We are aeronautical engineers, materials scientists and technicians developing novel materials, devices, and systems aimed at transforming life on Earth for the better.
Felix Ejeckam, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, CEO, Board Director
Felix Ejeckam, Ph.D. has spent most of his career as an entrepreneur and electrical engineer. He co-founded Akash Systems in January 2016 with Ty Mitchell and has since served as CEO.
Prior to founding Akash, Felix invented GaN-on-Diamond technology in 2003 at Group4 Labs, Inc which he then sold to De Beers in 2013. Afterward, Felix began his career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, Inc.
Felix is a highly esteemed thought leader with over 100 journal/conference papers published in engineering. He also holds over 80 technology patents.
In June 2021, Ejeckam was named a “Technology Pioneer” at the World Economic Forum in Davos. In December 2021, Newsweek named Ejeckam to its list of “America’s 50 Greatest Disruptors: Visionaries and Innovators Who Are Changing The World”.
Felix holds a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, with a Minor in Materials Science from Cornell University.
Ty Mitchell, Ph.D.
Co-Founder, Board Director, Managing Director
Ty Mitchell, Ph.D. is a leader in the fields of GaN and SiC materials, optoelectronics, and LED lighting with a long background in technology development, business development, and business leadership. He co-founded Akash Systems in January 2016 with Felix Ejeckam and serves as the Board Director.
Ty has grown and led public-company technology businesses from $10M to $500M+ in revenues. Ty started his career as an engineer at GE and IBM, before working as a management consultant at McKinsey and Company, a global management consulting firm, from 1993 to 1999.
Prior to founding Akash, Ty was an executive with Cree, Inc., a $1.6B manufacturer of LED lights, LED components, and GaN and SiC RF and power devices and materials. Ty held several business leadership roles at Cree, including VP/GM of Cree’s Optoelectronic device and GaN/SiC materials businesses, and EVP/GM of Cree’s LED lighting business.
Ty holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Kris Kong, Ph.D.
Chief Technology Officer
Kris Kong, Ph.D., has over 25 years of industry leadership in RFIC, MMIC, and system design and development. He currently serves as Chief Technology Officer of Akash Systems.
From 2011 to 2017, Kris was a Design Engineering Fellow at Qorvo (previously TriQuint), where he led the design of state-of-the-art MMIC power amplifiers for commercial markets including point-to-point radio, VSAT communications, and other satellite and ground communications applications.
From 1998 and 2011, Kris served in positions including Principal Power Amplifier Architect for Axiom Microdevices and a Team Leader in Telecom/Millimeter-Wave Radio Products for TriQuint.
Kris began his career an engineer for TRW Space and Defense (now Northrup Grumman), Hughes Aircraft (now Raytheon), and ADX Microsystems (now Microsemi) where he first built his leading expertise in the design and development of MMICs at X, Ku, K, and Ka-band and beyond (V, E and W band). Kris holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas, Austin.
Ralph Ewig, Ph.D.
VP, Satellite Services
Ralph Ewig, Ph.D. has deep experience in the aerospace industry. He currently serves as the Vice President of Satellite Services at Akash Systems.
Ralph started his career at Andrews Space (now Spaceflight), working with Sandia National Labs, the FAA/AIAA RLV Safety Group, and NASA. The following five years as a consultant with Holder Aerospace, he transitioned to SpaceX as a Mission Operations Engineer. In 2012, he joined Aerojet first as VP of Engineering for Sacramento and then VP of Avionics with Aerojet Rocketdyne.
In 2015 he founded Audacy, a startup aiming to provide seamless on-orbit connectivity via a MEO relay constellation.
Ralph holds a PhD in Aeronautics & Astronautics from the University of Washington, and an MS in Business Management for Experienced Leaders (MSx) from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
Daniel Francis, Ph.D.
Daniel Francis, Ph.D., is a highly accredited leader in GaN-on-Diamond technologies with over X publications. He joined Akash Systems in August 2018 as Vice President of Materials.
Previously, Dan led the technical team that invented the GaN-on-Diamond technology in 2003 at Group4 Labs, Inc., where he was Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer. After the acquisition of Group4 Labs by Element 6, LLC (a member of the DeBeers group of companies), Dan continued to lead the development of GaN-on-Diamond wafers as Head of Compound Semiconductor Product Engineering.
Prior to working with GaN-on-Diamond, Dan worked at Finisar Corporation (through the acquisition of GenOA, Inc). At GenOA, he ran a technical team of up to 45 people who were developing Linear Optical Amplifiers, Long Wavelength VCSELs, and avalanche and PIN photodiodes. Dan has co-authored more than one hundred papers and over 20 patents.
Dan holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University.
Paul Saunier, Ph.D.
Vice President of Device Technology
Paul Saunier, Ph.D., has had a distinguished career with over 35+ years in management and engineering. He currently serves as VP of Device Technologies for Akash Systems.
Prior to joining Akash, Paul retired from Qorvo/TriQuint as a Senior Fellow. Prior to this, he served at Texas Instruments where he was one of the industry’s true pioneers in GaAs and GaN RF and Power devices. Paul’s accomplishments include pioneering work developing unique technologies and getting them into production, such as GaN-on-SiC RF devices, GaN-on-Si RF devices, creation and development of production processes of X-band pHEMTs and amplifiers, and the invention of the HFET for Space, Defense, and Base Station applications.
Paul was the first in the industry to demonstrate the HEMT for Power applications, which led to Texas Instruments’ leadership position in power devices. Paul has published more than 120 papers and has 10 patents. Paul holds a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.