I am passionate about working with innovators and founders of early-stage companies to help bring their technology to market. I write about innovation, climate tech, startups, competitiveness, and manufacturing.
My research on Climate Tech and Venture Capital has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Economist. The research explored the rise and fall of VC funding in climate in what is often called Cleantech 1.0. You can read more about that work, and how the recent Climate Tech wave has learned from the mistakes of the past here.
I am currently Senior Director at the Breakthrough Energy Fellows program. We identify the world’s most talented climate tech innovators as they are launching their companies and provide capital, mentorship, coaching, and support to accelerate their path to commercialization.
Prior to joining Breakthrough I was the Director of Investments and Chief Technology Officer at Clean Energy Trust in Chicago. CET fuels innovation and commercialization of sustainability technologies.
Before joining CET, I was a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, the Department of Energy’s manufacturing think tank. I researched the challenges faced by cleantech startups in scaling new innovations to manufacturing.
After finishing my PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at NC State University, I managed the development of a materials database to predict optical and electronic properties of wide-bandgap semiconductors. The database was used in collaboration with materials design and characterization groups at NC State and around the world. Our work helped create ultraviolet LEDs used for water sterilization and high-energy lasers for advanced characterization techniques. For more details on these and other projects, please visit my research page.
During my PhD studies in Materials Science and Engineering, I won a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. I also received a GAANN Fellowship through the U.S. Department of Education.
Before beginning my PhD, I worked at the US Patent and Trademark Office where I had the opportunity to see patent applications for the next generation of speech recognition technologies developed by leading engineering teams around the world. I learned a great deal about how the patent system shapes international research, product development, and commerce.
As a Park Scholar studying Electrical Engineering at NC State, I worked in the bioelectromagnetics research lab to help create a retinal prosthesis as a treatment for blindness caused by diseases such as macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. I also helped found the Krispy Kreme Challenge, a charity footrace/doughnut-eating contest that has been featured in several national news outlets. After winning the first-ever running of the race, I helped grow the event into a charity event that now, in its 15th year, attracts over 5000 competitors annually and has raised over $1.7m for the North Carolina Children’s Hospital. I was interviewed by ESPN (link to video) and public radio (link to audio) about the event.
In college I competed on NC State’s club rowing team and in my second semester was elected captain by my teammates. I also rowed for Potomac Boat Club in Washington, D.C., and have coached at Bishop O’Connell high school, NC State, and Triangle Rowing Club.
In my free time you might find me trail running. I also enjoy photography and I play cello in a Swedish folk music ensemble, the Chicago Spelmanslag.