MAREC Appoints Battery Expert As Associate Director: A chemical engineer with extensive experience in the battery industry has been appointed associate director of research and technology for Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center. Suresh Mani joined MAREC July 15. Mani comes from A123 Systems in Ann Arbor, where he served as technical director and conducted research and development work in battery technology. At A123 Systems, he was the principal investigator on a NASA project to develop advanced batteries for space, in which he created and led a team that included two NASA centers, a battery manufacturer, and two universities. Mani’s past experiences include being a research specialist at Michigan State U`niversity and technical director of Flint Ink Corp., where he worked on the development of fluid ink products. Mani will lead projects in advanced energy storage, smart grid development and other renewable energy technologies. He will serve as technical liaison with regional manufacturers, including the emerging battery industry in West Michigan. One of his initial projects will be to develop a characterization laboratory at MAREC that will support comprehensive testing of battery materials and components. Mani will also help GVSU’s Padnos College of Engineering and Computing develop battery technology curriculum. Born in India, Mani received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and a master’s degree and doctorate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in chemical engineering.