Adept Materials

About Adept Materials

Adept Materials’ mission is to increase the durability, comfort, and energy efficiency of the materials around us.


Our Team

Derek Stein, Ph.D.
Founder & CEO

Dr. Stein is the founder and CEO of Adept Materials. He invented the company’s core material technology at Brown University, where he is a Professor of Physics and of Engineering. Dr. Stein previously did postdoctoral work at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University and a B.Sc. in Physics from McGill University.

Xuejian Lyu, Ph.D.

Dr. Lyu is an expert in chemical engineering and polymers. He leads the company’s development and testing of multifunctional material formulations. Previously, he developed novel polyelectrolyte multilayer coatings and improved methods for reclaiming and recycling rubber from tires. Dr. Lyu holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a B.Sc. in Polymer Materials and Engineering from the Beijing University of Chemical Technology.

Sarah "DQ" Stolt
Research Engineer

Ms. Stolt is developing automated measurement systems for wall assemblies to accelerate Adept Materials’ technology development and validation programs. She previously held engineering intern positions at Desktop Metal and Trillium Flow Technologies. Ms. Stolt is completing her Engineering degree at Northeastern University.

Doycho Karagyozov, Ph.D.
Technical Project Manager

Dr. Karagyozov leads the company’s testing program for multifunctional products. He earned his Ph.D. in experimental Physics from New York University.  He is an expert in test and measurement, having previously designed and implemented new measurement techniques for monitoring biological systems and testing semiconductor devices. Previously, he worked with a technology startup that was acquired by Nokia.


Our Directors & Advisors

Daniel Cromie

Mr. Cromie is Managing Director at Point Cove LLC. He previously was a Partner at Atlas Holdings LLC, a private equity firm with a focus on basic industries. Mr. Cromie has served on the boards of directors of multiple businesses and led the successful launching of several new companies, including RedBuilt LLC, a designer and manufacturer of roofing and flooring systems.

Jon Pierce

Mr. Pierce has decades of experience in overlaid panel, plywood, paper, and coated paper manufacturing. He has held leadership positions at several businesses, including President and CEO of Winston Plywood & Veneer and President of Olympic Panel Products LLC.

Robert Grupe

Mr. Grupe has experience developing and commercializing construction products. He spent more than 38 years with United States Gypsum Company (USG), working in their Research Center and culminating his time with USG in a corporate executive level technical position.

Dave Obergefell

Mr. Obergefell has spent over 40 years in the building products industry. He developed expertise in gypsum manufacturing over a career at USG, where he most recently served 12 years as Vice President, Manufacturing.

Theresa A. Weston, Ph.D.

Dr. Weston earned her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Caltech. She is an expert in building science and building materials for durability and energy efficiency. Previously, she spent decades at Dupont, where she drove the technical development of air barrier and WRB products and earned the title of DuPont Laureate, that company’s highest technical distinction.


Our Story

Adept Materials was founded to make building smore sustainable and comfortable. Buildings represent a very big piece of the energy pie – about 40% of U.S. primary energy use. We can make deep cuts in energy use for heating and cooling by improving building envelopes. The challenge is doing that without compromising durability, comfort, or affordability.

The company founder co-directed Team Techstyle Haus in the 2014 Solar Decathlon Europe, a prestigious international competition that challenges teams of students to design, build, and operate solar-powered homes that are performant and comfortable.  A collaboration between Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Applied Sciences in Germany, Techstyle Haus was described as a "home that sips energy" by The New York Times.

From The New York Times:

"The prototype net-zero house required about $500,000 in materials and was engineered to run on 65 percent less heating and cooling energy than traditional homes of equivalent size. The walls are made of weatherproof fiberglass and Teflon Sheer fill fabric that has been stretched over steel ribbing and can withstand winds up to 130 miles per hour."

But there were tradeoffs. Making a building envelope more energy-efficient involves increasing its insulation and airtightness so it effectively traps heat.  But that same building envelope will tend to trap more moisture, which increases the risks of mold, rot, and other forms of moisture damage that can lead to structural damage, poor air quality, and reduced comfort.

We urgently need technologies that enable buildings to adapt to conditions in ways that enable energy efficiency, comfort, and durability increase together. We also need to embark on a process of consolidating building layers and automating installation practices, which can drive down costs while increasing reliability.

Inspiration first came from biology.  A leaf allows a plant to regulate its temperature and moisture content by controlling water transport through microscopic capillaries in its body and nanoscopic pores in its surface. Adept Materials’ technology relies on similar physical processes.

Inspiration next came from physics. The diode is the fundamental building block of modern electronics. It allows electricity to flow in one direction more easily than the other. Adept Materials’ technology acts like a “vapor diode” because it allows water vapor to move more easily in one direction than the other.

Adept Materials developed its technology to solve fundamental problems of building envelopes. The technology is versatile and can solve other problems related to managing moisture and heat.


Our History

For nearly a decade, Adept Materials has refined its technology and is now preparing for commercialization.


New product development

MARCH 2022

AkzoNobel Paint the Future Global Startup Challenge


Closed seed round and won U.S. Department of Energy Phase I


Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator

JUNE 2019

CertainTeed / Saint Gobain inNOVAte 2019 Challenge Winner

JUNE 2019

Joined Greentown Labs


Cleantech Open Northeast Regional Finalist

JULY 2018

Company founded as “Techstyle Materials, Inc.”


Seminal Techstyle Haus project completed



Adept Materials has earned distinctions for its innovation in biophysics and sustainability by organizations ranging from incumbent materials developers to the United States Department of Energy.


Catalyst Award Winner


Certainteed/Saint Gobain Innovate Award Winner


Innovation Incubator Award Winner


Department of Energy E-ROBOT Phase 1 Winner