General Fusion said Thursday that it has named Nathan R. Gilliland as CEO. Previously, Gilliland worked at Harvest Power where he served as president and co-founder. Based in British Columbia, General Fusion is a provider of fusion energy. Its backers include Energy Venture Capital, Bezos Expeditions, Cenovus Energy and Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – Feb. 20, 2014) – General Fusion, a leader in developing fusion energy, has attracted one of the top minds in the energy sector with the appointment of Nathan R. Gilliland as Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Gilliland has an impressive track record in helping new businesses with bold objectives, an apt description of General Fusion. The firm, established in 2002 by physicist Dr. Michel Laberge, is a leader in the development of magnetized target fusion (MTF).
Mr. Gilliland comes to General Fusion from Harvest Power, where he was President and co-founder. He grew Harvest, which turns organic waste into electricity and compost, into an industry leader with over 600 employees in the United States and Canada. In 2013, Nathan also served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the leading venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers, helping portfolio companies and developing new ideas in energy, sustainability and agriculture.
“This is an exciting time in the development of fusion energy,” said Mr. Gilliland. “My goal is to help the outstanding team of scientists and engineers at General Fusion realize the potential of their breakthrough technology.”
“Fusion energy has enormous potential to solve the world’s energy requirements while addressing the threat of human-driven climate change,” he said. “For decades, it remained tantalizingly out of reach, but now significant momentum is building around the world.”
Just last week, for example, researchers at the National Ignition Facility in the U.S. published results from experiments in late 2013 that generated record levels of fusion energy in their laser target, an important milestone in advancing fusion science.
General Fusion itself has recently been the focus of much attention from the global fusion community, which has come to see MTF as a potential practical route to commercial fusion power. The company’s work has also captured mainstream attention, most recently when Dr. Laberge was chosen to speak to the upcoming TED conference in March.
Mr. Gilliland noted that the company recently completed a round of financing. As one of the few private commercial ventures in the field, Mr. Gilliland believes that General Fusion continues to see significant interest from investors because of the strength of the team and the massive opportunity that fusion energy represents.
“Nathan Gilliland is joining us at a time when General Fusion is becoming acknowledged as a world leader in the development of MTF,” said Board Chairman Rick Wills. “General Fusion is a pioneer in fusion technology. Nathan’s expertise in nurturing pioneer energy companies is a great match for the company.”
Wills pointed out Mr. Gilliland’s appointment builds on a movement to attract world-class energy expertise to General Fusion, citing the recent Board appointments of Jacques Besnainou, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of AREVA Group North America, a leader in the global nuclear power industry, and Dr. Frederick Buckman. Mr. Buckman has a PhD in nuclear engineering from MIT and has held positions in numerous energy and utility companies including Shaw Power Group.
Mr. Gilliland’s appointment is effective immediately.
About General Fusion:
General Fusion is developing the fastest, most practical, and lowest cost path to commercial fusion energy. Established in 2002, the company is supported by a global syndicate of leading energy venture capital funds, industry leaders, and technology pioneers, including: Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, Bezos Expeditions, Cenovus Energy and Sustainable Development Technology Canada. www.generalfusion.com
Fusion energy holds immense promise as a clean, safe and abundant energy source. Fusion generates neither pollution nor greenhouse gases that drive climate change. Fusion energy is fueled by hydrogen isotopes, which are easily extracted from seawater. There is enough fusion fuel to power the planet for hundreds of millions of years. Unlike nuclear fission reactors, fusion energy does not require uranium as fuel, cannot suffer from meltdowns and does not produce nuclear waste or long lived radioactive waste.