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, 22 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, is currently the Operations Manager and a chief scientist at Dioxide Materials. Before that he has worked for 5 years at Cbana Laboratories. Ni is the PI for a current 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 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.


Maria Gainer
Business Development

Maria Gainer serves as New Business Development Specialist and has over 25 years of sales, marketing and management experience. Most recently she managed a Sales Acquisition team for a leading independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure across North, Central and South America. She developed highly effective sales programs and led the sales team in negotiating multi-million dollar sales volumes with record results for the company year after year. She has experience working with various industries with a proven ability to lead organizations and grow new markets.


Jerry Kaczur
Senior Engineer

Mr. Kaczur has a broad background in chemical process development in the areas of electrochemical processes in including chlor alkali, inorganic chemicals, oxidizers and reducing chemicals, air and water pollution control, and in water disinfection treatment systems. Jerry also has had extensive manufacturing operating experience in these industries. Areas of specialized experience include new electrochemical process development, air pollution control in NOx and SOx, inorganic chemistry and analytical methods, chemical process synthesis and design, as well as pilot plant design, operation and commissioning.nnJerry previously worked for Liquid Light, Inc. developing technologies for the conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to chemicals and fuels. Products include oxalic acid, formate, and ethylene glycol. He also worked for Honeywell’s Specialty Materials Division, PureLIne Treatment Systems and Olin. Mr. Kaczur holds more than 60 patents and has more than 25 papers and publications to his credit. Jerry has a B.S. in Engineering at Purdue University with graduate studies towards a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering at The State University in New York (SUNY at Buffalo).