Our Story

We watched our big government fusion programs continue to spend billions of dollars pursuing commercially impractical solutions and thought, there must be a better way.  We came up with a new approach and, by leveraging $5M from the Department of Energy, we proved the technology in a series of breakthrough prototypes.  These successes gave us a significant technical lead and with a private backing we have continued to rapidly advance the technology toward commercial application.  The Helion team is uniquely suited to this ambitious goal, with an entrepreneurial history of rapid development, cutting edge engineering and award winning science.

Years of Fusion Experience
Companies Founded By the Team

Our Team

Dr. David Kirtley

Chief Executive Officer

An NSF, NASA, and DOD fellow, Dr. Kirtley has 13 years of experience in nuclear engineering, fusion, and aerospace and holds Nuclear and Aerospace Engineering degrees from the University of Michigan. He serves as Helion’s CEO, and has raised and managed many high technology programs.

Dr. John Slough

Chief Science Officer

John is the inventor of the Fusion Engine and an award winning, world leading expert in fusion and high ß plasmas. Dr. Slough has conducted more than 30 years of fusion research. As President and Director of Research of MSNW and a Professor at the University of Washington, Dr. Slough has lead million dollar programs and been awarded $15 M in DOE and DOD grants.

Chris Pihl

Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Pihl holds a degree in Innovation Management and founded Pulse Power Solutions. He brings 23 years of industry, 10 years of fusion experience and expertise in commercialization of high technology electronic technologies. Chris was instrumental in design and implementation of the breakthrough validation devices.

Dr. George Votroubek

Principal Scientist

Dr. Votroubek was the Principal Investigator for the program that demonstrated the Fusion Engine technology at 1/3rd scale. George has more than 16 years of lab experience in Fusion. Dr. Votroubek received his MS and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Washington while pursing experimental research in fusion and plasma physics.

Our Investor Partners


2013 CleanTech Open

Winners of the 2013 National Energy Generation Category and Pacific Northwest Region


2014 CleanTech Open

PNW Regional Winners


University of Washington

Research Professor


2014 ARPA-E Future Energy Summit

Invited Presenter and 2nd Place Overall

I would like nuclear fusion to become a practical power source. It would provide an inexhaustible supply of energy, without pollution or global warming.

Stephen Hawking

What the world needs is a small, compact, flexible fusion technology that could make electricity where and when it is needed. The existing fusion program is leading to a huge source of centralized power, at a price that nobody except a government can afford.

Freeman Dyson

You know all energy in the universe originates with fusion. We get our energy from the sun, so that’s indirect reliance on fusion....It’s a very, very difficult technical problem, one of the most difficult technical problems that humanity will ever try to solve. But if we solve it, we will have “energy forever.”

Elon Musk