Aaron Crumm (MSE '97, Ph.D. '00) Receives 2016 MSE Alumni Merit Award
Aaron Crumm’s PhD work at the University of Michigan led to his founding of Adaptive Materials, Inc. (AMI), an alternative energy market leader. Aaron’s simple, yet radical, business proposition was to develop a portable solid oxide fuel cell system that ran off of readily available fuel. Aaron’s work has attracted more than $50 million in contracts to support the growth of AMI. His success in leveraging research grants as part of AMI’s business acceleration strategy was integral to the company’s ability to remain privately-held and focused on fuel cell product development. The company was acquired by defense industry giant Ultra Electronics in 2010. AMI has been recognized for its dynamic growth with Ann Arbor SPARK FastTrack, Inc. 5,000, and Inc. 100 Energy Company awards. Aaron has also been individually recognized as an entrepreneur with multiple awards including Executive of the Year in 2011.
Prior to founding Adaptive Materials, Aaron gained insight into electric power generation as a nuclear engineer. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in nuclear engineering from Purdue University, and a PhD in Material Science & Engineering from the University of Michigan, advised by Prof. John Halloran. Aaron is a highly regarded and respected speaker at many alternative energy symposia and fuel cell conferences. Aaron takes a very active role in the University of Michigan’s Center for Entrepreneurship’s programs as a faculty in residence and education as its first entrepreneur in residence. Beyond teaching courses, he serves as an advisor to student startups, and specially supports projects looking to translate technology into the energy industry. In 2016, Aaron joined the MSE External Advisory Board.