IEEE and International Particle Accelerator conference. She started her career as Assistant System Engineer at TATA Consultancy Services. Her research interests lie in semiconductor fabrication, photonics, and integrated circuits design.

Stanislav Eilhart - Process Engineer

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Stanislav is a recent graduate with a B.S. in chemical engineering with semiconductor option from University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to joining AKHAN, Stanislav was a research assistant studying polyelectrolyte complexation at UCLA Srivastava Lab.

Maria Cristina Maugeri - Process Engineer

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Maria Cristina comes to AKHAN with prior experience in industrial semiconductor device manufacturing and basic material science research. As process engineer at X-group Solar Industries S.p.A., Italy, she oversaw successful production of over 66,000 solar cells per day by contributing, as part of the R&D team, to process engineering research, production planning and coordinating team. At the European national research laboratory (Italian Research Council’s CNR-IMM, Italy) her research included studying advanced material, graphene, for applications into novel electronic devices.

Maria Cristina holds a master’s degree in Physics from University of Catania, Italy and an advanced master’s degree in Materials Science from the Institute of Advanced Studies in Pavia, Italy.

Sujatha Kappala - Process Engineer

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Sujatha holds a bachelor's degree in Electronics & Communications Engineering from Andhra University and a master's degree in VLSI Design from Sathyabama University, India. With Integrated Circuit design as her area of focus, she started her career as an Assistant Professor for undergraduate students and was instrumental in improving their understanding of VLSI concepts. Prior to joining AKHAN, Sujatha worked in the Mortgage Industry. She enjoys using her skills and knowledge gained through education and experience to contribute to the technological advancements that happen every day at AKHAN

Business Team

Lisa Naughton - Accounting Manager

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Lisa Naughton oversees all areas of accounting including payroll, accounts payable and receivables, cash management, general ledger, banking, and reconciliations. Lisa’s past positions at Industrial Physics and ARC Imaging Resources as the Accounting Lead/Office Manager have given her the tools to step into this role and make it her own by helping in the development of company policies and procedures, providing timely and relevant analyses, and working as a team to grow the company. Lisa holds a Certified Public Bookkeepers Certificate and earned her business degree at McHenry County College, where her area of focus was accounting

Awards and Recognition

2013 R&D 100
Forbes 30 under 30
Clean Tech Open 2013 Finalist
Bloomberg
CNBC
Scientific American
Fast Company
Mashable
CNET