Building the Nevada battery recycling Pilot Plant entails bringing together the best minds to develop an economically and environmentally sustainable facility to recycle lithium-ion batteries. Through a robust team and a commitment to driving zero-waste sustainable solutions, American Battery Technology Company (ABTC) is gearing up to construct a closed-loop, lithium-ion battery recycling Pilot Plant to secure a fully domestic supply chain of critical materials.
Ryan Melsert brings 20 years of multidisciplinary expertise to his position as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the Company. Upon his appointment as CTO, Ryan made an immediate impact, winning the coveted Greentown Labs/BASF Circularity Challenge award for the Company’s first-of-kind, lithium-ion battery recycling process. He has assembled a qualified technical team of experts in chemistry, battery engineering, and plant operations.
Ryan previously served as R&D Manager for Tesla’s Gigafactory Battery Materials Processing group. He founded and led a cross-functional team of mechanical and chemical engineers who implemented first principles design to develop novel first-of-kind systems for the extraction, purification, and synthesis of precursor and active battery materials. This development scope included the fundamental conceptual design, rigorous thermodynamic and process modeling, design and fabrication of bench-scale prototypes, construction and operation of integrated pilot systems, and implementation of commercial scale systems for the processing of battery materials.
Other roles include R&D Manager (Advanced Energy & Transportation Technologies) for Southern Research and Energy Systems Consultant for the Advanced Technology Development Center in Atlanta Georgia. He has a variety of publications and patents in his name, and in previous positions has won several Department of Energy grants and innovation competitions.
Chuck Leber shares a 40-year career in project and construction management of complex, multidisciplinary industrial processing and manufacturing facilities as ABTC’s Lead Onsite Project Manager.
Deeply experienced in sustainable energy systems and phased building projects, Chuck oversaw more than $200 million in construction projects for the Nevada-based Tesla Gigafactory. During that time, he managed sustainable buildout for a battery production facility which would supply battery power for 500,000 cars per year, the first of its kind.
In addition to working with Tesla from 2016-2018, he was most recently the owner’s Construction Manager at Fujifilm Electronic Materials, Inc., managing the design and construction of an ultra-pure semiconductor chemicals plant expansion, complete with three warehouses, a two-story office building and a clean room laboratory building.
Additional experience includes Project Manager for life-safety, security, and process control systems at semiconductor manufacturer GlobalFoundries, Owner’s Representative for a 300 MW combined cycle power plant, Commissioning and Startup Manager for a wine bottle manufacturing plant, permitting for a 175 MW wind farm in eastern Oregon, Engineering Manager for an open shop industrial contractor, Production Engineer in a pulp & paper mill, and Project Manager for the Boise Cascade Research & Development Center.
Scott Jolcover brings a wealth of development expertise spanning five decades. His passion for clean technologies is complemented by his expertise in construction, mining and land development, water resource, claims management, economic and environmental solutions. Prior to joining ABTC, he served as the Director of Development and General Site Manager for Comstock Mining Inc., where he managed all commercial transactions, including land, water and other major capital expenditures and acquisitions. Other roles include President and CEO for Virginia City Ventures, which established the Comstock Gold Mill and partnered with the Tri-City Railway Commission.
His contributions to Nevada’s economic and environmental landscape are vast, with board and leadership roles with Nevada Works; Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA), Design and Construction Committee; Power Solutions Inc., which focused on energy solutions; and a 20-year relationship with Virginia City Tourism Commission (VCTC), including Chair and Vice-Chair roles.
As Chief Resource Officer, Scott drives collaborative strategic partnerships at the core of building our Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Pilot Plant.
August Meng is a former staff engineer at Tesla, supporting R&D and manufacturing of battery materials, as well as the first chemical engineer at Tesla Gigafactory Design Team, supporting chemical system design and building analytical lab capacity for lithium ion battery manufacturing in Gigafactory. Meng has experience investigating advanced extraction and conversion technology to make battery-grade lithium hydroxide from nonconventional resources.
In his position as the Principal Chemical Engineer at American Battery Technology Company (ABTC), Meng leads process development and laboratory operation for building a closed-loop battery recycling process to make ultra-high purity raw materials from end-of-life batteries and electrode production wastes.
Kris Gustafson is a certified Professional Engineer (PE) and Project Management Professional (PMP) with a background in the design, procurement, construction and operation of manufacturing facilities. Kris most recently led construction procurement on multiple projects for Tesla – at Gigafactory 1 in Sparks, Nevada, the Fremont Vehicle Factory in Fremont, California, Gigafactory Berlin in Brandenburg, Germany, and Gigafactory Texas in Austin, Texas. Kris is a detail-oriented engineer who developed a “passion for putting things together” through helping his dad with household projects while growing up in the suburbs of Chicago.
As Lead Procurement Manager at American Battery Technology Company, Kris manages all supply chain aspects, including purchasing and logistics, for the Battery Recycling Pilot Plant in Fernley. As such, he oversees the sourcing, negotiation & execution related to infrastructure, process equipment, feedstock supply and product offtake contracts. Kris helps bridge the gap between the commercial and technical sides of the traditional procurement approach and brings unique experience as ABTC scales from the bench/pilot phase to commercial operations.
Andrés Meza has over fifteen years of extensive experience both with the operations of manufacturing facilities as well as with the evolution of high-growth startups to established global corporations.
In his previous work as a global supply manager for Apple, Andrés focused on the commissioning and scale-up of manufacturing facilities across Asia and the implementation of cost efficiencies throughout their supply chain. Andrés also spent time at McKinsey and Company as an engagement manager, where he analyzed the manufacturing operations of global corporations and developed strategic assessments for executives to implement operational efficiencies in their facilities and business units.
With a passion for engineering and protecting the environment, he will play a key role in helping ABTC grow as it evolves into a mature and cross-functional manufacturing corporation. From product development to supply chain management, Andrès is a trailblazer in organizational transformations – working across multiple industries to envision, construct, and implement effective strategies and processes.
Miles Construction Miles Construction focuses 35 years of experience on a holistic approach to sustainable construction. Their LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) construction projects have garnered gold and platinum certifications and demonstrate their commitment to regional community.
In addition to its diverse design portfolio, Miles Construction is a great partner for its contributions to the Nevada community and the region’s economic ecosystem. The company is a Premier Partner of the Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA), the Regional Development Authority for the Sierra Region of Nevada. Cary Richardson, Vice President and Senior Project Manager, is a member of the Design Construction Committee for NNDA, as well as a member of the Institutional Advisory Council for West Nevada College and a member of the Design Construction Committee for the Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA). Principal William Miles works actively with the Nevada Builders Alliance and the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Nevada.
BJG Architecture and Engineering has a rich background in architectural and structural engineering. Over the last 20 years, BJG has designed millions of square feet of distribution and manufacturing facilities, research facilities, office buildings, public works and other specialized buildings. Technologically forward thinking, the firm specializes in design visualization to guide sustainability projects. Principals Cliff Johnson, George Ghusn and Jim Wallis utilize their expertise in architectural and structural issues to drive innovative design.
It’s not just a bold vision for a sustainable future that inspires ABTC’s work. There’s a deep well of experience in economic and environmental systems design that binds the team together. Through ABTC’s key players, the organization continues to prioritize sustainable innovation, ethical design, and a commitment to community.