Thomas is CEO of Akselos, and co-founded the company with fellow MIT-graduates David Knezevic and Phuong Huynh. The idea for commercializing predictive digital twins grew out of their research in the mechanical engineering lab at MIT. After holding senior positions at the US Department of Energy and in Risk Management for investment banks, Thomas led the team that won the largest Deshpande innovation grant at MIT in 2011 to launch Akselos.
Since establishing the company Thomas has led the recruitment of a world-class global team, driven a number of successful funding rounds and supported a number of market-leaders on their digital transformation journey with Akselos’ breakthrough engineering simulation technology.
Thomas is actively engaged in the global innovation ecosystem, as an angel investor in deep tech start-ups in the US and in Europe. With an extensive background in tech and risk management, he is a visionary innovator committed to applying breakthrough tech solutions to address business, operational and societal challenges.
Dr. David Knezevic
CTO and co-founder
Dr. David Knezevic is Co-Founder and CTO of Akselos. In this role, he has led Akselos’ technology development in order to deliver advanced digital twin technologies for critical assets to a range of industries.
After completing his Ph.D. at Oxford, Dr. Knezevic joined Prof. A.T. Patera’s group at MIT, where he worked on the Reduced Basis method that is the foundation of Akselos’ technology. In parallel to founding Akselos, David was a Lecturer in the Institute for Applied Computational Science at Harvard University.
David has expertise in a range of areas related to computational engineering, including applied mathematics, computer science, software engineering and supercomputing. He has 16 articles published in peer-reviewed academic journals and has presented his research at many technical conferences around the world.
VP of Engineering / Head of Operations and Research and co-founder
Phuong is a Co-Founder of Akselos and Head of Operations and Research. Phuong is in charge of recruiting, managing and leading a team in Vietnam for software development and production. He and his team have successfully delivered projects to a number of companies in mining, power systems, upstream oil and gas and offshore wind.
Before working to launch Akselos in 2011, he was a post-doctoral associate in Prof. Anthony Patera’s group in MIT, working on the Reduced Basis method that is central to Akselos’ technology. During this period, Phuong and colleagues were awarded the Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) prize by Springer for their work on the Reduced Basis software.
Phuong has expertise in applied mathematics, computational simulation, and computer graphics. He has extensive software development experience on a variety of platforms. He has published 17 articles in peer-reviewed academic journals and has presented his works at many international conferences around the world, some of which as an invited and keynote speaker.
John Bell is our SVP of Sales. John brings to the position a successful track record of more than 30 years including high-profile leadership positions and recognized sales achievements in the tech and oil and gas industries.
Prior to joining Akselos John was CEO of 3D modelling pioneer INOVx Solutions, where he grew the business in the oil and gas and power and utility sectors. He was also Head of EMEA at Aspen Technology, where he achieved the largest market share for the business and grew revenue by more than 200%.
John is responsible for driving global sales and leading a team of experienced sales professionals, with a focus on growing Akselos’s client base in the energy sector.
VP of Project Engineering & Delivery
Andrew is an experienced program manager with over 10 years’ experience in the energy sector, leading innovation and change projects for large multi-nationals.
Andrew’s has held a number of senior roles for companies such as Sinopec, IBM and IHSmarkit, delivering multi-million dollar projects for both oil and gas and operators and service companies.
Andrew is responsible for the delivery of our complex engineering projects, working closely with our customers and production team in Vietnam.
VP of Sales America
Mat Podskarbi is our VP of sales in the Americas. Mat has nearly 20 years of experience in the oil and gas industry and has held global leadership positions in engineering, operations, business development and sales.
Mat’s previous roles include senior positions with Schlumberger where he was responsible for the product definition and market implementation of the flexible pipe monitoring business, OneSubsea, Yokogawa, Deep Flex and Fourpointzero. Through these roles he has gained expertise in business development, sales, marketing, technology development and product management.
Mat has lived and worked in Poland, UK, US and France. He has a successful track record of developing and introducing multiple advanced technology products and services both in corporate and venture-backed start-up environments.
Northern Europe Sales Director
Chris is responsible for developing the business in Northern Europe. He has worked in engineering simulation for over 25 years with a strong focus on sales and business development. He has a PhD from Newcastle University.
Global Account Director for Royal Dutch Shell
Frans Rijk recently joined Akselos in the position of Global Account Director for Royal Dutch Shell. Frans is responsible for developing and driving global sales and is our first point of contact in all communication between Shell and Akselos. In his role, Frans works closely with Shell Ventures, who are an investor in Akselos. Frans brings to the position a successful track record of more than 25 years of global sales to some of the largest corporates, mostly in the O&G and Energy vertical.
Prior to joining Akselos, Frans held global sales positions at HP, EMC, Microsoft and ServiceNow, building strong partnerships with customers and channel & alliances partner communities. Frans has a track record of helping Shell create and deliver global business value for over 12 years
Human Resources Director
PRIMARY OFFICE LOCATION:
EPFL Innovation park, Lausanne Switzerland
Master degree in Business Administration 1999 Paris Marne La Vallée University
Master 2nd degree in Human Resources 2000 Paris XII University
Designing and improving Akselos recruitment, training and performance management programs
Driving a cultural development initiative designed to remove limiting beliefs and encourage innovation, high-performance and entrepreneurship.
Put in place necessary HR processes and policies with an appreciation for keeping the business agile.
Continually assess the needs of a fast-growth, ever-changing business and adapt the people strategy accordingly. Creating a robust and ambitious HR agenda that will enable employees to thrive and develop in a high-pressured start-up environment.
Fostering a culture of success across the employee population intended to double year-on-year, across multiple locations and cultures. Recruiting senior Executives professionals based in US, EMEA and Asia/Pacific and building local sales force teams around each of them.
MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS WITH AKSELOS
Implementing a best-in-class recruitment strategy encompassing: Employer branding, improving the candidate assessment process, implementing a robust on-boarding program designed to promote high performance.
MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS OUTSIDE AKSELOS
Proven success managing a broad range of HR disciplines in complex multi-sites European business units, from the set up of new offices up to the structuring, merge and acquisitions of organizations across Europe.
Led the HR strategy and operations within organizations going through substantial change and digital transformation. Through his working experience, Philippe implemented HR best practices, established efficient sourcing strategy, and succeeded in supporting business strategy and change management. Philippe’s competencies in employee engagement, talent management, and support in business strategy, drive value for Akselos and increase its general performance.
Prior to joining Akselos, Philippe has worked for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts as Recruitment & Training Manager; he worked as Director of HR EMEA at Swisscom and Hoist Group (fast-growing organizations providing IT, Software and systems integration solutions); and his last experience was as HR Consultant.
Dr. Sylvain Vallaghe
Core Technology Developer
Sylvain works towards expanding the scope of applications of Akselos’ technology by developing new mathematical formulations and computational algorithms. He develops and implements some of the technological enablers that will satisfy, or even anticipate, new customer needs. He gained his Phd from Inira and worked as a post-doc researcher at MIT.
Dr. Jonas Ballani
Core Technology Developer
Jonas is a scientific developer of key technologies at Akselos. He continuously improves the capabilities of Akselos’ core technology by developing cutting-edge numerical algorithms for high-performance computing. He obtained his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig.
Dr. John Peterson
PhD, Core Technology Developer
John is a computational scientist and developer of the core scientific technologies at Akselos. He was one of the original authors of the general purpose libMesh finite element library which forms the backbone of Akselos’ reduced-basis simulation capability, and is currently responsible for ensuring that Akselos’ software takes full advantage of the capabilities provided by this and other underlying computational frameworks. His other areas of expertise include: high performance computing, numerical methods development, and computational fluid dynamics.
John obtained his PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin in 2008. He then worked for two years as a Research Associate at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, consulting with computational scientists on parallel HPC application codes and administering some of the largest National Science Foundation funded supercomputers in the world. Following this he spent 8 years working for the US Department of Energy at Idaho National Laboratory where he was a member of the MOOSE multiphysics methods development group. John has over 20 years of experience developing finite element software in C++, and joined Akselos in 2019 as a core technology developer working on both the finite element analysis (FEA) and component-based reduced-basis (RB-FEA) aspects of the software.
Dr. Brian Sabbey
Brian’s responsibilities include designing and developing user interfaces, 3D visualization tools and cloud-based infrastructure. He leads development of desktop and browser-based applications for assembling and visualizing large-scale, parametrized, component-based models. He also directs Akselos’ deployment of scalable simulation engine on Google Compute Engine. He holds a PhD in physics from the University of Washington in Seattle.
Sales Operation Specialist
Alexandra’s main role is to optimize and implement sales processes, and maximize the sales workflow to allow the team to spend more time with customers. Her tasks also include analyzing performance metrics data and leverage it to improve productivity and efficiency.
Operations and Finance
Nicolas is is responsible for the finance function, assisting with risk management, Human Resources and contracting.
Meron is responsible for assisting the sales team, guaranteeing effective communication across all channels, interacting and collaborating with marketing agencies and external consultants. Her tasks also include coordinating and scheduling the release of content created by external stakeholders, assisting the project manager and external consultants on the development of business plan and hold regular meetings to report the progress of each project.
Benjamin is in charge of the development and bug fixes in the Akselos GUI (Python and Pyside-Qt), development of a plugin architecture to allow partners to extend the GUI capabilities and setup of local queueing and batching system (SLURM).
Lars has first-hand experience in supporting the full product development cycle from the fruition of a concept through to research, design & analysis through simulation (Electronic & Mechanical CAD, FEA, CFD & Electromagnetics) and condition monitoring, all supported more recently by a background in data science concepts and their uses cases.
Prof. Anthony Patera
Advisory Board: Ford Professor of Engineering and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT
Professor Patera has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and a doctoral degree in Applied Mathematics also from MIT. His interests are partial differential equations, variational techniques, computational methods, numerical analysis, model order reduction, real-time computation, data assimilation, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, acoustics, and continuum mechanics.
Professor Patera’s research has led in several cases to MIT technology licenses and subsequently commercial software: his earlier research on spectral element methods was commercialized by Nektonics, Inc., as the NEKTON code; his current research on reduced basis component methods is presently under commercialization by Akselos SA.
Professor Patera served for almost two decades as a member of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Materials Research Council and subsequently Defense Sciences Research Council. Professor Patera also served for almost a decade as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the SMAI journal Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Analysis (M2AN).
Jens Peter Riber
Advisory Board: Former director of engineering at Maersk Oil
Jens Peter spent over 30 years with Maersk Oil in roles including technical director and director of engineering, and has joined the Akselos’ advisory board in 2017.
Jens Peter carries with him an incredible track record in the oil and gas industry as technical director with a background as a structural engineer, working on the design, construction and maintenance of large-scale offshore structures.