Newsletter Features

Each issue of the Global CO2 Initiative bi-weekly newsletter features important stakeholders in the carbon capture and utilization field. These stakeholders may be leaders in industry, academia, policy, non-profit organizations, etc. or they may be cutting edge companies and organizations.

To see a previous feature story, you can scroll through the list below to find a particular name or you can use the search feature.

Aaron Fitzgerald & Kristian Gubsch of Mars Materials
“At Mars, we work really hard. I think everyone is willing to put in the hard work because we all embody those same shared values and have absolute respect for each other. To me that’s success.” 

Aaron Fitzgerald is a carbon removal entrepreneur. He uses his experience as a three-time founder, Prime Coalition Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) and former Carbon180 EIR–along with other experiences ranging from politics to product management–to chip away at his ambitious gigaton-scale carbon removal goals.

Kristian Gubsch is an Ernest F. Hollings Scholar, Barry Goldwater Scholar, and Marshall Scholar. He has a BS in chemical engineering from Washington State University and MSc in Energy and Environmental Engineering from the University of Sheffield

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Anna Douglas
SkyNano’s product is highly valuable and is economically feasible out of the gate without the need for a carbon tax or reduced electricity pricing, which is a common requirement we see in other CO2 storage and utilization technologies. We see this as an important distinction, because our pathway to scaling is based on a free market response, rather than policy changes.” 

Dr. Anna Douglas, is the Co-Founder of SkyNano LLC, a clean energy start-up which focuses on the scalable production of high-value functional materials using greenhouse gasses as chemical inputs. She earned her PhD in Interdisciplinary Materials Science from Vanderbilt University, but has also spent time with Innovation Crossroads, the National Science Foundation, and NASA Glenn Research Center.

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Anne Shim
“The problems our planet is facing are unprecedented. Many people are already experiencing the symptoms of more erratic weather. I do believe that no nation, and no single group of nations, can change the path our planet is on. It will take all of us coming together. ” 

Dr. Anne Shim, former Head of Advanced Materials and Systems Research, NA, at BASF. received her PhD in Polymer Science from the University of Akron, Ohio. She also holds a Masters in Polymer Science from the University of Akron and a Masters of Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark.

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Arno Zimmermann 
“The fact that it’s not easy actually motivates me–we have to reinvent all these things which have already been invented. From an engineering perspective, this is a really cool opportunity. Before it was more about optimizing, i.e., making things cost less or work better. But now, it’s really about fundamentally changing things and doing so quickly. “

Spark e-Fuels Co-Founder, Dr. Arno Zimmermann, is passionate about creating cleantech products. He has been working on sustainable chemistry, and energy technology products for global corporations, start-ups and academia. He earned his engineering PhD from Technische Universität Berlin, where he analyzed the techno-economics of using COas a resource. Zimmermann co-founded three sustainability start-ups and was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30. In his spare time he DJs, produces techno house music, and organizes electronic music events around Berlin.

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Aryandokht Azari
“Once I set my mind to a goal, I go after it and make it happen. I have learned to never give up, and to always find a way to turn challenges into opportunities.” 

Dr. Aryandokht Azari, Research Fellow at the Global CO2 Initiative (GCI), is a civil/environmental engineer who researches technology readiness level (TRL) of carbon capture and utilization technologies and life cycle assessment of products. An experienced teacher and acclaimed researcher and author, she earned her PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Tehran.

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Brent Constantz
“There is enormous procurement power that is not really being used very well. If governments specified buying carbon sequestered materials, they could use the same dollars they’re using now and have some sustainability progress to show for it.”

A serial entrepreneur with expertise in biomineralization, Dr. Constantz led three medical device companies to advance mineralization technologies for orthopedic bone cements and cardiovascular calcification. He later founded Blue Planet to address global climate concerns with aspirations to permanently sequester gigaton quantities of carbon dioxide in the form of carbonate materials. He holds an Earth Sciences PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz and is an avid outdoorsman and scuba diver.

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Christophe Mangin
“Understanding economic and environmental impacts in conjunction with the technology risks at an early stage of the research allows one to save time and resources, since technology path options can be prioritized and potentially de-selected early on.” 

Dr. Christophe Mangin, Program Manager for Business Development, Global CO2 Initiative, leads the global Technical Economic Analysis (TEA) and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) activities within the Global COInitiative. He is fluent in three languages and holds an interdisciplinary PhD in engineering and business from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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Founded in 2009, Swiss company Climeworks is the world’s leading direct air capture company and provides a solution that empowers everyone to be climate positive by removing carbon dioxide from the air. Although they work in both CO2 sequestration and utilization, Climeworks’ technology and innovations have been particularly instrumental in paving the way for carbon dioxide utilization all over the world.

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Célia Julia Sapart
 Dr. Célia Julia SapartClimate Scientist, Director Communications and Climate Science at CO2 Value Europe.

Dr. Sapart is a Swiss climate scientist, and a specialist in greenhouse gas emissions and historical climate reconstructions. After 13 years of academic climate research, including several long expeditions to polar regions and more than 25 scientific publications, she is now engaged at the front line of the climate action as the Director Communications and Climate Science at CO2 Value Europe. The multi-talented Dr. Sapart has also written an interactive children’s book to raise awareness on solutions to mitigate climate change: “Sol au Pôle Nord” and starred in a play based on the book.

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Dahl Winters
“There are always obstacles, but I just keep going. You can’t let obstacles get in your way, because as soon as you do, you’ve basically lost the game.”

Dahl Winters, CEO at TerraNexum – Quantum for Climate Progres, has formal training in biology, ecology, and systems engineering, but is self-taught in physics, geospatial analysis, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, quantum vacuum, quantum gravity, Bjerknes forces, acoustic radiation force, acoustic metamaterials. In her spare time, she is also an artist and a member of the OpenAir Collective.

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Dick Greeley
Dick Greeley is the Associate Director of Licensing, U-M Office of Technology Transfer and the creator of the GCI’s CCU Activity Hub. Dick has over 30 years of experience in high technology, formerly serving as a Director of Licensing for Microsoft, a Director of Technology Business Development and a Director of Strategic Planning and Investing at Hewlett-Packard. Among other start-ups, he founded Career Map

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Eric Orts
GCI Advisory Board Member, Dr. Eric Orts, is a Guardsmark Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, scholar and teacher with specialities in corporate governance and environmental sustainability, founding board member of the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability, and passionate advocate for climate solutions and political reforms who recently ran for political office.

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Erin Burns
“…(W)e’re at a really exciting point for carbon removal: we’re seeing a ton of attention on this topic, we’re seeing billion dollar level investments,… and we’re seeing a lot more engagement. Carbon removal has really arrived.” 

Erin Burns, Executive Director of Carbon180 and GCI Advisory Board Member, has previously worked on energy, labor, and coal worker transition issues in the US Senate. She is originally from West Virginia and currently lives in Washington, DC with her family.

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Etosha Cave
“When I envision the future, I still see CO2-made materials being a big part of everyday life. It’s going to be a huge infrastructure change to use CO2 instead of merely throwing it away.” 

Dr. Cave is the co-founder and CSO of Twelve (formerly known as Opus 12), a start-up company dedicated to recycling carbon dioxide and water into higher-valued products–such as jet fuel–using metal catalysts, and electricity.  She is also a Member of the NREL Advisory Board. A Houston native, she earned a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford.

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Fred Mason
“Although I lobbied the C-suite and others on sustainability as a source of enterprise value, it was never my day job. I was simply the corporate curmudgeon who was incautiously relentless in advocating for sustainability.”

Fred Mason is a GCI Advisory Board Member and an experienced international executive supporting sustainability with expertise, insight and passion.

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Gerry Stokes
“If we do not slow the changes, society will become increasingly maladapted to local climate, leading to local catastrophes from which we just cannot recover.” 

Dr. Gerald Stokes, Global CO2 Initiative Advisory Board Member, has been affiliated with Stony Brook University for nearly a decade, most recently as the Chair of Technology and Society at SUNY Korea. He has served as an Associate Laboratory Director at both Brookhaven National Laboratory and Pacific NW National Lab. He was also the founding director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, and the President and CEO of Battelle-Japan. He earned his BA in Physics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and his MS and PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Chicago

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Jan Mazurek
Dr. Jan Mazurek, Senior Director at ClimateWorks Foundation, has devoted close to 30 years at the highest levels of federal and state service to devising policies and institutions that drive down emissions. She plans to devote the next several decades to doing even more, using trees and technology to safely remove and store carbon pollution that causes the planet to warm.

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Jason Grillo & AirMiners
“There’s an African proverb: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together,’ and while we have far to go to remove the first gigaton of carbon, the strength of our community means we can do it.” 

Jason Grillo, Partnerships and Operations Director for AirMiners, dedicated his career to climate solutions focused on carbon removal, striving to resolve the gap between cutting-edge innovations and real-world customer needs. He holds an MBA from Duke, and an undergraduate degree from Harvard. Jason enjoys communicating in many different languages, participates in endurance sports, and has collected an extensive collection of Dad jokes, having started decades before he became a Dad!

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Jennifer Holmgren
“I don’t think of mistakes as mistakes. You just have to dig deeper. Every time that something goes wrong, you have to dig deeper to find a solution.”

Dr. Holmgren is the CEO of LanzaTech and the the Director and Chair of the LanzaJet Board of Directors. Among many other accolades, she received the 2020 William C. Holmberg Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Advanced Bioeconomy by the Digest and the Edison Achievement Award for making a significant and lasting contribution to the world of innovation. She is on the Advisory Council for the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

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Jennifer Wilcox
“The path will be a delicate balance of trade offs, but understanding the building blocks to minimize environmental impacts will be critical to ensuring we are not simply transferring this burden to future generations.”

The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, Dr. Wilcox previously led WRI’s Carbon Removal Program. She holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering and a MA in Chemistry from the University of Arizona and BA in Mathematics from Wellesley College.

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Julia Zhou
“There are many more startups that are coming up with cutting-edge solutions to capture and reduce CO2 – we just need to find and support them in the best way possible.” 

 Julia Zhou, Co-Founder of Tidal Impact, also serves as an executive board member of the Sigma Squared Society (previously known as the Kairos Society), a global community of some of the world’s most ambitious founders in their early 20s. She speaks four languages.

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Julio Friedmann
The Second Law of Thermodynamics is a harsh mistress—it says you’ll always lose energy converting spent fuel back into fuel. However, when renewables become cheap and abundant, as they are locally today, the opportunity becomes arbitraging energy for money. That’s very, very hard, but no longer lunacy.” 

Dr. Friedmann, Chief Scientist/Head Carbon Wrangler at Carbon Direct and GCI Advisory Board Member, is one of the most widely known and authoritative experts in the US on carbon removal, CO2 conversion and use, hydrogen, industrial decarbonization, and carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). He has served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Fossil Energy at the Department of Energy (DOE) and as Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA. He received his BS and MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by his PhD in Geology at the University of Southern California

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Kat Sale
“My advice for young women and girls interested in engineering is to let others hear you. Entering a male-dominated field, often less is expected of you and, as such, you’re given fewer opportunities. If you aren’t given a chance to speak, then make it!”

In celebration of Women in Engineering Day on June 23, this issue of the GCI newsletter features Kat Sale, U-M chemical engineering undergraduate, transfer student, Kansas native, LafargeHolcim intern, math and science savant.

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Kianna Marquez
“Once I took more classes in chemical engineering, and I heard about carbon removal, I really fell in love with it.”

Kianna Marquez is a junior in chemical engineering at the University of Michigan’s (U-M) College of Engineering, a columnist for the Michigan Daily, and the founder of the Global CO2 Initiative Student Association.

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Kwabi-McNeil-Goldsmith team
This unique issue of the Global CO2 Initiative newsletter features a team of people, rather than an individual: Dr. David Kwabi (PI), Dr. Anne McNeil (Co-PI) and Dr. Bryan R. Goldsmith (Co-PI). These three University of Michigan faculty members were recently accepted to participate in the Microsoft Climate Research Initiative (MCRI), a community of multi-disciplinary researchers working together to fight climate change.

Their project, “Computational Design and Characterization of Organic Electrolytes for Flow Battery and Carbon Capture Applications,” seeks to use generative machine learning models and quantum mechanical modeling to drive the discovery and optimization of a new class of organic molecules for energy-efficient electrochemical energy storage and carbon capture. It is of particular importance because energy storage is essential to enable 100% zero-carbon electricity generation.

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Louise Kjellerup Roper
“There’s not a scenario in which we get climate change under control without carbon capture and utilization (CCU).”

Louise Kjellerup Roper is GCI Advisory Board Member and Chief Executive Officer at Volans. She is also A successful business leader and thinker with experience across management, sales, integrated marketing and NPD.

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Marcius Extavour
Dr. Marcius Extavour, Vice President, Energy & Climate at XPRIZE, is a thought leader and innovator working at the intersection of science, technology, global impact, and public policy in climate and energy. As a member of leadership group at XPRIZE Foundation, he oversees XPRIZE’s work in Energy & Climate, including the recent NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE and the new $100M XPRIZE Carbon Removal supported by the Musk Foundation.

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Markus Steilemann
“My north star is the Covestro vision of making the world a brighter place. This applies to conserving our environment and creating a sustainable economic order that unites value creation and wellbeing. And… we need fair, integrative societies that are more just, more tolerant and more cohesive.” 

 Dr. Markus Steilemann, Chairman of the Management Board of Covestro AG, Chief Executive Officer at Covestro and Chemistry PhD, is also the President of PlasticsEurope, the association of plastics manufacturers in Europe as well as a Vice President of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI).

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Moti Herskowitz
“The extraordinary challenge in this field is to cross the Valley of Death… necessary for commercial implementation.”

Dr. Moti Herskowitz, Director of the Blechner Center for Industrial Catalysis and Process Development at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, earned his PhD from University of California, Davis.

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Nicole Mendoza
Dr. Nicole Mendoza, Senior Researcher in Wind Energy Systems at National Renewable Energy Laboratory & Chief Technology Officer at SkyBaron. She is a 2020 Environmental Entrepreneurs 1 Hotels Fellow and Emerging Leader. She has also won multiple scholarships and awards while completing her PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M, including the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. She is a passionate champion for women and minorities in STEM and renewable energy, diversity and inclusion, and saving the planet. 

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Peter Psarras
“…(T)here are tipping points and things can change rapidly. I look at the problems remaining—they’re challenging but not unsolvable…”

Dr. Peter Psarras, is a Research Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He oversees research on indirect carbonation of alkaline feedstocks, coupled LCA/TEA analyses of carbon management pathways, and strategic road mapping of CCUS and CDR deployment within the context of regional variations in resource availability, techno-economic viability, and impact at the community level. 

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Raven Shilander
“Don’t let anyone tell you that you might not be as successful in this field because you don’t have ‘the right’ background. You can always get the background that you need. If you’re interested in it, do it!”   

Raven Shilander, Chemical Engineering undergraduate at the University of Michigan College of Engineering, incoming President of the Global CO2 Initiative Student Association (GCISA) is a senior at the University of Michigan. She chairs the Engineering Student Government’s Sustainability Committee and is very active in local sustainability efforts. Her other accomplishments include founding West Ottawa’s first-ever musical club and holding a third-degree black belt in Taekwondo.

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Rosina Bierbaum
Dr. Rosina Bierbaum, GCI Advisory Board Member,  is a professor at both the University of Michigan and at the University of Maryland. She  ran the first Environment Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She chairs the Scientific and Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility, and serves as a Science Adviser to the newly created Global Adaptation Commission. She served on President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, as an Adaptation Fellow at the World Bank, and as a member of the Michigan Climate Action Council.

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Santa Ono

“(Universities are) where bold and sustainable solutions come to life, and accordingly, it’s our responsibility to work to apply our approaches at a greater scale. That’s why the University of Michigan is taking climate action so seriously, and why we’re committed to learning from and working with the communities we serve.”

Dr. Ono discusses his views on sustainability and academia.
Stafford Sheehan
Dr. Stafford Sheehan is the Chief Technology Officer at Air Company. Air Company is a technology, engineering and design company that transforms carbon dioxide into products like vodka and sanitizer. Stafford received his PhD from Yale University in 2016, studying chemical methods for artificial photosynthesis and related systems, and for the last five years has been developing industrial technology for CO2 utilization.

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Stephen McCord
“When you find someone that breaks the mold and says ‘It’s not going to be easy, but here are some steps towards a solution,’ it’s invigorating. Really even just a person’s attitude can be very energizing. Surrounding yourself with people that have that type of attitude can be quite inspiring.”

GCI LSC/TEA team member, Stephen McCord discusses differences between the US & England, LCA/TEA analysis, SCLA, and where he finds inspiration.
Susan Fancy
It will take decades for us to transition off of fossil fuels. In the meantime, we can capture that carbon and do something with it.”
This issue features Susan Fancy, mechanical engineer, GCI Program Manager, launcher of University of Michigan’s (U-M’s) first solar car team, and former drag racer.

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Volker Sick
“Carbon dioxide capture and utilization offers us the opportunity to help stabilize the climate, to ensure continued access to products that cannot be made without carbon, and to add critically needed jobs especially in underserved regions of the world. These are all urgent needs that require swift and large-scale action.”

Dr. Volker Sick, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Mechanical Engineering, DTE Energy Professor of Advanced Energy Research and Director of the Global CO, Initiative, is a leading expert on carbon capture and utilization. His work focuses on accelerating deployments of CO2-utilization technologies that will innovate existing infrastructure and manufacturing processes, thereby finding sustainable decarbonization solutions to help address the climate crisis.

Read more.