Student team determines use for 1 million tons of carbon dioxide per year!

GCI is excited to announce the launch of our Student Team CCU Products Summer Internship Project! Students from several schools are working with GCI this summer to investigate what could be done with a million tons of annual carbon dioxide emissions from the  St Mary’s cement kiln in Charlevoix, Michigan.

Students will have the benefit of guidance from experts in academia and industry: Prof. Volker Sick, Prof. Victor Li,  Dr. Duo Zhang, and Susan Fancy from the University of Michigan, Prof. Alissa Park of Lenfest Earth Institute at Columbia University, Prof. Mahmoud Taha of the University of New Mexico, Prof. Peter Psarras of the University of Pennsylvania, Nick Popoff and Claudio Urratia of St Marys Cement, Gino de Villa of Hatch, Rick Bohan of Portland Cement Association, Brett Henkel of Svante and Aaron Ratner of Cross River LLC.

At the end of their 11-week project, the students will have created a carbon capture and utilization (CCU) roadmap for how St. Mary’s CO2 emissions could be utilized to create economic value for the state of Michigan as well as surrounding states.

The students come from a variety of backgrounds and each brings a unique set of skills to the project.

Vicky Zhang, a rising senior at Columbia University majoring in Earth and Environmental Engineering, remarked, “I’m interested in the fact that we could relieve the severe environmental problem not just by words, policies, or concepts, but something that could indeed make a world better by a little bit.”

“Planning something applicable with the existing technologies is what we have to do environmentally and economically to capture a large amount of carbon dioxide. In this project, we have a group of experts in technologies, and we have an industry that needs to cut down its carbon emissions. It is a great opportunity to participate and think about an economically viable plan.”



Trevor Wallace is a rising sophomore studying at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan with minors in Sustainability and Energy Science and Policy. He is hoping to pursue a career where he can combine his passion for business and sustainability to create a positive impact for himself, the people around him and the planet.

“I am excited to learn more about the cement industry and how carbon capture utilization can become a primary method for preserving our climate for future generations to come.” 



Logan Hutchison is a senior at the University of New Mexico in the Environmental and Civil Engineering department.  He is working as an undergraduate assistant in the concrete and structures lab.



Rohil Subhedar is a student at Columbia University, pursuing a MS in chemical engineering. In 2020, he graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a BS in biological engineering, where he focused on food, pharmaceutical, and biofuel processing. His academic interests lie in process design, scale-up, and optimization. Upon completion of his coursework, Rohil hopes to work as an engineer with the goal of implementing zero waste, low water/land, and carbon negative solutions.




Daiki Shoji is a Master’s student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His academic interest includes Materials Engineering with an emphasis on Engineered Cementitious Composites (ECCs).

“I am interested in this area because there is growing concern over sustainability in the cement industry–cement production accounts for 5-8% of global CO2 emissions every year. I hope that by participating in this project, I will gain insights about how carbon capture and utilization might be more robust and potentially doable in the near future.”