Ten-Nine Technologies, Tulsa-based producer of advanced battery materials, announced today the appointment of Dr. Deborah Mielewski to its board of directors. Dr. Mielewski recently retired from Ford Motor Company, where she held the position of the company’s first female Technical Fellow and the inaugural position of Sustainability Fellow. Her appointment to the board comes as the company experiences a surge of interest in cross-sector applications for TENIX™, Ten-Nine Tech’s patented nano-additive that is designed to improve performance in single-use and rechargeable batteries.

As a company focused on making the world’s most powerful AND sustainable battery materials,” says Paige Johnson, Founder and CEO of Ten-Nine Tech, “we feel a special kinship with Debbie’s trail-blazing work in automotive sustainability.” Dr. Mielewski’s success at Ford in integrating industry-first sustainable materials into all of the company’s North American-built vehicles is a natural fit for her role with Ten-Nine Tech.

During her tenure at Ford, the Sustainable and Emerging Materials group led by Dr. Mielewski pioneered the development and implementation of more than 15 sustainable plastic materials that met stringent automotive requirements, including soy-based foam; tree-based, rice hull, and wheat straw composites; the use of coffee chaff for headlight housings; and ocean plastic for seating clips. Mielewski received her B.S.E. (‘86), M.S.E. (‘93) and PhD (‘98) degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and was with Ford Motor Company for 36 years. Ford launched the soy-based foam developed by her team on the 2008 Mustang, and it is now on every Ford North American-built vehicle. Dr. Mielewski appeared in a Ford national commercial, the NOVA “Making Things” series, and has been interviewed by countless media outlets. Her work has been acknowledged with over twenty awards including the 2022 AIChE Andrew Chase award, the 2022 FISITA Academy of Technical Leadership Award, the Henry Ford Technology Award, the R&D100 Award, the Free Press Automotive Leadership Award, the Environmental Management Association Award, eight SPE Environmental Innovation Awards, and she was named the 2021 Business Intelligence Group Sustainability Champion of the Year. Dr. Mielewski has over 60 refereed journal publications and 29 U. S. patents.

A lifelong champion of sustainable living, Mielewski walks the talk, and furnishes her home and wardrobe with roadside and resale finds. “The circular economy will be a critical part of reducing global emissions,” she said, “and I’m energized and proud to be starting a new chapter in building sustainable supply chains for consumer products with Ten-Nine Tech.” Mielewski also admires Ten-Nine’s Tech’s focus on building a diverse and welcoming work environment for all employees. As a new employee at Ford, she would pass through the lobby featuring portraits of the technical fellows – all men. “I used to ask myself, ‘How can I get on that wall?’ It was a big motivator, wondering if the first woman could be me,” said Mielewski. “I was honored and excited—not so much for myself, but so others can see me up there and think, ‘Yes, people of all kinds can be on that wall.’” She is one of only sixteen individuals to carry the title of Technical Fellow in Ford’s long history, and the first for sustainability. Ten-Nine Tech is pleased and proud to welcome Dr. Mielewski to its board of directors.