Dr. Brian Dixon

Dr. Brian Dixon has more than twenty years of experience in organic and polymer chemistry, and more generally materials science. Upon graduation from the Pennsylvania State University in 1973 with a BS, he worked for three years for ICI America (United States) Inc., in Wilmington, Delaware, as a polymer chemist/field engineer. His work at ICI involved high performance FRP composites based upon polyester, epoxy and vinyl ester polymers used in many kinds of industrial applications. Most of this work involved the hands-on preparation and physical and corrosion testing of filament wound and laminated composites. Dr. Dixon then entered graduate school at the University of Illinois where he obtained a Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1980. His graduate work involved the synthesis of a series of novel peroxides and a study of the chemiluminescence properties and associated reaction mechanisms of peroxide-aromatic hydrocarbon decompositions. Upon receiving his degree, Dr. Dixon accepted employment within the Central Research Department of Dow Chemical Company at its New England Laboratory in Wayland, Massachusetts (since closed). During his tenure there, he worked on the syntheses of new monomers, including novel phosphates for fire retardant applications, vinylics, diolefins from alkynes, new epoxies and polycarbonates. He also worked on designing organometallic catalysts for epoxide-forming reactions.

In 1985 Dr. Dixon joined Cape Cod Research, Inc (CCR). where he was a key component in the growth of that organization as Vice President of R&D. His CCR research and development efforts covered a wide range of technologies, including coatings for biofouling prevention and corrosion inhibition (liquid and vapor phase applications), and novel chemiluminescent and sonoluminescent sensors for low level analyte detection (heavy metals, chlorinated solvents, hydrocarbons). A number of programs involved designing and synthesizing/formulating new electrolytes for use in high performance battery and capacitor systems, including silver-zinc and especially lithium. Unsurprisingly, this area also led to work in materials design for fuel cells. A separate area of expertise was in the use of advanced computational chemistry techniques (Accelrys Cerius© and Materials Studio©) to design molecules for improving chemical system performance.

In late 1999 Dr. Dixon co-founded Phoenix Innovation, Inc. (PII), a company that for 10 years successfully focused upon three areas. Most prominently was the development of practical, non-flammable electrolytes for high energy density lithium and magnesium batteries. The second area was non-toxic corrosion inhibiting coatings for steel, aluminum and magnesium substrates. The third area was in the design and synthesis of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for use in the first two R&D areas. We engineered, built and used a carbon arc device for synthesizing CNTs in collaboration with personnel from DOE’s NREL lab in Golden, CO. He also used advanced computational techniques at PII, as described above, to design materials in these various programs. Versatile Dynamics arose in 2009 from the ashes of Phoenix Innovation and includes an expanded set of researchers who now combine formulation, physics, and equipment design skills alongside the established chemistry and materials based expertise.
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