Leading Edge Equipment Technologies Hires Dr. Rick Schwerdtfeger as New Chief Executive Officer

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June 16, 2020 07:48 AM Eastern Daylight Time

BOSTON, MA –Leading Edge Equipment Technologies, which has developed a unique silicon wafer manufacturing process to dramatically improve solar panel manufacturing, today announced the hiring of Dr. Rick Schwerdtfeger as Chief Executive Officer and Dr. Nathan Stoddard as Chief Technology Officer. They bring over 40 years of combined photovoltaic development and commercialization expertise to the company to catalyze international growth.

“Leading Edge’s new silicon wafer manufacturing technology is poised to disrupt manufacturing standards in the $40 billion solar panel market,” said Dr. Schwerdtfeger, the new CEO. “I was impressed by the company’s FSM Wafer Technology that can drive savings for solar panel manufacturers of up to 25% while also improving solar panel efficiency. The team at Leading Edge has made great strides to develop this patented technology, and I’m excited to lead the organization out of testing and into the market.”

Prior to joining Leading Edge, Dr. Rick Schwerdtfeger was Co-founder of the Advanced RenewableEnergy Company (“ARC”), a cleantech and semiconductor equipment company, where he led technology development and customer deployment of nearly $200 million of equipment in the first four years. While at ARC he commercialized and developed a domestic and international supply chain for sapphire crystal growth furnaces as well as developed strong relationships with Chinese, Korean, and Taiwanese customers. Before ARC, Dr. Schwerdtfeger worked extensively in photovoltaics, specifically as COO of Pica Solar and as a staff scientist at the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).

“The board and I have endeavored to form a management team with extensive experience in bringing a new solar technology from demonstration to production and excellence,” said Dr. Alison Greenlee, founder of Leading Edge Equipment Technologies. “I am incredibly enthusiastic about bringing Rick and Nathan onto the management team. Their deep experience and prior successes in the photovoltaics industry will help guide our company to excellence.”

Dr. Nathan Stoddard also joins Leading Edge as Chief Technology Officer. Dr. Stoddard has over 20 years’ experience in developing silicon wafer technologies for photovoltaics. Previously, he developed and commercialized BP Solar’s mono-square technology, was a core team member of 1366 Technologies’ Direct Wafer platform, and lead the development of a novel single-crystal technology at SolarWorld. Dr. Stoddard has already been supporting the Leading Edge team on technical development and was a critical contributor to the company’s recently awarded $2.5 million Department of Energy grant.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Leading Edge management team,” said Dr. Stoddard. “The company has developed an exceptional innovation that I feel is now ready for wide market adoption. We have a fantastic technology for silicon wafer manufacturers looking to differentiate themselves from competitors and provide a better product to customers.”

As Dr. Schwerdtfeger takes over as Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Greenlee will take up the role of Chief Commercial Officer, overseeing customer engagement, fundraising, and international development.

About Leading Edge Equipment Technologies
Leading Edge Equipment Technologies has developed a revolutionary crystal growth manufacturing technology that creates kerfless, single-crystal silicon wafers for solar panels. The company builds drop-in manufacturing equipment for solar panel manufacturers that can lower all-in module production costs, improve solar cell efficiency, and reduce manufacturing emissions.