The Company

About AKHAN Semiconductor

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- Interim CEO, 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.

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.

Holger Heims

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Holger Heims has been involved in international M&A, cross-border corporate finance and private equity investments for more than 30 years; both as investor and fund manager as well as advisor to various CEOS and Chairmen of public and private companies in the U.S., Europe, Middle East and Africa. His investment experience covers growth financings in equity and debt structures for TMT technology, agricultural and infrastructure as well as real estate companies and corporate restructurings across different industries. Many investments involved cross-border business expansion and integration, brand building as well as reaching mutually attractive partnership structures to support the strategic and sustainable growth. Holger was Managing Partner in several international private equity funds supported by global banks like Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse as lead investors, with investment volumes of € 300m to €800m, involving blue chip industrial investors, like ABB, Schindler, Sulzer, Nestle etc., as well as large family offices from Europe and the Middle East. A German national, he graduated as Diplom-Kaufmann (MBA equivalent) from the LMU University of Munich and had post-graduate education at INSEAD in France.


King Lee

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Over the past twenty‐five years, King R. Lee has focused on the turnaround of both public and private companies serving as CEO across a number of industries at the request of investors and boards of directors. Most recently he served as CEO of Good Technology, a cybersecurity company targeting mobile devices. During his tenure, as a result of the restructure, the sales increase 1000% and the market cap to $1.5b. In past years he also served as CEO/ President of Quarterdeck Corporation (NASDAQ:QDEK). Mr. Lee successfully led the restructuring of Quarterdeck's worldwide operations, increasing the company's market cap from approximately $50m to over $800m. He returned again to the company to successfully lead another restructuring and the subsequent successful sale of the company to Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC). Along with his experience across technologies, King brings a successful background in the highly competitive consumer market, where he held management positions with General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) and Unilever (NYSE:UL). He currently serves as a managing partner of Resource Capitalist and Megawatt Management, an advisor to HaptX (US), GET (Austria), Tera Ventures (Estonia) and serves on the board of ListSoft (US). Historically, King has served on many public and private boards both domestic and international. He currently serves on the President's Advisory Board at Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo, California.

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.

Executive Management Team

Carl Shurboff- President & Chief Operating Officer

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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 - Senior Electrical Engineer

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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. - Diamond Engineer

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Awards and Recognition

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