MRO Magazine

1366 Adds to Executive Team and Forms Scientific Advisory Board as Company Shifts Focus to Commercial Manufacturing

March 6, 2015
By Business Wire News


1366 Technologies today announced a series of personnel changes that underscore its planned shift in focus from technology development to full production and manufacturing. The company has formed a Scientific Advisory Board to be led by co-founder Dr. Emanuel “Ely” Sachs, who is transitioning out of his role as Chief Technology Officer. The company has also added former First Solar President Bruce Sohn to its Board of Directors and appointed photovoltaics veteran Dr. Rob Steeman as its Director of Cell Technology. The new executive talent and the formation of the Scientific Advisory Board strengthen 1366’s position as its Direct Wafer® technology moves into the final stages of development and the company readies to build out its 250 MW manufacturing facility.

“The 1366 team is at an important juncture and rapidly moving toward commercial production. We now have a manufacturing hub, consisting of fully-automated Direct Wafer machines, up and running,” said Frank van Mierlo, CEO, 1366 Technologies. “These additions to the team, and the new roles created, will undoubtedly help us deliver against the promise made possible by Ely’s vision – a uniformly better multi-crystalline wafer at one-half the cost.”

In his new role as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Sachs will help to guide the innovative vision and technical direction of the company, building on the strong foundation he helped to establish. “We are incredibly grateful for Ely’s contributions these past seven years. So much of our technical success can be attributed to his brilliance and drive,” continued van Mierlo. “Ely has put in place a world-class team, which will continue to carry the mission forward.”

Bruce Sohn joins 1366 as a member of its Board of Directors. Mr. Sohn is the former President of First Solar, and it was under his leadership that the company became the largest photovoltaic module manufacturer and builder of utility scale solar power plants in the world. Prior to First Solar, Mr. Sohn spent 24 years at Intel Corporation where he played a leadership role in developing and manufacturing leading-edge semiconductor technology and was a primary developer of Copy Exactly!

1366 Technologies has also appointed photovoltaics veteran Dr. Rob Steeman as its Director of Cell Technology. Dr. Steeman has spent nearly 25 years performing and managing research and development activities related to photovoltaics and solar cells at The Energy Research Center of the Netherlands, Shell Solar and, most recently, REC Solar. Dr. Steeman was responsible for process and equipment engineering of REC’s cell production lines in Singapore, and more recently for REC’s technology strategy, as well as IP, technology benchmarking and technology surveillance. Dr. Steeman will work closely with 1366’s VP of Manufacturing, Brian Eller, to transfer processes from the Bedford pilot facility to the new factory.

“Bruce’s and Rob’s deep experience, talent and manufacturing acumen will be extremely valuable as we execute against the manufacturing plan and enter this next growth stage,” continued van Mierlo.

About 1366 Technologies

1366 Technologies aims to deliver solar at the cost of coal. The company combines breakthrough technology innovations with lean manufacturing processes to make a new class of silicon wafers, the building blocks of solar cells, at a fraction of today’s cost. Developed by a veteran team of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs, the company’s novel approach breaks the historic efficiency and cost tradeoffs of photovoltaics. 1366 Technologies is headquartered in Bedford, MA. For more information, please visit

For 1366 Technologies
Laureen Sanderson, 617-694-7336