Meet Our Principal Investigators

Prof. Dr. Michael H. Eikerling

Prof. Dr. Michael H. Eikerling is a Director at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research in Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, where he is leading a sub-institute for Theory and Computation of Energy Materials, and a full professor of materials science at RWTH Aachen. Prior to joining Forschungszentrum Jülich, Prof. Eikerling was a professor in theoretical chemical physics and electrochemical materials science at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC, Canada, from 2003 to 2019. In 2017, Prof. Eikerling was awarded the Alexander Kuznetsov Prize for Theoretical Electrochemistry of the International Society of Electrochemistry.

Dr. Mark Kozdras

Dr. Mark S. Kozdras is a professional engineer and an emeritus scientist at Natural Resources Canada’s, CanmetMATERIALS laboratory, as well as the Canadian representative and international co-lead of the Materials for Energy (M4E) Collaboration Platform of Mission Innovation. In addition, Kozdras is an NRCan representative in the joint NRCan/NRC design/development team for the Centre for Accelerated Materials Discovery and Innovation (CAMDI). Recently retired, he plans to maintain his close ties with the energy innovation community for the foreseeable future.

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Pascal Friederich

Dr. Frederich is a Junior professor for Artificial Intelligence for Materials Research at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. His research interest includes the development and application of machine learning methods and AI tools specifically for materials science and chemistry.

Management & Coordination

Dr. Kourosh Malek, MBA

Dr. Kourosh Malek is a division head for artificial materials intelligence at IEK-13, leading the establishment of a newly founded simulation and data science lab for energy materials (SDL-EM) at Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH. Prior to joining Forschungszentrum Jülich, he was a senior research officer at NRC-EME modeling and numerical simulations in Vancouver, Canada, a program technical leader for the energy storage program at NRC, and an adjunct professor at the department of chemistry, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Malek is managing overall day-to-day operation of GCMAC, coordinating outreach & industry engagement, and leading establishment of various initiatives involving German, European and Canadian partners from industry, government and academia

Dr. Anjuli Szawiola, PMP

Dr. Anjuli Szawiola is a policy analyst at

CanmetMATERIALS, Natural Resources Canada, splitting her time with Natural Resources Canada and the National Research Council Canada. She is supporting the project management of the German-Canadian Materials Acceleration Centre on the Canadian side.


Prof. Elicia Maine

Prof. Elicia Maine is the W.J. VanDusen Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, at the Beedie School of Business. She is also the Founder and Academic Director for the Invention to Innovation (i2I) program, a "mini MBA" in Science & Technology Commercialization, which develops entrepreneurial mindset in graduate scientists and engineers. In partnership with Mitacs, the i2I program is now being delivered in a hybrid online format across BC and Alberta, and was recently recognized with an international award from the global business school accreditation council. Professor Maine has deep interdisciplinary roots, with degrees in Materials Engineering, English, Technology & Policy and Technology Management from Queen’s, M.I.T., and the University of Cambridge. Her research, published in Research Policy and Technovation as well as in Nature Materials and Nature Nanotechnology, focuses on the dynamics of innovation in the advanced materials, nano-materials, biotechnology, and clean tech sectors with a focus on science & technology ventures.

Dr. Florian Huber

Dr. Florian Huber received his MSc degree in chemical engineering from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, in 2002 and his PhD from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim in 2006. After the PhD research, he worked in the R&D department of Haldor Topsoe for five years, starting as Research Engineer and finally acting as Head of R&D for Catalytic Air Pollution Control. In 2011, Florian joined hte in the research department as project manager and acted later as head of Hydroprocessing & Biofeed processing. Since January 2021 he heads the New Technologies & Incubation department with focus on developing new technologies for high throughput testing in existing and emerging fields.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Panne

Prof. Ulrich Panne is president of the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM). He also holds an honorary professorship for Instrumental Analytical Chemistry at the HU Berlin. He is spokesman of the AG Ressortforschung and chairman of IGAFA. Professor Panne is co-initiator and speaker of the HU Graduate School for Analytical Sciences Adlershof and a co-founder of the Werner-von-Siemens Centre for Industry and Science. He is a member of the Presidential Board of DIN, the Board of the GDCh and the Long Night of the Sciences Berlin.

Dr. Katherine Ayers

Dr. Katherine Ayers is Vice President of R&D for Nel Hydrogen US, with responsibility for developing and executing Nel’s technology strategy in proton exchange membrane electrolysis. Her team is primarily responsible for development of advanced cell stack materials, designs and manufacturing processes, including external collaborations. Dr. Ayers is an Electrochemical Society Fellow and has been recognized by the US Department of Energy and other organizations for her expertise in water electrolysis.

German Canadian Materials Acceleration Centre