Volta works to validate transformative technologies and businesses through collaboration with leading institutions, including through its research agreement with Argonne National Laboratory. Volta’s focus is on technologies and businesses that impact applications in transportation, the electric grid, and portable electronics. Volta is designed to create strategic advantages for our corporate partners’ core businesses and deliver financial returns.
THE VOLTA TEAM
Jeff Chamberlain, CEO
Dr. Chamberlain is a proven leader with a long record of industrial product R&D and commercialization success in energy, integrated circuit, and water treatment technology. Dr. Chamberlain’s industrial experience is complemented by his ten years leading the energy storage initiatives at Argonne National Laboratory. In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, Jeff led the effort to successfully transfer advanced battery technology from Argonne to LG Chem, BASF, General Motors, Toda Kogyo, General Electric, and others. Dr. Chamberlain also led the team that was awarded $120 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop advanced energy storage technologies for transportation and the grid, through a U.S. consortium of innovators from MIT across the country to Berkeley and Stanford. Jeff received his Ph.D. in the Physical Chemistry of Surfaces from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
David Schroeder, CTO
Dr. Schroeder has focused his career on applying science to the development of profitable product manufacturing and answering technical questions posed by industry. His diverse technical experience ranges from the understanding of problems in materials science to product development and the building of working systems. He has taken multiple products and processes from early concept to successful commercial launch and volume manufacturing in the specialty chemical and semiconductor manufacturing industries. He has served in a wide variety of environments, including technology startups, mid-size and large corporations, national laboratories, and academia. Dr. Schroeder has also worked as an independent consultant for new technology development efforts, energy efficiency standards development, and analysis of the viability of new energy technologies. Dave received his Ph.D. in Material Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois.
Alexander Arkin, Chief Investment Officer
Mr. Arkin has 30 years of energy industry finance, strategy and public policy experience, including over a decade in senior roles at Riverstone Holdings, McKinsey & Company and the Harvard Electricity Policy Group. Having dedicated a significant portion of his career to renewables, other advanced electric industry technologies as well as to analysis and development of energy industry public policy and regulation, Mr. Arkin has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of emerging opportunities and associated risk for new technologies and business models in the evolving energy and power industry. Mr. Arkin holds a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government.
Chief Investment Officer
Mike Sodaro, COO
Mr. Sodaro has 30 years of progressive operational and project management experience— both in the Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory system and as a business owner. At Argonne, Mike provided operations and project management support to Jeff Chamberlain to the launch of the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science. Mike has proven expertise in the management of large complex projects, nuclear operations, facility management, and support services. His comprehensive knowledge of operational management has led to consistently meeting or exceeding expectations of organizational short- and long-term financial, strategic, and operational goals. Mike received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois.
Jason Moede, Managing Director, Investment Office
Mr. Moede has over 25 years of finance and investment experience with a deep skill set spanning portfolio management, alternative investments, entrepreneurship, and strategy consulting. Most recently, Mr. Moede was a Portfolio Manager and Head of Advanced Alpha Strategies at William Blair Investment Management. Prior to that, Jason had portfolio management roles at two hedge funds: TradeLink, LLC and Constellation Investment Group (co-founded by Mr. Moede). He has also served in a consulting capacity at Boston Consulting Group’s ValueScience Center and in a finance role at a subsidiary of Bechtel Enterprises. Mr. Moede started his career as an economist in the antitrust department of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom. Jason holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Carleton College.
Managing Director, Investment Office
Aude Hubaud, Technical Principal
Ms. Hubaud has ten years of technical expertise in energy storage technologies. Prior to joining Volta in 2017, she worked at Argonne National Laboratory for seven years focusing on energy storage research. Initially a scientist, Aude transitioned to project management and technical leadership for industry-sponsored research projects. Prior to Argonne, she worked as a scientist performing research in nuclear chemistry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for two years and attended the University of California Berkeley for her graduate studies. Aude holds a M. S. in Chemistry and in Chemical Engineering from CPE Lyon School of Engineering.
Christopher Claxton, Principal
Mr. Claxton has over 15 years of experience in early-stage technology commercialization. He has been on the founding team of several technology start-up companies and has worked as a commercialization consultant to various government agencies including the NIH, NASA, and the U.S. Department of Energy. Before joining the Volta team in early 2020, Chris spent seven years as Sr. Business Development Executive for Argonne National Laboratory, leading business development and technology licensing for the Lab’s advanced electrochemical energy storage R&D program. While at Argonne, he worked alongside the Lab’s scientists and engineers to successfully lead and close deals with companies across the energy storage value chain, including raw material suppliers, battery material manufacturers, cell and pack manufacturers, system integrators, and automotive OEMs in North America, Europe, and Asia. At Volta Energy Technologies, Chris manages the firm’s pipeline of venture deals. He holds a B.S. in Finance and Marketing from Indiana University.
Michael Rochman, Principal
Mr. Rochman has nearly a decade of investing experience across a number of industries. He is currently Managing Director & CIO of GBR Consulting where he manages credit-oriented portfolios for high net worth individuals. Prior to founding GBR Consulting, Mr. Rochman held roles in investment banking, a publicly traded credit/equity fund, turnaround & restructuring, and financial planning & analysis. Michael holds bachelor’s degrees in accountancy and finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Lew Stretch, Operations Principal
Mr. Stretch has over 20 years of alternative investment operations experience. He co-founded and served as COO for Covered Finance, a healthcare specialty finance company; there he designed a complex platform of operational processes and technology integrations to facilitate the business model he helped develop. Most recently Lew served as Director – Investment Manager Services PMO at SEI Investments. Prior to that he led a consulting team that assisted Fintech companies with customized risk management software implementations, served as Head of Operational Due Diligence at William Blair and Director of Operations for Brandywine Asset Management. Lew holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration – Accounting from Millersville University and has earned the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation.
James Frith, Principal
Dr. Frith has over a decade of experience in the energy storage industry. James spent seven years working on lithium batteries in the laboratory before moving to BloombergNEF, where he led the company’s coverage of storage technologies and their associated supply chains. Using his in-depth knowledge and understanding of the techno-economics of lithium batteries, Dr. Frith has advised governments, financial institutions, and the automotive and mining sectors as they position themselves for the low carbon economy. James holds a Ph.D in Electrochemistry from the University of Southampton.
Kara Rodby, Technical Principal
Dr. Rodby is a recent graduate from MIT, having completed her PhD in Chemical Engineering. Her dissertation, performed under Professor Brushett, is titled “Bringing Redox Flow Batteries to the Grid: Techno-economic Modeling for Chemistry-Informed Design of Redox Flow Batteries.” During her PhD, she developed an array of research skills including lab work, techno-economic modeling, and supply chain analyses, all focused on electrochemical energy storage technologies. Further, her research was oriented toward bolstering deployment opportunities for these systems, considering the technical and economic factors needed to transition nascent technologies to successful, long-term commercialization and operation. Outside of this field, she is also versed in and actively organizing around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) topics in various spaces. At Volta, Dr. Rodby works as a technical analyst performing due diligence on prospective companies and executing broader techno-economic analyses to drive investment approaches.
Edmund Lee, Venture Partner
Mr. Lee has more than 20 years of industry and consulting experience focused on operations improvement. He has expertise in multiple industries, including energy, high technology, and industrial. In addition to Volta, Edmund works as a Director at AlixPartners a global management consulting firm. He worked at Exelon Corporation in Strategic Supply, Corporate Strategy and Business Operations. He also represents a Korean battery equipment manufacturer. He began his career as a consultant at A.T. Kearney. Edmund is native speaker of Korean and graduated from Seoul National University and holds an MBA in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Laura Smith, Executive Assistant
Mrs. Smith has over 15 years of corporate management and administrative experience. Prior to joining Volta in 2018, Laura spent time in the private travel sector where she specialized in business travel management. Throughout her career, Laura oversaw administrative operations for multiple high-volume travel management companies. Mrs. Smith holds a bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Spanish from Northern Illinois University.