President / Co-Founder
Franco Castaldini brings 15 years of experience in senior management positions at global high-tech companies leading their revenue growth in both domestic and international markets. As President of Leva Energy, Mr. Castaldini is responsible for managing Leva Energy’s global go-to-market strategy involving all aspects of the business. Prior to Leva Energy, he held senior positions in marketing, business development and sales at market-leading companies such as Software AG, Seagate, and Commerce One. He holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and a Bachelors of Science degree in Journalism from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.
John T. Kelly, Ph.D.
Director / Co-Founder
Dr. John T. Kelly brings 36 years of experience in fuels, combustion and power systems engineering to Leva Energy. His career combines both technical innovation and a track record in building a successful energy and environmental systems development company. Dr. Kelly is also the president of Altex Technologies
where he has successfully developed and tested many innovative energy systems that are now used by industry. Prior to Altex, he acquired power system experience at Consolidated Edison, Pratt and Whitney, Aerochem and Acurex. Dr. Kelly holds five patents, plus two pending, related to energy systems. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from The Cooper Union, and MS in Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Polytechnic University of New York.
Director / Co-Founder
Carlo Castaldini guides Leva Energy’s continuing advancements in low-cost, highly efficient, clean-burning Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technologies. His 35 years of engineering experience in energy and power generation equipment led to the development and successful demonstration of the market’s only power-generating burner. Mr. Castaldini is also the founder and owner of CMCE, Inc.
where he has consulted to DOE National Laboratories, the Department of Energy, the EPRI, and the California Energy Commission. Mr. Castaldini has lectured as an adjunt professor in the Chemcial Engineering Department at San Jose State University, has authored over 50 technical papers, and is a member of the USEPA CHP Partnership. He obtained his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and a BS Degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.
Mehdi Namazian, Ph.D.
Director / Co-Founder
Dr. Mehdi Namazian’s 30 years of experience in fuels processing, combustion and power systems provide Leva Energy with both technical and practical insights into developing power-generating burners. Dr. Namazian has developed several burners that have evolved from development work he led at Sandia National Laboratories and at Altex Technologies
where he is currently a Vice President in charge of the company’s operations. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Tehran University, and his MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After graduating from MIT, he joined the UC Berkeley M.E. Department and worked as a researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is the recipient of the Arch T. Colwell Merit Award from the Society of Automotive Engineers. He has published over 100 technical articles and holds five U.S. patents including a patent on a low NOx burner that is implemented in Leva Energy’s Power Burner.
Guy F. Caruso is a senior adviser in the Energy and National Security Program at the Center of Strategic International Studies (CSIS), having served as executive director of the CSIS Strategic Energy Initiative from 1998 to 2000. Prior to rejoining CSIS he served as administrator of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) from July 2002 to September 2008, EIA is the statistical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that provides independent data, forecasts, and analyses regarding energy. Before leading EIA, Mr. Caruso had acquired over 30 years of energy experience, with particular emphasis on topics relating to energy markets, policy, and security. Other leadership roles at DOE included director of the Office of Oil and Natural Gas Policy in the Office of Domestic and International Energy Policy and director of the Office of Energy Emergency Policy Evaluation. Prior to joining DOE, Mr. Caruso worked at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as an international energy economist in the Office of Economic Research. In addition, before joining EIA, he was also director of the National Energy Strategy (NES) project for the U.S. Energy Association (USEA).
Mr. Caruso has also worked at the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), first as the head of the Oil Industry Division, where he was responsible for analyzing world oil supply/demand and developments in the oil industry, and later as director of the Office of Non-member Countries, where he directed studies of energy-related developments in emerging economies. In January 2008, he was awarded the French National Order of Merit. Mr. Caruso holds a B.S. in business administration and an M.S. in economics from the University of Connecticut. He also earned an M.P.A. from Harvard University.
Bruce Hedman, Vice President of Distributed Generation Markets and Technology for ICF International, has over 20 years experience in energy and environmental technology development, new product commercialization, and market research and development. Dr. Hedman was formerly a Vice President at Onsite Energy. Dr. Hedman was Executive Director of the Industrial Center Inc. a natural gas industry technology transfer and market development organization. Prior to this, he was Senior Program Manager at Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory's Washington, DC offices, providing strategic planning and policy analysis support on natural gas issues and end-use research, development and commercialization. Dr. Hedman started his career at the Gas Research Institute in Chicago, holding a variety of research management positions in power generation, alternative fueled vehicles and industrial end-use. When he left GRI in 1994, he was Group Manager, Industrial and Power Generation Products. Dr. Hedman is treasurer of the United States Combined Heat and Power Association and is an inductee in the American Gas Association's Industrial and Commercial Hall of Flame. Dr Hedman has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Lou Brizzolara has been selling, servicing and engineering industrial burner systems since 1975. As President of AHM Associates since 1990, Mr. Brizzolara represents many product lines in the field of combustion equipment managing customer relationships and sales for multi-national corporations across the Western Region. He started his professional career working for Coen Company, Inc. where he held many customer-facing positions gaining deep and practical knowledge of the industrial burner market. He has published several papers on the combustion of wood fuel, pulverized coal and fuel systems. He was an energy consultant to corporations in the United States and Australia and lectured on coal water slurry combustion in Korea sponsored by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. Mr. Brizzolara has B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, from the University of California, Berkeley and is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of California.