Solugen Leadership

Gaurab Chakrabarti


Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Solugen

Gaurab Chakrabarti is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Solugen, which he co-founded with Sean Hunt in 2016 with the mission to decarbonize the chemicals industry. Gaurab is a physician-scientist focused on using biology in unconventional ways to solve incredibly complex problems. As CEO, Gaurab is using his insights from enzyme engineering to develop and scale chemienzymatic process technologies.

Gaurab studied computational neuroscience as an undergraduate at Brown University and received his MD & PhD in cancer biology and enzymology at the University of Texas. Gaurab is an author or co-author on more than 20 peer-reviewed publications and patents and an alumnus of Y Combinator and Forbes 30 Under 30 in Industry and Manufacturing. Gaurab lives in Houston with his wife, daughter, and Goldendoodle.

Sean Hunt


Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Solugen

Sean Hunt is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Solugen. As CTO, Sean is focused on utilizing novel metal catalysts, scaling up proprietary process technologies, and developing the framework for Solugen’s mini-mills. Prior to starting Solugen, Sean was a fuel cell engineer for the U.S. Navy, a vaccine and API process engineer for Merck in Singapore, and a Cocoa Puff engineer at General Mills. In 2017, Sean became an alumnus of Y Combinator and Forbes 30 Under 30 in Industry and Manufacturing.

Sean holds a PhD in chemical engineering from MIT where he studied renewable energy and green chemical manufacturing on metal catalysts as an NSF graduate research fellow. Sean is a co-author on more than 20 peer-reviewed publications and patents, including first author publications in Science, Angewandte Chemie, and Energy and Environmental Science. Sean lives in Houston with his wife, Wenly, and his two Pomeranians, Wolfgang Hunt and Kylo Ruan. Outside of work, Sean is a semi-professional juggler.

Travis Thibodeaux


Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Solugen

Travis Thibodeaux is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Solugen, where he leads the day-to-day operations and sales of the Company, while focusing on safety, strategy, and growth. Travis brings a diverse background which includes over twenty years in specialty chemicals, asset management, and private equity. Prior to Solugen, Travis was the Senior Vice President at Hoover Ferguson and led the manufacturing and supply chain at Halliburton/MultiChem.

Travis holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston, and MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Travis currently lives in Houston with his family. Outside of work, Travis practices martial arts.

Frederyk Ngantung


Vice President (VP) of Product of Solugen

Frederyk Ngantung is the VP of Product of Solugen, where he leads a multidisciplinary team to develop carbon-negative products for new markets beyond the energy sector. With over 15 years of experience including stints at a corporate venture capital firm and three bio-based chemical startups, Frederyk has developed deep expertise around bringing bio-based products to market.

Prior to Solugen, Frederyk commercialized Elevance’s bio-based specialty chemicals into oilfield, flavors and fragrances, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and HI&I markets in the US, Europe, South America, and Asia. Frederyk invented Solazyme’s encapsulated oil product and co-authored several patents for Solazyme’s tailored algal oils before Corbion acquired Solazyme. Earlier in his career, Frederyk led Technology Strategy and Commercial Development for Amyris and Amyris Brazil. Frederyk executed key deals to enable Amyris’ successful IPO in September 2010.

Frederyk completed his Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (BChE) with summa cum laude distinction from University of Minnesota and earned his PhD in Chemical Engineering from MIT at the age of 24. Frederyk currently lives in Houston, TX. Outside of work, Frederyk is an avid traveler and has visited over 70 countries.

Karina Amelang


General Counsel of Solugen

Karina Amelang is the General Counsel of Solugen. Karina joined Solugen after serving as Vice President and Interim General Counsel of U.S. Silica Company. Karina has in-depth experience in the full value chain of the energy industry, having served in roles of increasing responsibility at NextEra Energy Resources, Eagle Rock Energy Partners, and Williams.

She began her legal career in the global projects practice groups of King & Spalding LLP and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. She received her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center. Karina currently lives in Houston with her family. Outside of work, Karina is active in the philanthropy world.

Sean Liu


Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Solugen

Sean Liu is the Chief Financial Officer of Solugen where he leads Solugen’s finance organization and spearheads many of the firm’s efforts in investor relations, strategy, and M&A. Sean brings a diverse background which includes a decade in senior positions of increasing responsibility with top global investment firms. Prior to Solugen, Sean Liu was the Investment Director at SoftBank Investment Advisers. 

Sean holds a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. Sean currently lives in Houston with his family. Outside of work, Sean enjoys participating in marathons and cooking Chinese & Italian cuisine.

Alan Pike


Vice President (VP) of Finance and Controller of Solugen

Alan Pike is the VP of Finance and Controller of Solugen, where he is responsible for all finance services, including treasury, general and corporate accounting, payroll, taxes, financial reporting, and external audit oversight. Alan also assists with Human Resources and Information Technology as required. Prior to joining Solugen, Alan has held multiple Controller positions with a variety of industries including manufacturing, advertising, and oil & gas exploration and production. Throughout his nearly 30-year career in accounting and finance, Alan has worked with a variety of US and foreign owned businesses, including ExxonMobil and BHP.

Alan is a licensed CPA in the state of Texas and holds a MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and a BBA (Finance) from the University of Oklahoma. Alan currently lives in Houston with his family. Outside of work, Alan enjoys building and remodeling homes.

David Weiner


Vice President (VP) of Technology of Solugen

David Weiner is the VP of Technology of Solugen, where he leads R&D from ideation through technology transfer while continuing to advance the technology platform. With over 25 years of experience, David brings a diverse background from the cutting edge of biotechnology, leading science and business. Prior to joining Solugen, David was VP of Technology and Product Development for BASF, leading the global enzyme business. Earlier in his career, David served as VP of R&D for Verenium Corporation, and led several departments at Diversa Corporation, increasing responsibility.

David holds a PhD in Chemical Biology from Leicester University in the U.K. As a frequent speaker at international conferences, he has authored 24 peer-reviewed publications and is a coinventor on 44 issued US patents. David currently lives in Houston with his wife and Yorkshire Terrier. Outside of work, David can be found exploring nature, hiking and climbing mountains, and traveling with his family.