Navitas Systems LLC, a leader in comprehensive energy storage solutions, was formed in 2011 with the merger of MicroSun Innovative Energy Storage Solutions and MicroSun Electronics, and the acquisition of lithium battery company A123 Systems’ Government Solutions Group, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 2019, East Penn Manufacturing– one of the world’s leading battery manufacturers—acquired majority interest in Navitas Systems.
Today, we engage in the research, design, development, and manufacture of advanced lithium cells and energy storage products and systems for both commercial customers and U.S. Government/military customers.
We produce both small and large format lithium batteries for a range of high power and high energy applications; battery management systems with custom hardware/firmware and communications; chargers and inverters; and power management systems. We offer customized packaging, including ruggedization to military or transportation standards; thermal management systems for extreme hot and cold conditions; and industry standards compliance. Navitas Systems has a full range of energy storage core competencies from advanced chemistries, electronics design, software development, printed circuit boards, mechanical packaging, system integration, cell and battery pack manufacturing, and test and evaluation.
Navitas Systems has both a 48,000 square foot R&D, Engineering, & Manufacturing Center, as well as a new 100,000 square-feet lithium battery pack Manufacturing Center. From advanced R&D, safe/high energy cell design, in-house battery testing, to sophisticated battery pack assembly, Navitas Systems is a premier source for comprehensive energy and power electronics solutions.
We sit “on the same side of the table” as our customer. By not having an agenda to “push” a particular chemistry, we work collaboratively and together iterate on what’s the best solution. With that comes mutual trust, and the outcome is the best solution, time after time.
Leverage the brainpower of the R&D scientists and battery engineers gained from our acquisition of the A123 Systems Government group—and combine that with our long-established relationships with that subset of best battery cell providers in the world—to create compelling, cost-effective, and highly differentiated solutions for our customers.
Because our company’s focus is on tough energy challenges, naturally our customers have an acute urgency. Our organization is architected to identify, design, and deliver the highest quality solution in the minimum amount of time, fulfilling our upfront commitments. The trust we’ve earned speeds commerce, and both our customers and our company win as a result.
Invest in the infrastructure which ensures we’re designing, making, and testing our products for maximum performance, life, and safety. Earn a suitable return on our investments through fair-for-all pricing, enabling us to reinvest in the business and be there for our customers for the long-term.
I’d like to introduce you to one of the finest management teams in the industry. Through internal growth, strategic acquisitions and targeted recruiting, we’ve assembled a group of executives second to none in their knowledge of the energy storage and power electronics industries. All told, our management team alone approaches almost 200 years of collective experience in these two industries. People who have been “around the block”, know the fastest path to solutions, and have their own trusted networks of relationships. We look forward to adding you the visitor to this network of trust.
As President & COO at Navitas, John Sapp is responsible for overseeing Manufacturing, Quality, Purchasing, Engineering, Marketing, Program Management and Field Service.
In this role John brings 10 years of cell-module-pack engineering / manufacturing / program / project / product management experience in lithium ion batteries as an executive at A123 Systems. During his tenure at A123, he helped developed the automotive division from a 12 person “start-up” into a global $500M operation making tens of millions of battery cells and hundreds of thousands of battery packs in facilities around the world supplying product to virtually all the major automotive OEM’s. John’s leadership roles include Operations, Engineering, Program Management, Supplier Quality and Business Development along with spending several years in China as the President of the China Division responsible for over 1,000 employees in 1M sq ft of facilities spread across 5 buildings in 2 different cities.
In addition to his A123 experience, John has 20 years of Tier 1 automotive new product development management experience from TRW in vehicle stability control and anti-lock brake systems. At TRW he was part of many industry firsts such as initial launch in the late 1980’s of Rear Wheel Anti-Lock brakes on all pickup trucks and SUV’s, the initial launch of standard 4WABS on all SUV’s, vans and Class 6-7-8 trucks in the 1990’s, entire brake systems integration on light duty trucks / SUV’s / vans in the late 1990’s and finally the introduction of Stability Control Systems on all vehicles in the 2000’s.
John has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering as well as a Masters of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with a specialty in Systems Design / Optimization, both from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Eric Phillips is responsible for overseeing the company’s financial activities and executing the financial strategy. Eric brings over 20 years of financial and leadership experiences to Navitas gained through roles with PwC, The Flint Group, Eberspaecher North America, EnvisionTEC and Extang/Truck Hero.
At Extang/Truck Hero Eric was Plant Controller, responsible for understanding and reporting on the operational performance of the plant. This involved developing a keen understanding on labor, material and other key costs variances, as well as reporting and tracking key operational metrics and developing detailed budgets and forecast.
Previous to this role he spent his career developing a solid foundation of financial reporting. This involved managing the financial controls in order to prepare financial statements; maintaining key relationships with lending institutions, insurance providers, vendors, customers and key stakeholders in the business.
Eric is a Certified Public Accountant and graduated from The Ohio State University in Columbus Ohio.
Mil Ovan brings over 30 years of experience focused on bringing discontinuous world-changing new technologies to global marketplaces. He has built and run start-up companies and has created new divisions at Fortune 500 companies. Prior to joining Navitas at its founding, Mil was the Principal of Nova Associates, providing marketing and business development consulting to renewable energy and advanced material companies. Prior to Nova Associates, he previously served as SVP/ co-founder of Firefly Energy, a $50M start-up company which developed a next generation battery technology originally incubated at Caterpillar. Prior to Firefly, Mil served as President and Co-founder of Verascape, a $10 million start-up providing voice recognition infrastructure to major enterprises and carriers. Prior to Verascape, he was VP of Marketing & Business Development for a broadband-on-demand company called WarpSpeed Communications, a $30 million Bay Area start-up funded by AT&T, 3COM, and New Enterprise Associates. Before WarpSpeed, Mil spent 12 years at Motorola, at the forefront in the creation and/or advancement of new communications categories such as Cellular Systems, Wireless LANs and Wireless PDAs. Just prior to leaving Motorola, he was co-founder and executive director of the Wireless Broadband Systems division. Mil received an MBA in Marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business from Elmhurst College.
Les Alexander brings operations, government contracting, and financial and marketing experience to Navitas Systems. Prior to Navitas, he was the General Manager of A123 Systems’ Government Solutions Group. He has held Executive positions in Finance and Accounting, Operations and Procurement, with over twenty years of domestic and international business experience and a successful history of process development and management. Les is a retired Commander, and a U.S. Naval Logistics Officer who served in the Persian Gulf War. He has been assigned to lead large projects for multiple naval ships and bases. Les earned a B.A. in Economics (Finance / Management) and M.S. in Management (Government Contracting).
Dr. James Dong directs Navitas Systems research team to develop and scale up novel materials for high-power and high-energy Lithium ion batteries and beyond lithium-ion battery technology. He oversees multiple government agency-funded innovation research programs and teams up with academic, industry and national laboratory partners for technology acceleration by providing state-of-the-art electrode and cell fabrication solutions. Prior to Navitas, James was the Director of the Electrolyte department at Microvast Inc., which is a leading provider of Electric Vehicle Power Solutions.
James has more than 11 years’ experiences in material development and manufacture for lithium ion battery applications. He is a co-inventor of 21 patent applications including 10 issued patents and has authored 27 peer-reviewed journal papers. He holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Georgia Institute of Technology, followed by postdoctoral experience in the energy storage group at Argonne National Laboratory.
Chris Silkowski manages the Development arm of the Navitas Systems Government & Defense group, and leads conceptualization, design, analysis, development, validation testing, production and delivery of Navitas’ custom lithium-ion cell products. The Development Group owns Navitas cell engineering, product development, cell assembly shop, formation, cell electrical testing, and abuse testing functions. Chris has more than 15 years’ experience in the lithium-ion battery field. Prior to Navitas, he was a Scientist at T/J Technologies and Senior Development Scientist in A123 Systems’ Advanced Research and Government Solutions Group (ARGS) and worked on a variety of projects ranging from commercial (Formula 1 racing ERS cell) to military applications (advanced hybrid BB2590 battery, generation 2 lithium-ion 6T vehicle starter battery). Chris holds two degrees in chemistry, a B.S. from Alma College and M.S. from Bowling Green State University.
Craig Allman leads all engineering for both the Government & Defense as well as Commercial & Industrial divisions of Navitas Systems. Craig brings over 25 years of engineering leadership experience to Navitas from his prior work at Eaton Corporation in automotive R&D, product engineering, program management, and aerospace engineering management. Prior to joining Navitas, he gained experience in the alternative energy industry by serving as program manager for a solid oxide fuel cell business within Ultra Electronics, formerly known as Adaptive Materials Incorporated, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Craig has a B.S. in Physics from Roberts Wesleyan College, a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is currently enrolled in the Master of Science in Energy Systems Engineering program at the University of Michigan.
Jonathan Weisberg leads the manufacturing and customer support functions for Deka Ready Power Operations in the Commercial and Industrial Division. The group focuses on production and customer support of energy storage systems (ESS) to support the material handling industry, as well as other potential tangential industries. Jonathan has over 30 years’ experience in automotive design, manufacturing, business planning, operations, and service. He draws from his experiences at Ford, Visteon, and ESG Automotive. Johanthan has his BSEE from Kettering University and a MSE in manufacturing systems from the University of Michigan.
As Product Line Director for Custom Cell, David Backus is responsible for product, customer support, manufacturing, and operations in the Custom Cell group. This group focuses on volume production of custom built lithium-ion cells and batteries for Government & Defense applications.
David began working at Navitas as the Program Manager for the 1st Custom Cell production launch, guiding the team and product from development through validation and pilot manufacturing. David brings 8 years of experience in engineering, manufacturing, program and product management, and leadership training. David began his career at Bosch in their Junior Manager Program and spent over 2 years working a series of 4 rotations in 4 divisions, including completing a project for $1.5M in scrap reduction. He then joined the Starter Motor division driving new product technology to keep pace with battery evolutions, including launching a new $1M starter testing lab.
David has a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering as well as a B.A. in Mathematics from The Ohio State University.
Isaiah J Smith is our Senior Manager of Cell Assembly and Electrode Coating Operations. He is responsible for manufacturing, quality and overall operations in the Government and Defense Division. This group focuses on volume production of custom built lithium-ion cells and batteries for Government & Defense applications.
Before joining Navitas, Isaiah has had over 16 years of Battery Pack and Cell related experience working in the Government, Defense and Aerospace custom power segment. He has held positions as Plant Manager, Continuous Improvement Engineer, and Test Lab Engineer for Eaglepicher Technologies working with a diverse set of battery chemistries and customers. Isaiah brings 8 years of experience transitioning R and D battery projects into manufacturing scale production lines incorporating modern Design For Lean Manufacturing concepts in the low volume, high mix space. He has worked on customer projects that include manned space flight programs, medical implantable devices, military aviation platforms, underwater applications and more.
Isaiah has a B.S. Industrial Engineering Technology as well as a A.S. in Computer Assisted Manufacturing Technology from Missouri Southern State University. Isaiah also holds a Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt.
As Director of Cell Product Development, Chad Allison is responsible for generating and coordinating production cell design and development programs in response to government and commercial business opportunities. In addition, Chad is responsible for directing prototype and pilot scale manufacturing of the production cells within Navitas Systems and at our partner sites.
Chad brings 12 years of battery design, development and manufacturing experience to the Navitas team. Chad started out his career working at Ford Motor Company Research, developing Fuel Cell systems. In 2008 he left Ford and made the transition to Lithium Ion batteries at A123Systems. During his tenure at A123systems he worked in many areas including, module and pack design, cell and module abuse testing, cell design, cell production, and advanced manufacturing. Through all these responsibilities, Chad gained an understanding of the trade-offs between cell, module, and pack for use in the end application, which he applies to his current position in the design and testing of cells at Navitas Systems.
Chad received his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University, and a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.
As Director of Program Management Office, Mike Becker is responsible for overseeing all divisional Program Managers in the areas of Commercial & Industrial, Government & Defense, and Research & Development. In addition, Mike is responsible for building tools and processes for the business to drive greater efficiency and ensure rapid scaling. Lastly, Mike is responsible for ensuring Navitas maintains government compliance for government contracts.
Mike brings 20 years of direct leadership experience across multiple industries to Navitas with a focus on Program Management. Mike’s leadership journey started in the United States Marine Corps where he served as a fire team leader in a weapons platoon. Mike then moved on to be an Army Infantry Sergeant with two post 9/11 deployments. After Mike’s time in service, Mike found a role with Comcast monitoring the delivery of 2.9 million commercials a day across the central division of Comcast. Mike also worked in the PMO office at Comcast, leading a number of high profile and critical projects. During Mike’s time at CCI Systems, Mike brought a new vision and rebuilt the Project Management Office, developed a “deals” desk to support faster sales to operations efficiencies, reviewed more than 600 contracts a year, negotiated master service agreements with Tier 1 customers, and led a team of sales engineers to elevate customer satisfaction and reduce sales contract reviews. Mike was able to bring in and leverage new tools and processes by leveraging Google and Smartsheet’s natural integration which resulted in a number of efficiencies by bringing finance, sales, operations, and engineering together in a common platform. In all, Mike was able to build four teams, manage a staff of 19, and bring up customer satisfaction from an NPS score of ~3 to a consistent ~9.5.
Mike received his Master’s in Business from the University of Michigan Ross Business School, Ann Arbor. Mike received his undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Michigan, Flint and has received further training with specialization in Organizational Transformation Change by leveraging strong leadership frameworks and innovative People Change Management systems.
Kevin Wilson is the Purchasing Manager for Navitas Systems. His responsibilities include overseeing all Purchasing activities in Commercial & Industrial, Government & Defense, and Research & Development. Kevin has over 20 years’ experience within different aspects of Supply Chain Management in multiple Industries. He has extensive experience and knowledge in Purchasing, Planning, Operation, Logistics, and Project Management. Kevin draws from his experiences at Boeing, Eaton Aerospace, and API Inmet. Kevin has a Supply Chain Management Degree from Michigan State University and a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Project Management from City University.
Riya Golhar leads the Human Resources Department at Navitas. She oversees the entire Human Resources functions within Navitas facilities. She has experience in strategic program management, training/employee development, resource and budget forecasting, recruitment, staffing, organizational development, compensation and benefits, and employee relations.
Riya brings more than 5+ years of HR Corporate and Plant experience from the United States and overseas. Riya is currently an active member of SHRM (Society of Human Resources Management) and also a member of GAASHRM (Greater Ann Arbor Society of Human Resources). She holds a BS in Electronics and Telecommunications from an Indian University and is pursuing an MBA at the University of Michigan.