Mr. Beth-Halachmi served as the head of the Israeli Airforce Research and Development and subsequently as the Chief of Defense, Research and Development (Brigadier General). He was also a member of the Israel Defense Forces General Staff. In his civilian career, Mr. Beth-Halachmi held the following posts: director-general of the Ministry of Defense, president of TAHAL engineering and president of Federmann Enterprises – Industries and Technology. Mr. Beth-Halachmi holds a bachelor of science degree in electronic engineering from the Technion and a master of science degree in computer science from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
Mr. Lucien Y. Bronicki is Chairman and Chief Technical Officer of the Ormat Group, a global company active in geothermal power plants, recovered energy generation and remote power units. Ormat’s products and systems are covered by more than 70 patents, many of them developed by Mr. Bronicki. The pioneering of harnessing solar energy was initiated in Israel by Zvi Tabor in the 50’s in the National Physical Laboratory in Jerusalem. Mr. Bronicki joined the laboratory in 1958 to head the solar turbine project. When the project was discontinued because of lack of government interest, he founded Ormat with his wife in 1965 to continue the development. Mr. Bronicki did post graduate studies in Nuclear Engineering at CNAM in Paris and holds a Master of Science Degree in Physics from the Universite de Paris as well as a BSc in Mechanical Engineering. He has authored many professional articles and received many awards. He served as Co-Chairman of Orbotech Ltd., Chairman of Bet Shemesh Engines Ltd., and OPTI Canada Inc. Mr. Bronicki is a leader in his field whose enterprise has helped put Israeli technology in the forefront of renewable energy development in the world. He is a member of the Technion’s Board of Governors, Executive Council of the Weizmann Institute and a member of the Board of Governors of the Technion and Beer-Sheva University.
David Faiman is Professor of Physics and Chairman of the Department of Solar Energy & Environmental Physics at Ben-Gurion University’s Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Sede Boqer where he is also director of Israel’s National Solar Energy Center. A physicist by training, he obtained his first degree from the University of London, and his second and third degrees from the University of Illinois. During the years 1969-1976 he performed research in theoretical physics at Oxford University, CERN and the Weizmann Institute. In 1976, he joined Ben-Gurion University where he participated in the establishment of the Blaustein Institutes, refocusing his research activities into the field of applied solar energy. He is widely published and has chaired or been a member of numerous international committees. At present, he is Israel’s representative to the Task 8 Photovoltaic Specialist Committee of the International Energy Agency and has co-authored their latest book: Energy from the Desert: Practical Proposals for Very Large Scale Photovoltaic Systems (James & James, London, 2007).
Arnold J. Goldman is the Chairman and Founder of both BrightSource Energy Inc. and BrightSource Industries (Israel), Ltd. BrightSource has signed PPAs for 2,600MW with PG&E and South California Edison. The BrightSource Solar Energy Development Center with its Luz Power Tower (LPT) 550 technology is producing solar generated steam at the highest sustained temperatures and pressures in the solar thermal field. Mr. Goldman is the founder of Luz International, Ltd. and served as its CEO. He also co-founded Electric Fuel Ltd, an electric battery/fuel cell company listed today as Aerotech on the NASDAQ. He was the VP of Engineering and co-Founder of Lexitron, the first word processing company in the US, listed on NASDAQ in 1974. Lexitron was bought by Raytheon in 1977.Mr. Goldman is the recipient of two international awards: The International Solar Energy Society Achievement Through Action Award in Memory of Christopher A. Weeks and The EuroSolarAugustin-Mouchot Award for his contribution to solar energy development. He holds a B.S. in Engineering from UCLA and a MSEE from the University of Southern California. Mr. Goldman also holds numerous patents for his inventions and innovations.
Vice-President and Dean for Research and Development Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Moti Herskowitz, professor of chemical engineering and researcher in the fields of advanced materials, catalysis and multiphase reactors, was appointed as Vice-President and Dean for Research and Development on September 2003. In this position, he is responsible for promoting and facilitating research in all its aspects. Prof. Herskowitz received his B.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and the Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis. He joined the department of Chemical Engineering at BGU on 1979 as lecturer and was promoted to Full Professor on 1992. Prof. Herskowitz has served as the chairman of the Department of Chemical Engineering. He established and became the director of the Blechner Center for Industrial Catalysis and Process Development in 1995 leading many of its research programs. He published over 100 papers and 14 patents based on basic and applied research. Prof. Herskowitz has been associated with Exxon (Mobil) Research and Engineering Company for more than 20 years and was a consultant for a number of companies. The Blechner Center has succeeded, under the leadership of Professor Herskowitz, to attract major funding of over $8,000,000 to build the infrastructure and develop an outstanding expertise. The Center has been playing an important role in the Center of Excellence funded by the Israel Science Foundation on origins of ordering and functionality in meso-structured hybrid materials. New opportunities were uncovered by ordered mesostructured silica (OMS) matrices for stabilizing the guest nanocrystals. High loading of catalytic phases with controlled location were achieved and several chemical functionalities combined in one nano-composite transformed the preparation of advanced catalytic materials. Novel catalytic materials were prepared with high potential for applications. Conditions for proper preparation of host-guest catalytic composites were defined.
Jacob was Assistant Professor at the Mechanical Engineering Dept. of SUNY at Stony Brook, N.Y. from 1984 to 1989 and has been at the Weizmann Institute since 1989. He was a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota in the summers of 1994 and 1996, and at Johns Hopkins University in the 1998-98 school year. Between 2002 and 2008 Prof. Karni was the head the Weizmann’s Energy Center. Since 2008 he has been the Chief Technology Officer of HelioFocus Ltd. Karni research centers on the utilization of concentrated solar energy. He is interested in the development of new methods for concentration, absorption, conversion, transmission and storage of concentrated solar energy, and implementing these methods in genuine solar power-conversion systems. Together with several outstanding co-workers, Karni developed several novel solar receivers capable of working at high temperature and highly concentrated sunlight, while supplying heat to drive heat engines or thermo-chemical reactions. Together with a colleague, he also pioneered a novel concentrated photovoltaic system. Prof. Karni research group is now working on a new method for using solar energy to produce non-polluting fuels; the main effort is on one-step – separated or simultaneous – dissociation of carbon dioxide and water at high temperature. A common denominator among the aforementioned processes is the ability to operate at concentrations, temperatures, and pressure levels far above those presently obtained with solar-driven devices; these abilities match or exceed the requirements of state-of-the-art power generation, chemical processing, and propulsion systems. Prof. Karni’s has a dozen of international patents and three industry-led commercialization programs based on his concepts are currently underway.
Mr. Guy Sella is a Founder, Chairman and CEO of SolarEdge Technologies.Prior to founding SolarEdge, Mr. Sella served as a partner in Star Ventures.Previously, he served as the Director of Technology of the Israeli National Security Council and the Chief of Command of the Technology Unit of the Department of Military Intelligence. Mr. Sella holds a BS in Engineering from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.
In her role as Director of Strategy at NRG Energy, Mira focuses on identifying and pursuing new market opportunities for NRG in the distributed generation markets. Before joining NRG, she managed her own consulting practice, working to bring environmental technologies to market. These ranged from leading the business development for an early-stage advanced materials start-up to brokering, negotiating and closing Power Purchase Agreements. She also served in sustainability-oriented positions for several years with Dow Chemical in both the U.S. and abroad and launched Dow’s lithium-ion battery business. Prior to working in the business world, Mira led conservation projects in Africa. Mira holds a BA degree in Biology from Oberlin College and an MBA from the University of California, Berkley – Walter A. Haas School of Business. She is an advisor to Social Investment Management Advisors and the UC Berkeley Center for Responsible Business.