Fluence Overview
Our roots are science. Our core is engineering.

Fluence Bioengineering is evolving the way the world cultivates food, medicine and our collective understanding of photobiology.

We have combined more than a century of expertise in photobiology research, semiconductor design and lighting design to explore high-PPFD cultivation, wavelength impact on plant morphology, and photoperiodic response.

 

Fluence Leadership

Nick_Klase

Nick Klase

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER & CO-FOUNDER
Nick Klase, CEO &  Co-Founder
Nick Klase is a pioneer in the development and implementation of horticulture lighting systems. He thrives most when applying creative ingenuity to solve real-world challenges: whether spearheading the lighting design for the world’s largest indoor vertical farm, or conducting cutting-edge research to design the most efficient lighting systems for plant growth.
Prior to Fluence, Nick was the CEO/co-founder of BML Horticulture, vice president and founder of horticulture lighting at Illumitex, and a general manager at Acuity Brands, the largest lighting company in North America. Nick received an MBA from Emory University and a bachelor’s degree in business and theology from Oral Roberts University.
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Randall Johnson

CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER & CO-FOUNDER
Randall (Randy) Johnson, CTO &  Co-Founder
Randall (Randy) Johnson holds more than a dozen patents related to electronic packaging, LED design, and process automation. He has designed target-acquisition systems for low-level laser-guided technology, worked on DARPA funded projects as part of the Strategic Defense Initiative, and is a published author. Randy held executive positions with BML Horticulture, Illumitex, Texas Instruments, and Compaq, where he managed a $10 billion supply chain; and that is only the prologue to his three-plus decade career in the semiconductor industry.
Randy is geared toward innovative design and can often be found tinkering with new projects. He spends his free time unwinding on the golf course and diving the warm waters of the Caribbean in the summer, and gliding down fresh powder in the winter. Randy completed the Strategic Supply Chain Management program at Penn State University, and earned a Bachelor’s of Science in mechanical engineering from Southern Methodist University.
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Jerry

Jerry Kieran

CHIEF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
Jerry Kieran, Chief Business Development Officer
Jerry Kieran has a passion for enabling others to succeed, and sharing the knowledge he has been so fortunate to acquire over more than two decades in the lighting, horticulture and financial industries. His focus on helping clients ‘herd’ photons, make informed choices, and better understand complex capital allocation decisions that impact long-term financial performance embody this passion. Coupling this dedication with assembling a world-class network of incredible industry partners, exploring creative go-to-market strategies, and helping guide the company’s expansion provide all the challenges Jerry is seeking.
Outside of work, he enjoys playing lacrosse, challenging his three little minions, and is also an ecstatic transplant from the east coast to sunny Denver, Colorado. Jerry earned his MBA from Columbia University with honors, and a Bachelor’s of Science in interdisciplinary engineering and management from Clarkson University.
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Dung

Dung Tien Duong

DIRECTOR
OF
PRODUCT VALIDATION
Dung Tien Duong, Director of Product Validation
Dung Duong (pronounced Young Yeung) holds 20 patents spanning LED devices and biotechnology systems. His unique vision on optoelectronic devices was formed by extensive experience in designing diffraction-limited broad-spectrum imaging and high brightness non-imaging optics.
Prior to joining Fluence Bioengineering, Dung was the Chief Scientist and founder at Illumitex where he was the inventor of the original patented ideas. Prior accomplishments include being a member of the Advance Technologies Group at Luminex Corporation, where he successfully designed, prototyped and tested the illumination, imaging optic, mechanics and industrial design of a smaller, lighter and more portable detection platform for the company’s XMap technology. Dung has also consulted at Raytheon-owned Elcan Optical Technologies, where he designed a variety of imaging optics including bioculars, short-wave, mid-wave, and far IR optics. In his professional career, Dung was the principal optics engineer at Kodak Austin Development Center (previously Applied Science Fiction).
Dung received degrees in both Applied Optics and Mechanical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana.
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Travis Williams

VICE PRESIDENT
OF
MARKETING
Travis Williams, President of Marketing
Travis Williams is a candid marketer, student of social behavior, and restless wonderer. He has led marketing campaigns for start-up and Fortune 500 companies across a diverse range of technology sectors from carbon sequestration and alternative energy to semiconductors and open-source software. With a devotion to veracity (and disdain for hyperbole), he fosters the values of transparent communication and healthy debate.
Woodworking, kayaking, mountain biking, reading, snowboarding, landscaping and tinkering with audio equipment are just a few of the extracurriculars Travis enjoys outside of Fluence. Travis holds a Bachelor’s of Science in public relations from The University of Texas at Austin and studied innovation and commercialization at MIT.
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Larry Dodson

DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Larry Dodson, Director of Product Development
Larry Dodson is committed to excellence and success, with a focus on building highly effective teams empowered by integrity, talent, proactive communications and strong leadership. He brings to Fluence a broad background with 30+ years of experience in operations and process engineering, sales, corporate strategy and business development. In the past decade, his work has primarily focused on extremely fast-paced start-ups to establish structure and deliver new products and unique technologies to high-growth industries.
In his spare time, Larry enjoys horsemanship and playing cowboy, swimming and scuba, riding his motorcycle, hiking and biking, acting, and experiencing the world both for work and fun (often the same thing).
Larry has a BA in Chemistry and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Southern Illinois University, and an MBA from Houston Baptist University. He has completed additional courses of study at the Venture Capital Institute, Executive P&L programs at Stanford University, and various engineering and technical programs of study in packet communications, embedded logic controllers and program management.
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Tharindu

Tharindu Weeraratne PhD

HORTICULTURE SCIENTIST
Tharindu Weeraratne, Ph.D., Horticulture Scientist
Tharindu Weeraratne /Vē räräth na/ is an avid research scientist with a passion to educate people about the fascinating interplay of stimuli and processes in organisms. His expertise is based on years of playing with all components of the central dogma and at organismal level, which has led him to be a successful campaigner to communicate and promote the science behind academic research for the implementation in commercial applications. As one who believes in the positive outcomes of healthy and sustainable living, he enjoys driving breakthrough research to shape the development of solutions that improve all facets of life.
When not looking through a microscope, Tharindu enjoys coding in Python and R, playing badminton, and spending as much time with his family as possible. He earned his Ph.D. in plant biology from the University of Texas at Austin and received his Bachelor’s of Science in botany with first class honors from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
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Stephen Davis

VICE PRESIDENT
OF
OPERATIONS
Stephen Davis, President of Operations
Stephen Davis has extensive experience in supply chain and operations management. He has nearly two decades in manufacturing operations, including 15 years in the lighting industry.  He also builds on more than 10 years of experience in lean manufacturing, leading continuous improvement through kaizen in multiple production facilities. Stephen was the Focus Factory Manager for one of the largest lighting companies in North America, and prior he oversaw production and project management for Dell.
When he is not ensuring on-time production, Stephen enjoys the simplicity of the outdoors. He is not one to complain about yard-work and can frequently be found camping with his family. Stephen holds a BBA in economics from Texas State University.
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Tom Contrisciano

DIRECTOR
OF
HORTICULTURE SALES
Tom Contrisciano, Director of Horticulture Sales 
Tom’s business approach is to assist customers in their short- and long-term success. He accomplishes this through correctly identifying their needs and challenges, then helping them through the decision making process as they evaluate options. Once an informed solution is chosen, he monitors the progress and provides any additional support needed.
With a Master of Science in Floriculture and a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from Penn State University, Tom’s lifelong interest in horticulture has evolved from study to practice with decades of experience working with the top plant breeding and green and hardgoods distribution companies in the world. He has worked throughout much of North America and knows and appreciates the regional grower differences and intricacies.
In his free time, Tom enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, landscaping, watching movies, listening to music and hiking.
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Research

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Fluence scientists study photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) and spectra impact on full-cycle plant physiology and chemical composition. In addition to primary research, Fluence collaborates with global research institutions – including Princeton University, the United States Department of Agriculture, University of Florida and Bayer CropScience – across a diverse range of studies from Geosciences to Food and Agricultural Sciences.

 

Research is conducted using scientific tools, including the latest gas exchange analysis equipment, PAR meters and integrating spheres from Qubit Systems, LI-COR and U.S. Dept. of Energy accredited laboratories to calculate and measure:

 

  • Total photon flux
  • Intensity distribution
  • Photosynthetic rates
  • Transpiration rates
  • Water use efficiency
  • Leaf, root and whole plant physiology

Product Development

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All Fluence lighting systems and spectra are designed and built in Austin, TX using an assembly process combining robotics, automation and engineering craftsmanship.

 

Spectra options are formulated to elicit unique plant growth characteristics targeting specific plant responses, whether for commercial cultivation or research. Engineered for maximum energy efficiency and cost savings, each spectrum is developed with pre-focused LED radiation patterns ranging from 80° – 140° Full Width Half Max (FWHM) from the top semiconductor manufacturers, including Osram and Samsung.

Join the Fluence Team

Our employees are game changers. We partner with our customers to understand their unique needs. We build relationships. We focus on quality. We get it done and have fun doing it.

Interested in working for a company that prides itself on relationships and innovative technology? Send us your introduction letter and resume so we can get to know you better.

EXPLORE CAREERS
© Copyright 2017. Fluence Bioengineering | Designed and Built In Austin, Texas