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MEET The Team

Tyler Farnsworth, PhD, Head of Technical & Product Development

Tyler Farnsworth, PhD

Head of Technical & Product Development

Tyler is a materials chemist by training. He brings a wealth of project management experience to the product life cycle, spanning R&D prototyping, product design, and industrial manufacturing. His technical expertise includes inorganic nanomaterial synthesis and characterization, applied polymer design, and innovative coatings and encapsulation technologies. 

 

Dr. Farnsworth previously worked as a research scientist in the Materials Group of Luna Innovations (now Luna Labs USA), serving as technical and program lead on multiple SBIR/STTR Department of Defense contracts.

 

Dr. Farnsworth, an NSF GRFP Fellow, received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina Upstate and holds a Ph.D. in Polymer and Materials Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  

 

Fun fact: Tyler enjoys roasting his own coffee beans and is constantly perfecting his pour-over technique.

Mike Booth, Head of Analytical Services

Mike Booth

Head of Analytical Services

Mike Booth is a chemist with expertise in quality control and instrumentation. His experience covers areas including ICP-OES, ICP-MS, Ion Chromatography and various titration techniques.

 

In addition to his role with MERGE Chemistry, Mike serves as Technical Director at MERGE's sister-company, Inorganic Ventures.

 

He received a B.S. in Chemistry from West Virginia University Institute of Technology.

Fun fact: Mike is a "metal head" in every sense of the word. In addition to spending his working hours analyzing metal content and purity, he spends his free time head-banging to the heaviest of metal in his headphones. He's even got an Iron Maiden tattoo!

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Ali Akbarisehat, PhD

Chemist II

Ali's research background includes the development of improved synthetic methods for semiconductor nanomaterials, including graphene and transition metal oxides. He is a skilled electroanalytical chemist, bringing extensive experience in the deployment of electrochemical techniques to improve the electrodeposition of metal thin films in both aqueous and non-aqueous media.

 

In addition, Ali has several years of experience in spectroscopic and electron microscopy characterization of materials, which enabled him to elucidate the interaction mechanism of water-dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide at the surface of metal oxides. Prior to joining MERGE, Ali worked as a postdoctoral research associate developing a new electrochemical cell that harvests energy from air moisture using metal oxide nanomaterials.

Dr. Akbarisehat received his Ph.D. in Electroanalytical Chemistry from the University of Tehran.

Fun fact: Ali is a certified Persian calligrapher.

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Autumn Phillips

R&D Chemist

Autumn is a research chemist with experience in analysis, validation, and method development for ICP-OES, ICP-MS, ion chromatography, and carbon analyzer techniques. Her experience also covers sample preparation for a wide variety of sample types, along with various purification methods.

In addition to her role with MERGE Chemistry, Autumn serves as an R&D Chemist and the Chemical Hygiene Officer at MERGE’s sister company, Inorganic Ventures.

Autumn received a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.A. in Chemistry from Virginia Tech in 2016.

Fun Fact: Autumn is passionate about cars and motorcycles. She and her husband met due to their mutual love for riding bikes in college, and it’s still something they enjoy doing together. They have also completed four V8 motor swaps, with a few more currently in the works. One of them is the Vaydor kit car (the pink car driven by Joker in the movie Suicide Squad).

Justin Yalung, COO/CFO

Justin Yalung

Executive Advisor

Justin serves as the executive advisor of MERGE Chemistry and the CFO of parent company IV Labs, Inc. where he is responsible for accelerating the organization’s strategic goals and operational performance.

Prior to his tenure at MERGE / IV, he served in a variety of leadership and senior finance roles within the biotech industry at TechLab and bioMérieux, hardware and software at IBM, and the energy industry at GE (now GE Vernova).

Justin received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Virginia Tech and has completed the Executive Leadership Programme from the University of Oxford.

Fun fact: Justin is a life-long golf fanatic and finally bagged his first ace in 2022, after 26 years of competitive play.

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