ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit 2010
Kevin Berner

Kevin Berner

Co-Founder, President & CEO

Phycal LLC

J. Kevin Berner, Ph.D., is Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Phycal. Phycal grows algae, the most photosynthetically efficient organisms on earth. Algae convert industrial carbon dioxide and sunlight into vegetable oil, and can produce more than ten times more oil per acre per year than any other oil producing crop. Algae oil can be converted into renewable, drop-in replacements for liquid transportation and generation fuels. The US Department of Energy is investing heavily in developing algal biofuels, including support for Phycal’s pilot algae farm, which will be built later this year near Wahiawa in Central O’ahu. The Hawai’i Hydrogen Fund is also supporting Phycal’s pilot farm because it will demonstrate a pathway to the production of renewable hydrogen in Hawai’i.

Before founding Phycal, Dr. Berner was a partner at the global consultancy McKinsey & Company where he led the North American manufacturing practice. Before McKinsey, Dr. Berner spent 15 years in the Army as an infantry officer. During that time he deployed his company in the 82nd Airborne Division to Grenada, and served as an operations officer in the XVIII Airborne Corps in Saudi Arabia and Iraq during the First Gulf War. While in the Army he also earned a Ph.D. in Economics at MIT, taught on the faculty at West Point, and served on the President’s Council of Economic Advisors. He graduated from West Point in 1979.

In addition to serving as CEO and President of Phycal, Dr. Berner serves on the Advisory Council of the West Point Association of Graduates and as a trustee of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation. He is married, and he and his wife have three sons.

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