Company Leadership

 
 
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Olgica  Bakajin, Ph.D.

Olgica  Bakajin brings a wealth of knowledge and practical expertise to her role as CEO, Founder, and Board Member of Porifera, Inc.

Dr.  Bakajin was introduced to the water industry when her team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) developed the first aligned carbon nanotubes for desalination. In 2009, Dr. Bakajin left LLNL to co-found Porifera with the vision of creating advanced membrane systems for water treatment. She directed a $9M+ DARPA-funded project and ARPA-E/CEC jointly-funded project that included national universities and laboratories as subcontractors. Since Porifera’s founding, Dr. Bakajin has led the company’s strategic direction, developing the team and technology from early-stage R&D to international commercial sales.

Dr. Bakajin received the NanoTech Briefs Award in 2007, R&D 100 Award in 2010 and has been elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2011. She serves as director of the International Forward Osmosis Association. Dr. Bakajin received her B.A. in Physics and Chemistry from the University of Chicago and her Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton University.


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Jennifer Klare, Ph.D.

Dr. Jennifer Klare is Porifera’s Senior Director of Applications and Operations. She leads the company’s food and beverage sales program and R&D application development. Dr. Klare received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Columbia University in 2006. After a postdoctoral position at Northwestern University, she joined the Porifera team at its founding. Dr. Klare combines her background in chemistry and nanomaterials with her 10 years of experience at Porifera to guide the team's solution for the customer. 


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Erik Desormeaux, P.E.

Erik Desormeaux is a Professional Engineer in California with over a decade of experience in the water and wastewater industry. Erik joined Porifera in 2014 as the Director of Process Development to help bring Forward Osmosis technology to the commercial market.

Prior to Porifera, Mr. Desormeaux worked for CDM Smith on over 20 municipal water supply, desalination, and water reuse projects. He also founded Consolidated Water's Asia Operations where he managed the design and construction of a 1 million gallon per day seawater desalination plant in Indonesia. He was twice elected to the Young Leaders Program Committee of the International Desalination Association and completed a BS and MS in Civil Engineering from Auburn University.


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Charlie Benton

Charlie Benton serves as the Senior Director of Engineering at Porifera. He is the co-inventor of Porifera’s novel PFO forward osmosis membrane module and developed electro-fluidic systems, electro-mechanical systems and in-house automation systems. He manages engineering projects and team of mechanical, chemical, control and environmental engineers.

Mr. Benton manages module and system development, piloting and in-house manufacturing as well as grant fulfillments. Additionally, he has compiled many of the company’s patents and presents at various conferences. Prior to Porifera, Mr. Benton worked as an Engineer at Geo. M. Martin and Prosetta Antiviral and designed laboratory test equipment at UC San Diego Material Science Lab.


Board of Directors


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Jeff Jensen

Mr. Jensen is the co-founder and Board President of Porifera. He has more than 20 years experience in the bioscience and industrial sectors. He has started and led companies that have developed numerous novel products in chemical and biological analysis, drug delivery, and diagnostics. Prior to Fluxion, Mr. Jensen served as President and CEO of Eksigent Technologies (acquired by Danaher), a leading supplier of microfluidic platforms for bio-analytical and medical device applications. Prior to Eksigent, Mr. Jensen held management positions in numerous functions at Raychem and Pall Corporation. Mr. Jensen received his BS from Cornell University in Chemical Engineering and graduated from the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School.


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Olgica  Bakajin, Ph.D.

Olgica  Bakajin brings a wealth of knowledge and practical expertise to her role as CEO, Founder, and Board Member of Porifera, Inc.

Dr.  Bakajin was introduced to the water industry when her team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) developed the first aligned carbon nanotubes for desalination. In 2009, Dr. Bakajin left LLNL to co-found Porifera with the vision of creating advanced membrane systems for water treatment. She directed a $9M+ DARPA-funded project and ARPA-E/CEC jointly-funded project that included national universities and laboratories as subcontractors. Since Porifera’s founding, Dr. Bakajin has led the company’s strategic direction, developing the team and technology from early-stage R&D to international commercial sales.

Dr. Bakajin received the NanoTech Briefs Award in 2007, R&D 100 Award in 2010 and has been elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2011. She serves as director of the International Forward Osmosis Association. Dr. Bakajin received her B.A. in Physics and Chemistry from the University of Chicago and her Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton University.


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Son Nguyen

Mr. Nguyen brings over 38 years of experience in the chemical industry and new business development. He is currently CEO of BaoMET International, a wholly owned subsidiary of BaoWu Metal, LTD, and VP of Venture and New Business Development at BaoWu, a major State-Owned-Enterprise in China.

Previously, Mr. Nguyen served as VP of Business Development at Simbol Materials. He served multiple roles at Dow Chemical including Director of New Business Development and Commercial Director for Dow Energy Materials business. Mr. Nguyen holds a M.B.A. from the University of Houston, Bauer School of Business, as well as a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from University of Houston.