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About Us

Bradley L. Edgar, Ph.D., CEO

Dr. Brad Edgar has a proven track record as an inventor, technology developer, and entrepreneur. Through his experience, he understands the full cycle of development from concept to commercialization.

Prior to starting 44, Brad cofounded three companies, most recently Cleaire Advanced Emission Controls in 2001.

In addition to managing the development of the Cleaire technology, Brad played a lead role in developing large-scale emission reduction programs in California, New York, and Texas.

Brad has focused his career on engines, combustion, and emissions. He is the author of numerous papers and presentations, and is the inventor or co-inventor of 11 United States Patents, primarily related to combustion and emission control technology.

Brad received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1997. His research focused on developing novel approaches to diesel engine after treatment and on investigations into the use of dimethyl ether (DME) as an alternative fuel for diesel engines and gas turbines. Part of his graduate work took place as a research fellow at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.

Following his Ph.D. program, Brad spent time as a post-doctoral researcher in Germany at the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Technical Combustion.

In 1997 Brad received the Society of Automotive Engineer’s Arch T. Colwell award for outstanding technical paper. And in 2011 Brad received the prestigious Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award in the category of Science and Technology from the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Brad currently serves on the UC Berkeley Mechanical Engineering Department Advisory Board.

Juston L. Smithers, CTO

Juston Smithers has extensive experience in the science, engineering, and commercialization of advanced emission control and biofuels technologies. With his combination of technical and management skills, he has a proven track record of bringing new technologies to market both for startups and mature businesses.

Prior to cofounding 44, Juston was Senior Engineering Manager for Cleaire Advanced Emission Controls, where he developed and verified diesel emission control technologies. In addition, Juston served as the Manager of Cleaire’s heavy-duty chassis dynamometer laboratory, which supported internal product development and verification programs as well as providing testing services for third party companies.

Having served as the Product Development Manager for Primafuel, a biofuels and bio-based products company in Signal Hill, California, Juston holds significant expertise and experience in the biofuels industry. He led the development and commercialization of multi-million dollar systems to separate corn oil from low-value ethanol waste streams to increase the profitability of several corn-ethanol plants in the United States. He also co-developed Primafuel’s CLARITY advanced separations platform, a system used to recover high-value compounds from fermentation-based and algal-based biofuel product and waste streams.

Juston spent three years as a consultant in the Air Sciences division at ENVIRON Corporation, where he assisted clients with air quality regulations and compliance, atmospheric dispersion modeling, GIS and emissions inventory analyses, and site monitoring. He also prepared testimony for expert witnesses at the firm.

He has published papers in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and the Journal of Organic Chemistry and is co-inventor of three United States patents relating to diesel emission controls and advanced biofuels processing technology.

Juston received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering, with an emphasis on environmental technology, from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2000.