TEAM TN taps Eaton’s Ron Thompson to serve as Chief Industry Officer

Contact: Cortney Piper, TEAM TN; C: 865-789-2669, E: 

December 18, 2023 (Knoxville, Tenn.)— TEAM TN proudly announces Ron Thompson as its Chief Industry Officer. Thompson, a loaned executive from Eaton, an intelligent power management company, will maintain his role with Eaton while lending his expertise in industry partnership development. Led by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TEAM TN is a statewide coalition funded by the National Science Foundation’s Regional Innovation Engines program to help shape the future of mobility and usher in a new era of economic prosperity in Tennessee.

With 40 years of experience, Thompson will be the front door to industry partners by identifying, creating, executing and maintaining relationships between TEAM TN and key players in transportation and mobility.  

“TEAM TN is pleased to welcome Eaton’s Ron Thompson to its leadership team,” said Chief Executive Officer Kevin Heaslip. “During his illustrious career, Thompson has been known as a risk taker and innovation stimulator – just the person TEAM TN needs to foster ideas and partnerships to bolster the growth of the advanced mobility sector in Tennessee.” 

Thompson spent over 30 years of his career at Eaton, a Fortune 500 company, beginning as a sales engineer in the late 1980s. He worked his way to Global Director of Innovation and Technology for the company’s electrical division. Currently, he serves as Eaton’s business development strategy lead. 

At Eaton, he managed the smart breaker startup team, where an energy management circuit breaker was first imagined as a product to support the distributed energy resource (DER), demand response, and electric vehicle (EV) charging markets. His innovation team ensured Eaton’s position in the EV charging market. Under his leadership, his team filed patents for EV charging, power management, DERM’s application for a smart breaker, and advanced transportation connectivity to the utility grid, resulting in six issued patents.

Thompson has also founded and worked with several startups, including Atom Power, a pioneer in solid-state breaker electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions. As the Senior Vice President for Innovation and Strategy at Atom Power, Thompson successfully guided the company through a Series C fundraising round.


TEAM TN’s goal is to place Tennessee on the leading edge of transportation electrification and the future of mobility. Led by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TEAM TN is a partnership of R&D, industry, workforce development, community and technology commercialization entities that serve as a one-stop shop to help companies reach transportation electrification and decarbonization goals while at the same time creating a more accessible and diverse economy. TEAM TN is funded by the National Science Foundation. National Science Foundation  Award #2302896. Visit to learn more. 

About the National Science Foundation Engines program
The NSF Engines program is a transformational investment for the nation, ensuring that the U.S. remains competitive for decades to come. Launched by the NSF Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships and authorized by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, the program uniquely harnesses the nation’s science and technology research and development enterprise and regional-level resources. NSF Engines aspires to catalyze robust partnerships to positively impact regional economies, accelerate technology development, address societal challenges, advance national competitiveness and create local high-wage jobs.