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Energy Speakers 2012

David Abecassis is partner, co-founder, and president of Biogard, Inc., a Long Island-based company that develops eco-friendly renewable technologies such as organic fertilizers and oil spill cleanup products. He is experienced in interdisciplinary science and business strategies with an emphasis in green chemistry, materials, and processing, as well as intellectual property and corporate law. His expertise also includes sales, project management, intellectual property licensing, and negotiations.

At Biogard, Abecassis has developed biological herbicides, pesticides, and soil and water remediation products, for which he has one patent and several others pending. He has negotiated successful European Union (EU) validation efforts and achieved EU approval for the company's products.

Abecassis has been involved in various business incubators. Since 2010, he has participated in a start-up board of directors for the green incubator initiative "Launch Pad," a collaborative effort among Biogard, Green Long Island, the Collaborative Energy Group, and Pipeline Capital. Launch Pad has resulted in net-green energy job growth and a small-scale organic farm project for suburban areas.

Prior to Biogard, Abecassis has served in leadership roles at G-Technology Group in Baltimore, Md., and Industrial Polymer Research and Engineering Corp., Huntington, N.Y.


Steven Apelman is the founder and president of Macro Electronics Corporation, an electronics manufacturing company incorporated in 1981, and chairman of the board of directors of the industrial consortium Macro Corp. For 36 years, he has been actively and successfully creating new products and innovations.

Apelman has originated and/or contributed to more than 65 patents, including two worldwide firsts: the electronic and mechanical design of a microprocessor-controlled aircraft fuel-gauging system for McDonnell Douglas Corp., used on the DC-9/80 commercial airliner and aircraft frames by multiple manufacturers, and a dual-redundant, microprocessor-controlled military aircraft hydraulic control system for McAir Corp., used on the Harrier-AV8B jump jet for the U.S. Marines. He also has developed nine microprocessor-controlled postal vending units for the U.S. Postal Service; three vertical axis wind turbine systems for energy storage; a video generator for expansion of oscilloscope capability, making a single trace device able to display eight digital signals simultaneously; four FDA-approved steam sterilizer control systems used by leading U.S. hospitals; radio-controlled safety equipment for the prevention of water and ice damage to residential, commercial, and industrial properties; and cellulose fiber processing machinery for the manufacturing and packaging of oil-remediation products sold by BioGard Corp.

In addition, Apelman has completed designs on 261 separate components and systems for the U.S. Military since 1976, as well as 387 commercial designs for small business products in the electronic, mechanical, and electromechanical disciplines.


Stephen A. Boyd is chief technology officer of Aufbau Laboratories, LLC, a renewable energy company in Glen Cove, N.Y. In this position, he has developed several prototypes for novel energy scavenging methodologies from dramatic thermodynamic improvements in existing heating equipment to applications of electricity production from different potential energy sources, such as doped piezoelectric crystals and isotope enrichment techniques.

Boyd holds seven patents (three provisional, four non-provisional) and four more slated for submission this year. He has worked extensively on both governmental and private international projects, allowing him to hone his speaking, reading, and writing proficiencies in four languages and translational capabilities in eight.

His expertise is in chemical physics, specifically on Magic-Angle Spinning Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (MAS NMR) and X-ray diffractometry, which is also the topic of his dissertation as a current Ph.D. candidate at Stony Brook University. He has synthesized a series of nanoparticle, selectively-lanthanide-doped fluoride salts to investigate enhanced ionic conductivity mechanisms for solid-oxide fuel cell applications. He also recently completed a low-temperature MAS NMR investigation of a class of ionic liquids with the potential for use as electrolytes in lithium ion batteries.


Edward A. Gotfried, D.O., FACOS, is an associate professor of surgery and director of the NYIT Center for Global Health. He joined the faculty at NYIT's College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYCOM) in 2005 to help develop the problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum. He is also the director of the PBL clinical skills section for second-year NYCOM students and serves as facilitator for NYCOM PBL students in their first and second years.

In 2007, Dr. Gotfried helped establish the NYIT Center for Global Health, an interdisciplinary center of excellence. The center's mission includes:

  • enhancing communication across medical fields, communities, health systems, and educational institutions to develop a common language of care and caring.
  • broadening perspectives on health care as part of our responsibility to the global community by engaging in collaborative international teaching, research, and service.
  • stimulating and supporting research in and integrating the use of osteopathic medical principles and practice around the world.
  • developing innovative partnerships with global health and policy leaders, scholars, and practitioners with the goal of improving the health of individuals, communities, and populations worldwide.
  • educating and inspiring medical students, faculty, and health care professionals by providing exposure to and immersion in international experiences.

The center is engaged in missions to conduct research, deliver health care, and train faculty and students in countries such as Ghana, El Salvador, Belize, and Haiti. Dr. Gotfried co-developed a Certificate in Global Health, which uses a multidisciplinary approach to improve students' understanding poor health and its global impact.

Dr. Gotfried earned his doctorate of osteopathic medicine degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1963. He completed his surgical residency training at Tri-County Hospital in Springfield, Penn., earned certification in general surgery, and later became the hospital's department chair and chief of staff. He has held faculty appointments at osteopathic medical schools across the country. At the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, he developed a successful PBL curriculum, which served as a model for NYCOM. His varied background also includes certification in laser and endoscopic surgery and expertise in acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine.

In 2011, Dr. Gotfried received NYCOM's Outstanding Faculty Award for teaching PBL as well as the Standard of Excellence Award.


Michael (Mickey) B. Ingles is vice president of operations at WorldWater and Solar Technologies, Inc. in Princeton, N.J. In this role, he provides oversight for the company's manufacturing and research and development programs. As a member of the WorldWater team since 1996, he has implemented solar water pumping projects throughout Eastern Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and the United States.

Ingles has more than 20 years of experience in international development and humanitarian aid, with a focus on using renewable energy technologies to solve water and power distribution issues in the developing world. He helped to develop WorldWater's Mobile Max product line, an off-grid solution designed to pump water and provide auxiliary power for farming and remote operations.

Previously, Ingles served as a natural resource management consultant with the U.S. Peace Corp. in Thailand and worked as a wildland firefighter with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along the U.S./Mexico border.


Richard Rotanz, Ph.D., is the executive director and co-designer of the Applied Science Foundation in Homeland Security. The foundation is housed in a unique, 90,000-square-foot facility modeled as a "living lab," enabling collaboration among engineering firms, academic institutions, and federal, state, and local response organizations. In 2002, Rotanz founded the Office of Emergency Management of Nassau County, N.Y., and served as its first commissioner. He launched the agency's emergency operations center and developed emergency response planning processes as well as major exercises and CERT teams.

Prior to his work with Nassau County, Rotanz served as deputy director of New York City's Office of Emergency Management under former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. He oversaw research and planning, re-instituting the destroyed emergency operations center at Pier 92, and managing the multi-organization response to 9/11. His emergency management experience spans 40 years, including 25 years as a member of the New York City Fire Department. He specializes in rescue, hazardous materials incidents, surgical nursing, and planning for natural, civil, and technological hazards including acts of terrorism.

In 2004, Rotanz developed Adelphi University's graduate certificate in emergency management studies, which is now a full graduate degree, and currently serves as advising professor. He has a Ph.D. in policy science in emergency management.


David Schieren (M.S. '06) is the co-founder and chief executive officer of EmPower Solar, a clean energy company in Island Park, N.Y. Its mission is to empower people to use clean energy to control energy costs, improve air quality, end oil dependency, and dramatically raise the standard of living. He works closely with the COO and the management team to lead and grow the company, and is responsible for managing business strategy and development, client relationships, operations, finances, legal issues, recruiting practices, and corporate culture.

In addition, Schieren is a certified photovoltaic installer by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. He has a Master of Science in Energy Management from NYIT, where he also received a Faculty Award for outstanding achievement. He is co-founder of the Solar Decathlon Alumni Association, which seeks to build an alumni community and advocacy group from the participants in the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon biannual competition.


Hollice Stone is the founder of Stone Security Engineering in New York City and a leader in the security engineering industry. She has 18 years of experience in engineering, blast, antiterrorism, and emergency responses, and has devoted her career to helping protect people, buildings, and critical infrastructure from terrorism.

Stone has conducted multi-hazard vulnerability assessments and implemented new anti-terrorism design for the U.S. departments of state, justice, defense and homeland security. Her firm's clients also include national universities, chemical plants, oil refineries, Fortune 50 companies, and international non-governmental organizations.


Ram Venkatadri, Ph.D., is the global marketing manager in the energy group of Pall Corporation, a clean technology company headquartered in Port Washington, N.Y. In this role, he is developing new application areas for Pall's extensive water treatment technology. Prior to joining Pall in early 2008, he provided technical services and implemented sales and marketing for more than 18 years at leading energy companies such as Nalco, Exxon Chemical, and Ciba. His expertise applies to innovative marketing and business development in the polymer, olefin, and refining industries.


Peter Williams is the founder and executive director of ARCHIVE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Architecture for Health in Vulnerable Environments. He is an architect and social entrepreneur who prioritizes the link between housing and health as an important means for improving the lives of the world's poor. For more than 10 years, Williams has engaged in building projects on five continents; served as a visiting researcher at the UNAIDS Secretariat, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, in South Africa; worked for the World Bank; and taught at universities around the world. He is the recipient of numerous awards for research, including Columbia University's Kinne Fellowship, which led him to form ARCHIVE in 2006 in London. The nonprofit now has offices on four continents.

In addition, Williams was named among the 22 best emerging social entrepreneurs in the world by the nonprofit Echoing Green (2009) and as one of London's 40 Under 40 International Development Leaders by the Web company Devex (2011). He is a fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, a member of the American Public Health Association, and a sought-after lecturer on architecture, public health, and international development.