SmartSpark Personnel

Neil D. Kane
Neil Kane is the CEO of SmartSpark. His focus is business development, capital development, and investor relations. Mr. Kane holds an MBA from the University of Chicago.  More information can be found at

Philip T. Krein
Philip Krein is a founder and current President of SmartSpark. He also holds the Grainger Endowed Director’s Chair in Electric Machinery and Electromechanics at the University of Illinois. Dr. Krein is widely regarded as one of the top experts and innovators in power electronics, with more than 20 years experience. He is recipient of the IEEE William E. Newell Award, the highest international honor in the field. He is the author of a respected textbook on the subject and has served as President of the IEEE Power Electronics Society. Dr. Krein holds the B.S. in electrical engineering and A.B. in economics and business from Lafayette College. His M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds eight U.S. patents with additional patents pending.

Patrick L. Chapman
Patrick Chapman is a founder and current Vice-President and CTO of SmartSpark. He also is Assistant Professor and Grainger Associate at the University of Illinois. He was hired at the University of Illinois as a faculty member in power electronics after a ten year search process. Dr. Chapman holds a Ph.D. degree from Purdue University. His research interests are in several areas of advanced energy processing, including multiple source power conversion, biomechanical energy conversion for human-powered electronics, low-power conversion, and efficiency control for motors. He is a recipient of the prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. Among his innovations are a multiple-input energy processor for residential alternative energy systems and techniques for low-power energy conversion applicable to micro-fuel cells. He has two pending U.S. patents.

Jonathan W. Kimball
Jonathan Kimball is a founder and current Vice-President of Engineering for SmartSpark. He also works as a research engineer at the University of Illinois. He has seven years industrial experience at Motorola and Baldor Corporation. At both firms, he worked on advanced technology products and product development in power electronics and electronic drive systems up to 200 kW. Mr. Kimball holds a B.S. in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and the M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, where he recently returned to provide engineering management and development expertise for the Grainger Center of Electric Machinery and Electromechanics. He was an early developer of ripple correlation control, and has contributed to several inventions.

Brian T. Kuhn
Brian Kuhn is a fourth founder and Senior Engineer at SmartSpark. He has a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla. At SmartSpark, Mr. Kuhn handles most testing and design problems on the battery equalizer and fuel cell power management technologies. For six years Mr. Kuhn worked at Purdue University as a research engineer, investigating power electronics based systems. Specifically, he designed and implemented many power converter circuits at power levels up to 50 kW. He managed Purdue’s laboratory for power electronics, which involved two faculty members, another research engineer, and up to fifteen graduate students. In addition to engineering tasks, Mr. Kuhn has published ten journal papers.