Michel Fouré joined LBNL in 2010. Reporting to Dr. Venkat Srinivasan, he is the BATT Program Manager for the Batteries for Advanced Transportation Technologies (BATT) Program. Funded by the Department of Energy (Office of Vehicle Technologies), the BATT Program is the premier fundamental research program in the U.S. for developing high-performance, rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs). Michel also serves as the Research Operations Deputy for the Energy Storage & Distributed Resources Department. In this capacity, Michel assists Venkat with tasks related to Department Strategy, Human Resources, Financial Management, Space and Facilities, Operations Safety, and Communications.
Prior to joining LBNL, Michel was Director of R&D for Arkema, Inc. (Arkema is a $7 billion chemical company). Over the years, his areas of responsibility involved Fuel Cells, Corporate Research, Hydrogen Peroxide & Hydrazine, Fluorochemicals, Fluoropolymers, Functional Polymers as well as Polymer Additives. Related to the field of Electrochemistry, he was the architect of three major proposals in the area of Fuel Cells that were subsequently funded by the DOE. He was also the initiator of several projects related to batteries notably polyvinylidenefluoride binders for Lithium-ion batteries, fluoropolymers for Lithium-ion Polymer batteries as well as lithium hexafluorophosphate electrolyte salt process R&D. Prior to these assignments, between 1989 and 1993, he was President and Managing Director of Metablen Company B.V. (a then newly formed joint-venture between Arkema’s predecessor company and Mitsubishi Rayon). Based in Paris, France, the company grew from nearly zero to $20 million in sales (corresponding to 95% of the plant capacity) under his leadership.
Michel is a Chemistry and Chemical Engineering graduate from French “grande école”: Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Caen. He holds a Doctorate in Chemistry (Dr. rer. nat.) from Würzburg University, Germany. He did post-doctoral work at Osaka City University, Japan. He also holds an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ.
Selected Awards and Honors
- Full scholarship from French Ministry of Education at University of Caen and Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Caen (France)
- Graduated first in class at Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Caen (France)
- Full scholarship from DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst / German Academic Exchange Service) at Würzburg University (Germany)
- Full scholarship from the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs at Osaka City University (Japan)
- Elf Aquitaine Innovation Trophy 1985
Hiking, cooking, wine tasting, reading (business strategy, physics, cosmology, astronomy, neuroscience, positive psychology, health, spirituality …)
Service to the Department and to the Division
Michel gives regular talks particularly aimed at helping graduate students and postdocs.
- Writing Successful Proposals. Michel shares his experience and insights on writing proposals. He was the architect and project leader for three major DOE proposals in the field of Fuel Cells when working for Arkema, Inc. They yielded a total award of $14.6M for Arkema, Inc., its academic and industrial partners. On the other side of the equation, Michel served as a reviewer for DOE BES and SBIR Programs as well as for the French ANR (Agence Nationale pour la Recherche / French National Research Agency). As a BATT Program Manager, he also has a unique vantage point on all the proposals submitted to the BATT Program (172 Letters of Intent and 54 Full Proposals received in 2012).
- Interviewing in Industry. During his career in the Chemical Industry, Michel recruited over a hundred scientists from the best schools in the U.S. and in the world. To that effect he interviewed an estimated 1,500 candidates (and read well over 15,000 resumes!). In addition, Michel was also the lead campus recruiter at Princeton University during his tenure at Arkema, Inc. At the Berkeley Lab Learning Institute, twice a year, Michel walks the audience through the preparation, interview process and post-interview steps. Finally, for those interested, Michel leads an interview practice session with the workshop participants.
- Mentoring Program. Michel serves as a mentor for a group of EETD postdocs. Subtitled “Strategic Thinking for a Successful Career”, the program aims at helping young scientists to actualize their full potential. The program starts with examining what does success mean for each individual and how closely aligned one is with his/her dream career. Nucleated by Henry Ford’s observation “If you think you can, you can; If you think you can’t, you are right too”, we examine why traditional training often do not “stick” (or why New Year resolutions do not last). This is so because we tend to deal with the symptoms rather than with the root causes. In the Mentoring Program, we take a peek inside the brain to understand some of its “mechanics” relevant to the issue. The program aims to uncover, challenge, and eliminate faulty, self-limiting brain memes (beliefs) that stymie career growth and ultimately replace them by empowering mental patterns. In other words, it is a tool to acquire and retain tools. Drawing from some of the latest thinking from the fields of cognitive neuroscience, psychology, psychoneuroimmunology, memetics, nonverbal communications, management, and from his experience as a coach of scientists in Industry, Michel leads a year-long process that has proven to be deeply insightful and impactful for the participants.