Richard Ni

Dr. Zheng (Richard) Ni, Chemistry Ph.D. from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC), 2007, is currently the President. He has also worked at Dioxide Materials for the past decade as the Operations Manager and Senior Scientist. Before that, he worked for 5 years at Cbana Laboratories. Ni was a PI for an NSF SBIR Phase II proposal: CO2 sensors for HVAC. He has developed microreactors for catalytical reforming of hydrocarbons and preconcentrators for capturing of air pollutants during his Ph.D. study. Ni has discovered and patented more than 30 new nanoporous materials, and has developed microGC column, preconcetrator and low pressure-drop filter for VOCs detection. Ni was a PI on one EPA project and co-PI on another NASA SBIR project.

He has three issued and allowed patents. His paper of MOF materials synthesis has been cited over 400 times, and has been highlighted in C&EN as one of the most excitings in 2006. Ni was one of the finalists in Lemelson Award Competition for his invention of the novel preconcentrator for air pollutant detections. He is a peer-reviewer for Analytical Chemistry, Langmuir, and Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, and grant application reviewer for EPA. In 2018, Dr. Ni also received a master's degree in business from Florida Atlantic University.


Julian Sculley
Acting CEO
VP for Business Development

Dr. Julian Sculley is the Chief Technology Officer and Acting CEO. Prior to that, he worked as a management consultant for 5 years with Booz Allen Hamilton for a number of commercial and government clients including the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). During that time, he performed due diligence, evaluated technology to market plans for startups, and was consulted as a subject matter expert for electrochemical systems ranging from batteries to electrolyzers and fuel cells. He also developed techno-economic models, organized pitching sessions, and was the senior technical writer for the Communications team at ARPA-E. He has 23 peer-reviewed publications with an h-index of 14 and over 7000 citations.

Dr. Julian Sculley earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Texas A&M University in 2013 and focused on designing materials for a variety of applications including gas storage and separations.


Maria Gainer
Manager Sales & Marketing

Maria Gainer serves as VP for Business Development and Manager Sales & Marketing and has over 25 years of sales, marketing and management experience. Most recently she managed a Sales Acquisition team for a leading independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure across North, Central and South America. She developed highly effective sales programs and led the sales team in negotiating multi-million dollar sales volumes with record results of over $50 million for the company year after year. She has experience working with various industries with a proven ability to lead organizations and grow new markets. She holds a Bachelors of Art in Communications from the University of South Florida.


Jerry Kaczur
Chief Engineer

Jerry Kaczur serves as Chief Engineer.   He has over 40 years experience in chemical process development in the areas of electrochemical processes in including chlor alkali, inorganic chemicals, oxidizers and reducing chemicals, air and water pollution control, and in water disinfection treatment systems. Jerry also has had extensive manufacturing operating experience in these industries. Areas of specialized experience include new electrochemical process development, air pollution control in NOx and SOx, inorganic chemistry and analytical methods, chemical process synthesis and design, as well as pilot plant design, operation and commissioning. Jerry previously worked for Liquid Light, Inc. developing technologies for the conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to chemicals and fuels. Products include oxalic acid, formate, and ethylene glycol. He also worked for Honeywell’s Specialty Materials Division, PureLine Treatment Systems and Olin.

Mr. Kaczur holds more than 60 patents and has more than 25 papers and publications to his credit. Jerry has a B.S. in Engineering at Purdue University with graduate studies towards a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering at The State University in New York (SUNY at Buffalo).


Zengcai Liu
Senior Scientist

Zengcai Liu is a Senior Scientist and Electrochemist at Alchemr and Dioxide Materials. He obtained his M.E. Chemistry from Beijing U. Chem Tech. and his PhD from Nanyang Technology University (Singapore) in 2007, where he modified cation exchange membrane to block methanol crossover for direct methanol fuel cells. He has over 25 years’ experience on electrochemical devices including fuel cells, batteries and electrolyzers, and acquired broad techniques on materials synthesis, physical and electrochemical characterization on electrocatalysts, solid electrolytes while he worked at research institute and fuel cell company in China, University of Houston and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He worked to design and develop alkaline CO2 and water electrolyzers at Dioxide Materials.

Dr. Liu holds 10 patents and has published over 50 papers.


Rich Masel
Chairman of the Board

Professor Rich Masel serves Chairman of the Board for Alchemr and is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dioxide Materials. Rich Retired from the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University Of Illinois, Urbana Champaign in June 2010 after being on the faculty for 32 years. He has a distinguished publication record with over 250 peer reviewed journal publications, 400 conference papers, two textbooks, 22 issued patents and has multiple patents pending. Rich has an h-index over 60 and is listed in HighlyCited publishing papers that have had the most impact since 2000. A list of Rich’s publications can be found here.

Prior to founding Dioxide Materials, Rich helped found Tekion, a developer of fuel cells for portable electronics and Cbana Laboratories homeland security company. Both are now independent companies with professional management. Rich played a key role in each company in four ways: leading initial technology development; developing Fortune 500 partners; helping to hire management and fundraising. These two companies raised approximately $5 million of grant funding and about $30 million of VC and Angel financing. From 1996-1999 Rich was CEO of Masel Industries launching hundreds of new products and leading to the acquisition of Masel Industries by a major customer.