Professor Rich Masel
Chief Executive Officer

Professor Rich Masel is Dioxide Materials' Founder and Chief Executive Officer. Rich Retired from the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University Of Illinois, Urbana Champaign in June 2010 after being on the faculty for 32 years. He has a distinguished publication record with over 250 peer reviewed journal publications, 400 conference papers, two textbooks, 47 issued patents and has multiple patents pending. Rich has an h-index over 60 and is listed in HighlyCited publishing papers that have had the most impact since 2000. A list of Rich's publications can be found here.
Prior to founding Dioxide Materials, Rich helped found Tekion, a developer of fuel cells for portable electronics and Cbana Laboratories homeland security company. Both are now independent companies with professional management. Rich played a key role in each company in four ways: leading initial technology development; developing Fortune 500 partners; helping to hire management and fundraising. These two companies raised approximately $5 million of grant funding and about $30 million of VC and Angel financing. From 1996-1999 Rich was CEO of Masel Industries launching hundreds of new products and leading to the acquisition of Masel Industries by a major customer.

Dr. Zheng (Richard) Ni
Operations Manager

Dr. Zheng (Richard) Ni, Chemistry Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC), 2007, MBA from Florida Atlantic University, 2018, is currently the Operations Manager and a chief scientist at Dioxide Materials. Before that he has worked for 5 years at Cbana Laboratories. Ni was the PI for an NSF SBIR Phase II proposal: CO2 sensors for HVAC. He has developed microreactors for catalytical reforming of hydrocarbons and preconcentrators for capturing of air pollutants during his Ph.D. study. Ni has discovered and patented more than 30 new nanoporous materials, and has developed microGC column, preconcetrator and low pressure-drop filter for VOCs detection. Ni was also a PI on one EPA project and co-PI on another NASA SBIR project. He has three issued and allowed patents. His paper of MOF materials synthesis has been cited over 300 times, and has been highlighted in C&EN as one of the most excitings in 2006. Ni was one of the finalists in Lemelson Award Competition for his invention of the novel preconcentrator for air pollutant detections. He is a peer-reviewer for Analytical Chemistry, Langmuir, and Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, and grant application reviewer for EPA.