Metcomb Nanostructures Announces Management Team and Appoints Strategic Advisers; Team Brings Manufacturing and Nanotechnology Expertise to Drive Materials Innovation and Go-to-Market Strategy

VIENNA, Austria--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 15, 2006--Metcomb Nanostructures, a leading manufacturer of closed-cell aluminum foam for the automotive, military, construction and aerospace industries, today announced the formation of its executive management team and the appointment of strategic advisers. Metcomb Nanostructures' executive team and strategic advisory board are composed of seasoned business and technology leaders who bring in-depth industry expertise, contacts and knowledge to the company. Working together, this team will enable Metcomb Nanostructures to bring the company's innovative aluminum foam solutions to mass market.

Metcomb Nanostructures has completed its initial research and development efforts which began in 1999. Through its early work with leading German automotive manufacturers and design firms, the company developed and tested prototypes of aluminum foam parts for automobiles. Protected by five patents, Metcomb Nanostructures has developed the Integrated Nanostructure Control process, which leverages nanotechnology to create the only uniformly consistent closed-cell aluminum foam that allows for highly customized solutions with predictable performance.

“I look forward to working with the team to bring this new material to market across a range of applications that will benefit manufacturers and ultimately consumers worldwide.”

With Metcomb's aluminum foam, automotive manufacturers can reduce the weight of vehicles while simultaneously making cars safer and more fuel efficient. Under guidance of the executive management team, the company has the foundation in place to support the growing need for this new material. Metcomb Nanostructures is now poised for its next growth phase -- mass production.

"Metcomb is well positioned to manufacture innovative aluminum foam solutions that have the potential to make our world safer and more environmentally sound," said Gerald Hoegl, CEO of Metcomb Nanostructures. "I look forward to working with the team to bring this new material to market across a range of applications that will benefit manufacturers and ultimately consumers worldwide."

The company also announced today that it has added two industry veterans, Dr. John Banhart and Dr. Wasiq Bokhari, as strategic advisers who will provide a wealth of insight to guide and accelerate Metcomb's growth.

"Metcomb is unique in that it is delivering on the promise of nanotechnology through its Integrated Nanostructure Control process," said Dr. Wasiq Bokhari, co-founder and managing partner of Quantum Insight. "Given the clear need for more fuel-efficient vehicles and lightweight materials for use in building or aerospace, I'm excited about the potential presented by Metcomb's aluminum foam. The management team is passionate about furthering the adoption of this new material, and I am confident that our collaborative efforts will result in new applications with broad reaching impact."

Members of Metcomb Nanostructures executive team include:

Gerald Hoegl

Chief Executive Officer

Hoegl brings more than 16 years of financial management and operations experience to his role as the chief executive officer and the chief financial officer at Metcomb. Prior to joining Metcomb in 2005, Hoegl spent four years as an authorized officer at Hoerbiger Group where he served as chief financial officer for the Compression Technology Business Unit. Hoerbiger's Compression Technology Business Unit is the world leader in valves for reciprocating compressors and a well established provider of services for these compressors. At Hoerbiger, Hoegl managed EUR 304 million in annual sales and 2,800 employees. Before that, Hoegl spent more than three years as a member of the executive board at Eybl International AG where he managed M&A projects and lead international project development in China and also had responsibility for plants in U.S. and Brazil. He also held several financial management positions at HILTI Group over a six year period, including serving as chief financial officer for HILTI in the Czech Republic and the separate entity in the Slovak Republic.

Hoegl is a graduate of the University of Economics in Austria where he earned a master's degree in business administration, and doctoral degrees in socio-economics. He prepared his doctoral thesis on flexible manufacturing systems and the related cost structures, accounting and strategic applications.

Dr. Dietmar Leitlmeier

Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Dietmar Leitlmeier, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Metcomb, is renowned for his expertise in metallurgy and the use of nanostructures in the development of aluminum foam. Leitlmeier holds five patents and an additional five patents are under preparation for Metcomb's Integrated Nanostructure Control process, which leverages nanotechnology to create the only uniformly consistent closed-cell aluminum foam for specialized applications in automotive, military, aerospace and defense industries. Leitlmeier has published and co-authored more than 20 papers and conference articles. Leitlmeier began the development of the Metcomb process in 1999 while at the Austrian Research Center in the subsidiary company Light Metals Competence Center Ranshofen (LKR). In addition, Leitlmeier was a member of the team responsible for developing a new vertical continuous casting technology for magnesium. Prior to founding Metcomb, Leitlmeier spent two years at Huette Klein-Reichenbach (an aluminum mill) where he pioneered methods to increase the production rate by more than 25% while reducing the costs for Huette Klein-Reichenbach's products such as deoxidation-aluminum for the steel industry and master alloys for aluminum producers.

Leitlmeier is a graduate of the University of Leoben, Austria, where he earned a masters degree in Metallurgical Engineering. He holds a Ph.D from the Technical University Vienna and a masters in business administration from SMA.

Herbert Flankl MSc.

Chief Marketing Officer

Flankl is co-founder and chief marketing officer of Metcomb and brings more than 20 years experience in the smelting research industry to the company. Prior to Metcomb, Flankl served for nine years as a key Account Manager and Board Assistant at Huette Klein-Reichenbach. In addition, for more than 10 years, Flankl was a Metallurgy Supervisor for Russia, Libya, Angola and Sweden at Voest-Alpine Steel Group. Flankl has also assisted in the development of five Metcomb patents and has been a frequent lecturer on the topic of quality and resource management for more than eight years at the Danube University.

Flankl holds two master degrees (MSc. and MAS) in environmental management.

Franz Dobesberger

Chairman of Supervisory Board

Dobesberger brings deep business expertise to Metcomb and currently holds positions in several leading Austrian companies. As an early investor in Metcomb, Dobesberger has provided the financing for the company's research and development process to date. Since 1989, Dobesberger has served as the CEO for Huette Klein-Reichenbach. During this time, he drove the successful turnaround of the business, which today has 30 employees and annual sales of EUR 22 million. Huette Klein-Reichenbach is a highly profitable and a well established supplier to steel mills in the European Union.

In addition, Dobesberger also started the domestic port Ennshafen as a greenfield operation in 1998, and today this handling and storage facility is a well established, highly profitable operation with an annual handling volume of approximately 350 thousand tons per year.

The founding members of Metcomb Nanostructures' Strategic Advisory Board include:

Dr. Wasiq Bokhari

Dr. Bokhari is a co-founder and managing partner of Quantum Insight. He works with Fortune 500 companies on the adoption and commercialization of materials and nanotechnology with applications in energy, IT and medicine. Bokhari also works with entrepreneurs and early-stage startups in technology commercialization.

Before founding Quantum Insight, he was part of the founding team and Senior Vice President of Products of Clickmarks, an enterprise infrastructure software company, subsequently acquired by Semotus Solutions. Bokhari received his Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he worked in the group headed by Nobel laureate Jerome Friedman. He was part of the team that discovered a fundamental particle called the top quark at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in 1995, one of the most prominent physics results of the decade. He is an author of more than 50 scientific and technical publications, and is cited as an inventor on eight U.S. patents, granted and applied.

He has co-authored a widely recognized report on the potential of nanotechnology for the California Commission for Science and Technology (CCST). He is also the co-founder and Steering Committee Chair of the MIT Stanford UC Berkeley Nanotechnology Forum. Bokhari currently works with PCAST (Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology) on issues related to energy. PCAST is the highest civilian body that advises the U.S. President on issues in science and technology.

Professor Dr. John Banhart

Dr. Banhart is a professor at the Technical University of Berlin and head of the Department of Materials Science at the Hahn-Meitner-Institute Berlin. He has 18 years of research experience in computational physics and materials science. In addition, Banhart has 13 years of experience in industrial contract research and acquisition of grants. Banhart has published 160 papers on computational and experimental physics and materials science in renowned scientific journals.

Banhart has dedicated a large part of his research career to the development of aluminum foams. Beginning in 1991 at the Fraunhofer-Institute in Bremen, he was one of the pioneers in this field. He developed novel foaming processes, described foam properties and studied the phenomena governing metal foam stability. He has also initiated a series of international conferences which are the primary forum for the metal foam community.

About Metcomb Nanostructures

With headquarters in Kleinreichenbach, Austria, Metcomb Nanostructures is a closed-cell aluminum foam manufacturing company. Metcomb's patented Integrated Nanostructure Control process creates the only aluminum foam with uniformly consistent output. The properties of the resulting foam allow for highly customized solutions with predictable performance for a wide range of requirements across the automotive, military, construction and aerospace industries. Metcomb Nanostructures enables its customers to bring innovative products to market that are safer, more comfortable and more fuel efficient. For more information about Metcomb Nanostructures, please visit


Schwartz Communications
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