“Being at the University of Michigan, I have the privilege of working with some of the nation’s best students & faculty… I am often inspired by the next generation of engineers & scientists, who are eager to develop new solutions to some of our greatest challenges.”~Dr. Joshua Jack
Prior to joining the University of Michigan (U-M), Joshua served as a postdoctoral research scholar in the Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment at Princeton University. He holds a BS from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a PhD (Environmental Engineering) from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Joshua has conducted extensive interdisciplinary research at both the DOE-National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and NASA Langley Research Center, and has received numerous awards including a Scialog Negative Emission Science Fellow, NASA Outstanding Research Contribution Award, and National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. In his spare time, he enjoys playing classical guitar and taking long hikes; he has also skied at almost every major resort in the Rocky Mountains.
What do you do?
Our research team primarily focuses on the exciting topic of CO2 valorization, where we essentially try to take “waste” CO2 that was previously emitted into the atmosphere and use renewable energy sources like solar photovoltaic cells to turn it back into valuable products that people can use in their everyday lives. Previously, we’ve demonstrated new electrified processes that can transform CO2 into value-added products ranging from new sustainable transportation fuels for trucks and airplanes to precursor molecules for life-saving medicines.
As we continue work to reshape the carbon cycle, an important part of our research is to understand how this impacts other important resources such as water and energy. As such, we are currently exploring new technologies that can exploit synergies at the water-energy-climate nexus to mitigate climate change and recover additional resources from our environment, enabling a future circular carbon economy.
You are originally from New York but have lived throughout the east coast and also Colorado. What brought you to U-M?
While interviewing for faculty positions, I considered living in many new areas all over the country and the world but upon visiting the U-M, I knew this was the place for me.
The first things to catch my eye were the state-of-the art facilities, top notch faculty, and beautiful historic buildings. While touring the surrounding area, however, I fell in love with the charming town of Ann Arbor, the amazing food and music scene, and the picturesque waterways and trails surrounding the campus. U-M brings together some of my favorite elements of each of the different places I’ve lived and I am happy to call Ann Arbor my new home.