• Our Team

    Advano is led by a talented team of renowned experts in silicon-based materials, advanced energy storage materials, chemical engineering, and automotive technology. Their combined track record includes building businesses, award-winning scientific innovation, and successful product commercialization.

    Alexander L. Girau, M.S.

    Chief Executive Officer, President, Founder

    Mr. Girau has spent over 10+ years involved with chemical and nanomaterial technology. He is a Visiting Researcher at Tulane University’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He also is an initial contributor to the research and development of Advano’s core nanomanufacturing technology while a Ph.D. candidate at Tulane University. Professionally, he has consulted as a chemical process engineer on assets worth over $1 billion for several Fortune 500 companies (Shell Exploration and Production Company, Valero Energy, Marathon, etc.) and also for early-stage ventures backed by Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures. Mr. Girau is also a mentor to the New Venture Program to MBA students at Tulane University's Freeman Business School. Mr. Girau has successful experience with the development of industrial and academic partnerships with multi-national corporations in regards to the commercialization of nanomanufacturing technology. Mr. Girau is also a mentor at the Cleantech Open Accelerator, the world's largest business accelerator for early-stage clean energy technology ventures. Mr. Girau matriculated as a Ph.D. scholar in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Tulane University but is currently on hiatus to commercialize Advano. Mr. Girau is a Tulane University legacy (3rd generation), having completed a M.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Tulane University and a B.S. (Honors) in Chemistry and Mathematics from Loyola University.

    Shiva Adireddy, PhD., M.B.A.

    Chief Technology Officer, Co-Founder

    Shiva Adireddy is a Research Assistant Professor at the Physics & Engineering Physics Department at Tulane University. He received a Ph.D. in Nanomaterials design, fabrication and assembly from the University of New Orleans. He has a 10-year track record of research and development in nanotechnology, demonstrated by over 30 peer-reviewed publications. He is considered as an expert in designing, optimizing, testing, and prototyping nanodevices for advanced energy applications. He has spent the last three years working extensively with startups both as a professor, advisor, and mentor. His research interests include the fabrication of nanocomposites for energy storage, energy conversion, fuel cells, photocatalysis, and cancer therapy via thermoablation. His research has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. His publications appear in journals including Angewandte Chemie, Chemistry of Materials, Journal of physical chemistry, RSC advances, Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, and Langmuir.

  • Advisory Board

    Mark Platshon, M.B.A.

    Chief Business Advisor

    Mr. Mark C. Platshon is a Partner at Birchmere Ventures. Mr. Platshon serves as a Senior Advisor at BMW i Ventures. Previously he was an Advisor at the firm. He is a Venture Partner at Castrol InnoVentures. He is a Co-Founder of Amprius, Inc. He served as Chief Executive Officer at Lumero, Inc., and Elo Touch Solutions, Inc. He served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Partner at VantagePoint Capital Partners and joined it on March 31, 2009 and focused his investments in the cleantech sector. Mr. Platshon has over 20 years of experience as the Chief Executive Officer of several Silicon Valley companies. Mr. Platshon was a Venture Partner at Trident Capital, Inc., where he focused on cleantech. He also served as a Venture Partner at X/Seed Capital Management. Mr. Platshon served as President and Chief Executive Officer at CAPNIA, Inc. He served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Zing Networks. He was an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Asset Management Associates. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Idetek, Inc. He also served as the Chief Executive Officer at ELO. Mr. Platshon serves as a Director of Amprius, Inc., Senergen Devices, Inc., and Senergen. He has served on the Boards of numerous companies, including Synxis, Everdream, ChargePoint, Embark, Solexant, GLO, Ancore, Zing and Capnia. As a Navy Lieutenant, Mr. Platshon had a joint Navy and Department of Energy appointments to the staff of Admiral Hyman G. Rickover. He holds an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and earned a B.S.E. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of Michigan, and did graduate work in Nuclear Engineering at the Westinghouse Naval Reactor School.

    Prof. Brian Mitchell, Ph.D

    Chief Scientific Advisor

    Brian S. Mitchell is Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Nanostructured materials and materials processing are Brian’s primary research areas of interest. Brian has authored over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, two U.S Patents, and one textbook. His research experiences include an NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship, a German Academic Exchange Fellowship, and two Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowships, all in Germany. Brian is the former Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Research at Tulane University, and was Dean-in-Residence from the Council of Graduate Schools to the National Science Foundation in 2015-16. He has given over 30 national and international presentations, including two dozen presentations to Louisiana elementary school children. He graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois-Urbana, and received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-


    P .V. Balasbramaniam

    Business Advisor

    Mr. Balasbramaniam is the retired CEO and Board Member of two Tata Group of companies for eleven years till March 2016. He has accumulated over 40 years of corporate experience in India, Dubai & Singapore in various industries, particularly Engineering & Automotive. He developed & implemented strategies for growth, set up green field manufacturing ventures in China & India, and also developed several new overseas markets in automotive and engineering industries. He has extensive Knowledge and experience on the automotive industry in India, SE Asia, Australia, South Africa, Middle East, China and Turkey. Mr. Balasbramaniam graduated from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 1974 and the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta in 1979.

    Edward Karp, M.S.

    Business Advisor

    Mr. Karp has over thirty-eight (38) years of experience in international consulting, entrepreneurship, and in the medical field. Presently, Mr. Karp is the founder and president of the health product and consulting firm called Health & Life, Inc., and he is the CEO of CyberHealth, Inc. These firms’ products range from telemedicine to a unique way of dispensing medication at the point of care. Mr. Karp was the former President of BEK International, Inc., an international firm specializing in exporting medical equipment and pharmaceuticals to developing countries. Mr. Karp's experience has ranged from managing the international portion of the pension fund for Eli Lilly & Co. to being on the initial team that developed human insulin, the first commercialized application of genetic engineering. His specialties are international finance, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship. Mr. Karp has been a consultant to numerous startup companies over the years. In addition, Mr. Karp is an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tulane University’s School of Science and Engineering. The course taught is on entrepreneurship and it is offered to the bioscience, engineering, tropical medicine, and medical students. Mr. Karp is on Tulane’s School of Science and Engineering Board of Advisors Technology Transfer Committee, Tulane’s Biomedical Engineering Board of Advisors, and Tulane’s Bioinnovation PhD Program's External and Internal Advisory Board. Mr. Karp co-developed a cholesterol determination test that played an important role in early cholesterol testing development, which received several national recognitions. Mr. Karp received his bachelors' degree from Northwestern University in Chemical Engineering and his Master of Science in Management degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Business.

    Professor Mark Fink, Ph.D.

    Scientific Advisor

    Mark Fink is a Professor of Chemistry at Tulane University. He received his ScB (Honors) in Chemistry at Brown University in 1978 and his PhD in 1983 with Professor Bob West at the University of Wisconsin where he discovered the first stable compound with a silicon-silicon double bond. His research interests are broadly in the area of main group chemistry, particularly in the area of silicon reactive intermediates, transition metal-silicon compounds, and silicon-based materials. His research has recently focused on the mechanochemical synthesis and surface modification of silicon and germanium nanoparticles. His publications have appeared in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Organometallics, and Science. His research has been funded by grants from NSF, NASA, and Dow Corning.

    Professor Doug Chrisey, Ph.D.

    Scientific Advisor

    Doug currently is the Jung Chair of Materials Engineering and a Physics Professor at Tulane University. Doug began his engineering and academic career when he earned a B.S. in Physics from the State University of New York At Binghamton in 1983 and later a Ph.D. in Engineering Physics from the University of Virginia in 1987. He spent the next 17 years at the Naval Research Laboratory as the Head of the Laser Processing Section. After spending 1 year as the Deputy Director at the North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Doug joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as a Professor of Materials Science and Biomedical Engineering. Currently, Doug is teaching and performing research at Tulane University and is the Jung Chair of Materials Engineering in the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics with Adjunct appointments in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Tulane Univeristy.


    Doug is well known to the world of science with more than 400 citable publications and over 11,000 citations and an h-index value of 52. He has edited or co-edited 15 books and has 18 patents. He also serves as an Executive Officer at MSI Limited, a Scientific Advisor to Nanotherapeutics, the Chief Technology Officer for Nano Solutions and is President of Omni-Metrics.