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Sentient Science Hires CFO, from GE Digital


BUFFALO, NY, October 19, 2016Sentient Science, the leading platform for material science-based digitalization in the renewable energy market, today announced the appointment of Christopher Shirley to Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Shirley joins the Buffalo-based high tech company from the energy-power generation & asset management company, GE Intelligent Platforms, and will focus on growing Sentient Science and lead the company in filing an Initial Public Offering planned for 2018.

“We’re excited to welcome Christopher to the executive management team and the Sentient Science family,” said Ward Thomas, Chief Executive Officer & President of Sentient Science. “His years of experience scaling software companies will serve us well as we continue expanding in Europe and China, bringing more wind assets online each month. We’re currently contracted for 20,000 wind turbines and anticipate growth to 50,000 by mid-2017. I’m confident that with Christopher’s leadership, we’ll be able to continue delivering on our rapid growth commitments and achieve IPO status in two years.”

Mr. Shirley brings more than 20 years of financial experience to Sentient, having most recently led the merger of GE’s Intelligent Platforms business into the newly formed GE Digital business unit. Mr. Shirley moves on from GE after more than five years with the company. His extensive financial background includes a proven track record of leading multi-functional finance teams for software, Software as a Service and Internet of Things (IoT) businesses. 

“The material science-based technology helps wind operators extend the life of their assets and drive down the cost of energy,” said Shirley. “Sentient has an impressive history of U.S. government funded research and development with the world’s largest operators, the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of Energy, having developed digital models for the Blackhawk and Apache helicopters and the Hubble Telescope. NASA validated the technology in 2010, and the company was recognized by the White House and Bloomberg New Energy Finance for its innovation in 2014 and 2016, respectively. I look forward to this new chapter in my career as Sentient fast tracks to IPO status, and I am confident that we’ll continue to rapidly expand and attract the attention of more customers and shareholders.”

Earlier this month, Pitchbook, a research and analysis company that tracks private and public equity companies, valued the company at $100 million, double what it was in 2015. 



Sentient Science is a trusted third party headquartered in the Advanced Manufacturing District in Buffalo, N.Y. Sentient Science’s main objective is to help wind energy operators and suppliers achieve a reduction of $10/MWh in their levelized cost of energy through a number of initiatives. Sentient Science’s DigitalClone Live Software as a Service, builds a material science-based DigitalClone model of each asset and predicts the life of each individual asset, its major systems and individual components. The forward visibility of knowing which assets will fail over 20+ years, when and where, enables the operator to build multiyear budgets and up-tower and down-tower component replacement forecasts, and other life extension actions. We work with the risk managers on warranty and insurance negotiations, new wind farm development and other business strategies. As a champion of the operator, we work with the wind turbine original equipment manufacturers and suppliers to computationally test their products, simulate trade off and sensitivity studies and make life extension recommendations to ensure optimal performance. Sentient’s Buy on Life business model provides the operator with the component life prediction of the supplier offerings, facilitates better terms and condition agreements and enables supply chain automation.

 Sentient Science began in 2001 as an R&D company backed by the U.S. Department of Defense as part of the Materials Genome Initiative to lower the cost of servicing equipment. The world’s largest operators, the DOD and the U.S. Department of Energy, invested more than $25 million in the DigitalClone software over a 10-year period, including work on the Apache, Blackhawk Helicopter, V22 Osprey and NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The technology was validated by NASA in 2010 and commercially launched in the wind energy market in 2014, the sam year that company was honored by the White House with the Tibbetts Award. In the last 24 months, Sentient Science now has 17,000 wind assets under contract and was honored for its commercial growth and momentum by Bloomberg New Energy Finance with the 2016 Pioneer’s Award.