Passing of Giner, Inc. CEO Anthony B. LaConti
It is with sadness and a sense of loss that we announce the death of Anthony B. (“Tony”) LaConti on September 5, 2011. Dr.LaConti was Chief Executive Officer of Giner, Inc. and a long-time member of the American Chemical Society and the Electrochemical Society. He authored numerous publications in electrochemistry dealing with proton exchange membranes and their use in fuel cells and electrolyzers. Dr. LaConti is an Inventor in 57 U.S. patents dealing with multiple aspects of electrochemistry ranging through gas generators, sensors, and fuel cells.
He received his bachelor of arts degree in Chemistry and Mathematics from Suffolk University in 1958 and his masters and doctoral degrees in Chemistry from Boston College in 1960 and 1965, respectively.
Tony spent his early career in at General Electric rising to the position of Manager of Materials and Technology Development for their electrochemical energy conversion programs where he was instrumental in the development of fuel cells for the Apollo and Gemini programs and electrolyzers using the then nascent technology of polymer electrolyte membranes. Tony also worked on extending the use of PEMs to chlor-alkali electrolysis, water purification and artificial kidneys. He twice received (1974 and 1979) the Aerospace Instrument Department’s “Engineer of the Year” award.
He followed the GE electrochemical group when acquired by United Technologies where he was the Engineering Manager for Hamilton-Standard Electro-Chem Products. While there he continued his work in fuel cells and electrolyzers and their application in aeronautic and sub-sea applications, receiving awards for business development (1985) and inventorship (1986).
Dr. LaConti joined Giner, Inc. in 1986 and subsequently applied his PEM expertise to sensors, capacitors, and direct methanol fuel cells while continuing his contributions to hydrogen fuel cells and water electrolyzers. In the process he co-authored numerous reports, papers, and chapters in electrochemical texts. It was under Tony’s leadership that Giner grew to be a leading research organization in electrochemical technologies.
LaConti was one of the founders of Giner Electrochemical Systems, LLC in which General Motors and Giner, Inc. joined forces to accelerate the development of automotive fuel cells. Though Giner, Inc. recently re-acquired General Motor’s interest in GES, that collaboration continues through today.
Dr. LaConti was a long-time resident of Lynnfield, MA and is survived by his wife, Brenda, and his two daughters and son; Cara, Jennifer, and Christopher.