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Team

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Holden Lai, PhD
Co-founder – Chief Technology Officer
Holden Lai, PhD
Co-founder – Chief Technology Officer

Holden oversees the product development and scale up efforts at Osmoses. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford, and his B.A. in chemistry and physics and B.Mus. in performance from Oberlin. Holden is an alumnus of the Activate Fellowship.

Francesco M Benedetti, PhD
Co-founder – Chief Executive Officer
Francesco M Benedetti, PhD
Co-founder – Chief Executive Officer

Francesco Benedetti is a Co-Founder and the Chief Executive Officer at Osmoses. He earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Bologna, Italy, and worked as a Postdoctoral Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Benedetti received a 2021 Activate Fellowship, a 2019/2020 MIT Energy Fellowship, and was an NSF I-Corps Entrepreneurial Lead in 2021. In his free time, he enjoys playing rock music on his keyboard, singing, playing basketball, and building communities. He also serves as the President of FAIL! – Inspiring Resilience.

Katherine Mizrahi Rodriguez, PhD
Co-founder – Chief Implementation Officer
Katherine Mizrahi Rodriguez, PhD
Co-founder – Chief Implementation Officer

Katherine Mizrahi Rodriguez is a Co-founder and the Chief Implementation Officer at Osmoses. She is also a Kavanaugh Postdoctoral Fellow for translational innovation. Katherine earned her Ph.D. at MIT in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) through the program in Polymers and Soft Matter and received her B.S. also from MIT MSE. She has been recognized with several fellowships and awards including the NSF Graduate Research fellowship, the Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral fellowship, the MIT Ida M. Green fellowship, and the GEM Consortium fellowship.

Zachary P Smith, PhD
Co-founder – Associate Professor, MIT ChemE
Zachary P Smith, PhD
Co-founder – Associate Professor, MIT ChemE

Zachary P. Smith is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on the molecular-level design, synthesis, and characterization of polymers and inorganic materials for applications in membrane and adsorption-based separations. Prof. Smith has co-authored over 45 peer-reviewed papers and has been recognized with several awards, including the DoE Early Career Award, AIChE 35 Under 35 Award, and the North American Membrane Society Young Membrane Scientist Award, and the DoE Office of Science Graduate Fellowship. He served as a committee member in writing the 2019 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report on A Research Agenda for Transforming Separation Science. Prof. Smith serves on the Board of Directors for the North American Membrane Society and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of Polymer.

Robert Bory
Chief Commercial Officer
Robert Bory
Chief Commercial Officer

Bob serves as the Chief Commercial Officer at Osmoses, where he brings over 12 years of specialized experience in gas separation membranes, spanning both technical and commercial domains. Holding a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from SUNY Buffalo and an MBA from the University of Houston, his expertise informs strategic decision-making processes, driving sustainable growth and fostering impactful collaborations within our industry. With a keen focus on customer needs and a solutions-oriented mindset, Bob is dedicated to delivering value to our clients through innovative approaches and tailored solutions.

Ed Sanders
Head of Corporate Development
Ed Sanders
Head of Corporate Development

Dr. Edgar (Ed) S. Sanders, Jr. is the Head of Corporate Development, a strategic cross-functional organizational role, closely advising and supporting the Product, Implementation, Government, and Commercial functions within the Osmoses team, and being a key player informing Osmoses’ strategic direction and decision-making. Over four decades, Dr. Sanders has provided technical leadership and growth to the membrane community. These efforts are documented in over 50 patents and a nearly equal number of reviewed technical publications. Dr. Sanders’ specific expertise in membrane separations is broad, spanning polymer design, membrane development/manufacture, membrane product/ separation process conception, development, and system design. Multiple commercial products, operating separation systems and ongoing membrane companies result from these efforts. Ed is a North American Membrane Society Fellow and an Air Liquide Fellow. He has received multiple industrial awards and special recognition from Air Liquide, Cynara Membrane,and The Dow Chemical Company and Air Liquide. He holds BS and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University.

Kristen O’Hara
Head of HR
Kristen O’Hara
Head of HR

Kristen O’Hara is the Head of HR at Osmoses. She is  an accomplished, results oriented people operations professional with more than a decade of experience providing strategic leadership and hands-on execution ushering companies through phases of start-up, growth, and organizational change. Kristen is a successful culture ambassador with demonstrated expertise in cultivating highly collaborative teams, building best-in-class HR infrastructures, developing relationships cross functionally and driving people-forward initiatives to meet business objectives and help teams and organizations thrive. Kristen has earned her SHRM-SCP certification from Society of Human Resources Management and is an avid networker and serial learner. She never turns down a good podcast and enjoys spending time outdoors whether hiking, walking, skiing, beaching or her new (so far unsuccessful) pursuit to master tennis, pickleball and golf. Family is her true passion and she takes every opportunity to spend time with her husband and 2 boys.

Swapan Rahman
Director of Product Development
Swapan Rahman
Director of Product Development

Swapan Rahman is an experienced leader achieving revenue, profit, and growth objectives, utilizing certified Six Sigma Black Belt skills and Lean expertise in manufacturing and financial industries. With experience at Praxair, Air Liquide, Bank of America, and Liberty Mutual, he is a transformational leader at developing breakthrough strategies and integrated business plans for growth and game changing innovation. He leads organizations through extraordinary change; determining optimal organizational structure to achieve maximum financial performance, reduce operating expenses, improve quality, improve on-time delivery, and increase employee satisfaction to achieve organizational goals. He has a B.S in Chemical Engineering and MBA, both from Northeastern. In his free time he enjoys cooking, sightseeing and traveling.

Abaynesh Gebreyohannes, PhD
Senior Membrane Scientist
Abaynesh Gebreyohannes, PhD
Senior Membrane Scientist

Abaynesh Y. Gebreyohannes is a Senior Membrane Scientist at Osmoses. She has more than a decade-long research experience in developing membranes from material to full-scale prototypes across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

She has received numerous grants and awards including Excellence in Membrane Engineering by EFCE, Best Exploitation of Research-Technology & Knowledge Transfer by KU Leuven, EMJD by EU, FWO Research Grant, etc. She is the Executive Committee for AMSiC and Chair for AMSIC4 and an active member of EMS and WA-MS.

She uniquely combines fundamental research in membrane science with process engineering, including large-scale membrane fabrication, characterization, module preparation, process integration, and performance evaluation for broad-scope liquid and gas separation. She also worked on understanding and resolving tight emulsions resulting from petroleum recovery in collaboration with Saudi ARAMCO, one of the largest oil companies.

Outside of business, she is a proud mother and is highly involved in community outreach efforts throughout Africa, through building wet-labs and providing hands-on trainings.

Nicholas Bruno, PhD
R&D Scientist
Nicholas Bruno, PhD
R&D Scientist

Nick Bruno is an R&D scientist with Osmoses. He received his Ph.D. from MIT in 2015 in the lab of Steve Buchwald and worked with M.G. Finn as a postdoctoral associate and research scientist from 2015 – to 2022 developing new materials for membrane applications in collaboration with Ryan Lively. Outside of lab, he’s passionate about woodworking, working on cars, flea markets, and rooting for the ever-terrible Washington Football Team.

Sam Cox
Laboratory Operations & Research Associate
Sam Cox
Laboratory Operations & Research Associate

Sam Cox is a member of the chemistry team at Osmoses. He received a B.S. in Chemistry and Philosophy from Northeastern University, with a concentration in Religious Studies. His passions include sustainable infrastructure development, including clean energy. While at Northeastern, Sam gained a variety of experiences in materials chemistry, specifically for green applications. His research interests include polymer synthesis and analytical method development; he is also excited by the growing field of green chemistry. Beyond research, Sam also leads laboratory operations to support research endeavors at Osmoses. In his spare time, Sam enjoys exploring Boston’s vibrant restaurant scene, biking across the city, and expanding his collection of house plants.

Marina Petsi, PhD
Research Chemist
Marina Petsi, PhD
Research Chemist

Dr. Marina Petsi received her Ph.D. title from the Department of Chemistry (Organic Chemistry Laboratory) in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, in 2021. Mrs. Petsi’s up to now academic career as a Ph.D. candidate in Synthetic Organic Chemistry combined with previous work experience as Analytical Chemist has given her the opportunity to broaden her cognitive field and develop new skills. Her main interests include the total synthesis of naturally complex molecular structures like pyrrole-imidazole alkaloids and its extension and application in the field of green chemistry and organocatalysis.

Hannah Kerber
Research Associate
Hannah Kerber
Research Associate

Hannah is a recent graduate of Tufts University with a B.S. in Biochemistry. At Tufts, Hannah did research analyzing chemical differences in coffee that was grown under different environmental conditions. Her interests include sustainability, environmental research, and clean energy. Outside of the lab, she enjoys doing yoga and making Spotify playlists.

Roman Madaus
Business Development Lead
Roman Madaus
Business Development Lead

Roman Madaus is a business operations manager at Osmoses. He received his B.A. from Tufts University and his M.A. from Australian National University and has a background in project management and climate innovation consulting. In his free time, Roman enjoys kiteboarding, trail running, and permaculture gardening.

Daniel Harrigan
Senior Application Test Engineer
Daniel Harrigan
Senior Application Test Engineer

Daniel Harrigan is a Senior Application Test Engineer at Osmoses, bringing with him several years experience in membrane testing across oil/gas and biopharma industries. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in polymer science and a minor in Mathematics from Tufts University. Throughout his career, Daniel has designed, operated, and managed test equipment and lab spaces to characterize membranes and filters at all stages of the product lifecycle. He is a proven leader and science communicator, and he is trained in lean innovation tools such as Six Sigma, Problem Solving Process, and Visual Project Management. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys rock climbing, playing board games, and convincing his cat that it’s not time to eat yet.

Will Cady
Senior Process Engineer
Will Cady
Senior Process Engineer

Will is a Senior Process Engineer at Osmoses. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining Osmoses, Will spent four years at Honeywell UOP working on process development, design, and modeling of hydrogen recovery, carbon capture, natural gas dehydration, and FCC systems. He is a co-author on three granted US patents and two pending patents.

Aaron Gould
Process Engineer
Aaron Gould
Process Engineer

Aaron Gould is a Process Engineer at Osmoses, with a focus on membrane separations and techno-economic modeling. He holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University, where he also minored in Computer Science and Economics. Aaron is passionate about the intersection of engineering, technology, and business, with a strong commitment to clean technology. Beyond the spreadsheets, he enjoys running, hiking and playing the guitar.

Monica Mazzoccone
Business Operation Lead
Monica Mazzoccone
Business Operation Lead
Monica earned her Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Bologna, Italy.
After graduation she joined Coca-Cola HBC where she spent more than seven years building capabilities in Quality and Governance Management fields at every level of the organization, including a recently acquired company where she ensured the business continuity during the integration phase, and the Quality and Health & Safety Corporate Team where she contributed to the drafting and publication of the Sustainability Integrated Annual Report.
Monica loves building beautiful memories sharing passions with friends: traveling and attending music, art and sport events.
Seraphin Castelino
Research Associate
Seraphin Castelino
Research Associate

Seraphin Castelino is a member of the membrane research team at Osmoses. She received a B.S. in chemical engineering from MIT. While at MIT, Seraphin conducted a wide variety of research including chemically modifying siRNA for improved therapeutic applications as well as using mathematical and computational modeling to simulate graphene polymers through turbulent flow. Outside of lab, her interests include tennis, hiking, baking, exploring different foods, and playing board games with friends.

Neil Shah
Senior Research Associate
Neil Shah
Senior Research Associate

Neil Shah is a Senior Research Associate at Osmoses. His experience at Filtration Solutions Inc. is a testament to his work in the entire lifecycle of membrane filtration equipment. Beyond the initial stages of research, design, and development, Neil has actively contributed from concept to prototype to quality validation of the membrane filter cartridge. His blend of development and hands-on testing reflects a well-rounded understanding of the intricacies involved in creating effective filtration systems for both liquid and gas separation applications. Beyond his primary role in cartridge development, Neil’s experience extends to conducting market research to identify industry demands and trends. Additionally, Neil plays a vital role in the meticulous testing of membranes, ensuring they meet the quality standards, encompassing both functional and physical properties. In his spare time, Neil enjoys playing cricket, singing and hiking.

Brecker Ferguson
Business Development Co-op
Brecker Ferguson
Business Development Co-op

Brecker Ferguson is a Business Development Co-op at Osmoses and a third-year undergraduate at Northeastern University. He is currently pursuing a B.S. in Business/Finance
with a minor in Sustainable Business Practices and a B.S. Environmental and Sustainability Sciences. Brecker currently serves as VP of Consulting with Global Research and Consulting Group, Northeastern University, where he leads 20+ student consultants on pro-bono engagements with nonprofits around the world. He also works as a freelance tutor and educational advisor. Brecker’s past experiences include wildlife conservation researcher in South Africa, wedding coordinator, architectural compliance manager, digital marketing associate, and nonprofit program director in Ecuador. In 2023, Brecker was a visiting engineering student at University College Dublin and attended the World Trade Organization Public Forum on sustainable trade. In his free time, Brecker enjoys playing the cello, writing, spending time outdoors, traveling, SCUBA diving, watching movies, spending time with his many pets, and studying Spanish, French, and (recently) Portuguese.

Julienne Teich
Organic/Polymer Chemistry Co-op
Julienne Teich
Organic/Polymer Chemistry Co-op

Julienne Teich is a Chemistry Co-op in her second year studying chemistry at Northeastern University. She is an active member of the Northeastern University chapter of the American Chemical Society and loves to bring chemistry outside the lab to work on developing a pre-workout gummy supplement. Outside the lab, she enjoys cooking, playing her guitar, and painting.

Yousif A. Hamdon, PhD
Process Engineering Consultant
Yousif A. Hamdon, PhD
Process Engineering Consultant

Yousif A. Hamdon is a process engineering consultant at Osmoses, with extensive industrial experience in the field of conventional natural gas facilities’ EPC. At Osmoses, he supports work on membrane units’ process design, simulation and techno-commercial analysis. Yousif earned his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. In his free time, Yousif enjoys beach volleyball.

Kate Lai, CPA
Accountant
Kate Lai, CPA
Accountant

Kate Lai is an independent CPA supporting Osmoses’ bookkeeping, tax, and rapidly growing budget. She earned her B.S. in Business Administration from Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley, and MBA from University of California, Davis. After working in various accounting and finance functions at both startups and fortune 500 companies, she founded KECL Controller, a CPA practice serving high growth startups. When Kate is not doing accounting, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with her husband and two rambunctious children.

If you’re interested in partnering with Osmoses to transform chemical separations, reach out: info@osmoses.com