Our Story

While working in Dr. David Reckhow’s laboratory at UMass, Julie’s primary role has been to evaluate and develop innovative water treatment technologies under the U.S. EPA’s Water Innovation Network for Small Sustainable Systems (WINSSS). Upon discovering a novel electrochemical advanced oxidation process (EAOP) technology with extensive treatment capabilities and low electrical power consumption needs as compared to more conventional treatment processes, Julie became inspired to understand what it would take to bring the technology to market. In the Fall of 2016, she filed a provisional patent with the University and subsequently looked to enroll in entrepreneurship courses to further understand the commercialization process.

Barrett and Julie met at UMass in the Spring of 2017. Julie was participating as a student in a graduate level Lean Launch Pad entrepreneurial class where she was conducting extensive customer discovery and was also seeking potential business partners. Barrett, as a fellow at the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, attended the class as a teaching assistant and was immediately compelled by the potential of this venture to disrupt the water purification market. The two quickly formed a connection and agreed to partner. Soon after joining, Julie and Barrett won the top award in the UMass Innovation Challenge, claiming $26,000 in seed money to help jump-start the company. Formerly ElectroPure, Julie and Barrett renamed the company and incorporated under Aclarity, LLC in May.

Aclarity was accepted into the inaugural 2017 Berthiaume Summer Accelerator where the team continued customer discovery, met weekly with dedicated mentors and numerous subject matter experts, worked with the University toward converting the patent, developed a business strategy, and advanced technology R&D. Upon the accelerator graduation, Aclarity was awarded additional seed funding. Soon after, the team embarked on a collaboration effort with Watts Water Technologies, Inc. who will provide technical and commercial guidance and advice to help bring a residential product to market.

With the technology’s scalable platform, Aclarity is currently exploring additional collaborations to enter other water purification market segments.




Founding Members:


Julie Bliss Mullen, is a Ph.D. candidate and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow (NSF-GRF) in Civil Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a research focus in innovative drinking water treatment solutions. Prior to her studies at UMass, Julie worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an environmental engineer in the Drinking Water Unit for Region 1 (Boston, MA). Julie is a proud alumna of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) where she studied Environmental Engineering and Environmental Sustainability and Policy. Her experience in and dedication to providing clean water solutions was the prime motivator for founding Aclarity. When Julie is not working or conducting research, she is likely cooking, hosting loved ones, or travelling the world with her family and friends.


Barrett Mully is currently a full time MBA candidate and a fellow at the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Massachusetts, Isenberg School of Management. He received an undergraduate engineering degree from Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 2003. Barrett spent the first part of his career in the Merchant Marines sailing as a licensed engineering officer aboard ocean-going vessels. He spent the majority of his career as a control room supervisor and senior reactor operator of a nuclear power plant for almost ten years. With a strong engineering, operational, and management foundation, Barrett looks for his past experiences and his time at Isenberg to make him an effective member of Aclarity. Barrett is an avid cyclist, enjoys the company of friends and family, and loves being a father.



Advisors & Mentors:

 

 

 

Dave Reckhow is currently professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Director of the EPA Center, Water Innovation Network for Small Sustainable Systems (WINSSS). Prior to coming to UMass, he was a Post-Doctoral Research Associate with the Compagnie Générale des Eaux in Paris. Dave has degrees from Tufts University (B.S.C.E.), Stanford University (M.S.C.E.) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ph.D.). His current research interests include general aquatic chemistry, chemical oxidation of organic compounds in water, coagulation processes, removal of chemical pollutants in water, and aquatic organic matter in natural systems and drinking waters. He has special interests in trace organic compounds, disinfection byproducts and ozonation processes for drinking water treatment.


Kent Whitney holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts and is currently retired from his position as of the one of the longest running presidents in Smiths Group and the longest running President in Millitech’s history. Prior to joining Millitech, he worked at Raytheon Corporation for twenty years with positions including RF Technical Director and Program Manager (PM) for the SATCOM Division. In these positions he was responsible for several multi-million dollar development and production programs involving state-of-the-art satellite communication systems. Now retired, Kent enjoys consulting and mentoring local startups.


Eric Crowley volunteers his time as a Entrepreneur-in-Residence the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He holds a B.A. degree in Systems Science and an M.S. in Engineering Management and over the last three decades has worked for Rockwell International, Wang Laboratories, Symbolics, Ford Motor Company, Wellfleet Communications, Bay Networks, Juniper Networks, Funk Software, BigBand Networks, Akamai Technologies, and a variety of startups.  But his labor of love was always startups. “I’ve always felt it was a whole lot of fun to take a brand new startup company and build it into a going venture.”


Karen Utgoff holds an A.B. from Oberlin College and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She is an independent management consultant with expertise in market-oriented business strategy, entrepreneurial marketing, technology commercialization, new venture and entrepreneur development. She works on fundamental market-related issues and at the intersection of market, product, and venture development. Her clients include new ventures, existing small businesses, and research organizations that recognize the value of commercializing technology and/or developing products based on the needs of potential customers.