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.

Since then, Aclarity has participated in multiple accelerator programs, received over $300,000 in non-dilutive funding, raised a pre-seed venture capital round, and has started to sell devices. 



Founders:


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 received his MBA in 2018 from the 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.


Team:

Quynh-May Dao is a graduate from the University of Connecticut and received her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. She is very interested in green energy and sustainability. Her Capstone project was aimed at developing a process to kinetically purify food wastes into activated carbon, producing by-products such as syngas and bio-oil. Her passions include cosmetics, traveling, and trying new foods.

 

Dr. Schneider has primary expertise in evaluation and implementation of advanced water treatment technologies including coagulation/clarification/filtration, oxidation/disinfection, algae control, adsorption, and membrane technologies. He has extensive experience with pilot plants specializing in collection and analysis of data for scale-up to full-scale operations. He holds a BS in chemical engineering from Cornell University, and an MS and Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is a member of AWWA, IWA, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has served as the chair of the AWWA national Plant Operations Research Committee and the NJAWWA Research and Technical Transfer Committee. He is also a member of several other local and national AWWA committees.

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.

 


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.

 


Investors:

Alchemy Fund

Maroon Fund

Springfield Venture Fund