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Posted on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 4:54 p.m.

Battery startup Sakti3 founder to step down from U-M faculty position

By Ben Freed

Ann Marie Sastry, founder and chief executive officer of Ann Arbor-based battery startup Sakti3, announced that she will be ending her tenure as a professor at the University of Michigan.

Sastry, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering, received multiple awards for both her teaching and her research while at the university.

Ann Marie Sastry.JPG

Ann Marie Sastry's attention will be solely on Sakti3 as the company attempts to bring solid-state batteries to the mass market

Angela J. Cesere |

According to a report by, Sastry's decision was driven by a desire to focus all of her professional attention on "building Sakti3 into a 'great company.' " She will, however, continue to interact with researchers at Michigan on a regular basis.

"Fundamentally, I do think that people bringing experience from academia, industry, nonprofits, and government to one another is healthy and it makes for interesting people and interesting workplaces," Sastry said in an email to Xconomy. "The reality is that each of these sectors has profoundly different objectives, but the learnings from each are incredibly valuable, so long as the focus on the objectives stays sharp. So I feel that we can bring the best intentions of the university to an industrial exercise, of creating good technologies that are profitable and that sustain the enterprise, while having an impact that is different, but very important, in society."

Sakti3 develops batteries for electric cars and aims to help curb dependency on oil and fossil fuels. The company started as a spin-off of technology developed at Michigan.

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Kai Petainen

Wed, Jun 13, 2012 : 1:22 a.m.

Earlier this week, A123 announced that they were hiring a bunch of people. Does this story have any link to that story? Also, in case you missed it, A123 stock jumped 52%, and the Detroit Free Press had an article on it. Incidentally, the article was written by Nathan Bomey, formerly from It's nice to see that he's still writing about business....

Linda Peck

Tue, Jun 12, 2012 : 9:55 p.m.

Sounds like a great move! Into the big time! Congratulations, Ms Sastry