Unique Team Tackles CO2 Challenge

Developing innovative solutions to combat climate change requires a multidisciplinary approach. To develop the materials, processes, and market to make CO2NCRETE™ possible, Team Carbon Upcycling UCLA has brought together five professors, each at the cutting edge of their fields, which include chemistry and biochemistry, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, and economics. This unique combination of complementary viewpoints has proven invaluable to the success of the team thus far.

Carbon Upcycling Team

Team Members

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Gaurav Sant

Associate Professor and Henry Samueli Fellow, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UCLA

Dr. Gaurav Sant, an Associate Professor and Henry Samueli Fellow in Civil and Environmental Engineering, is the Principal Investigator of the Laboratory for the Chemistry of Construction Materials (LC2). His research is aimed towards increasing the sustainability and resilience of infrastructure by advancing knowledge of  construction materials from a chemical and microstructural basis. Dr. Sant’s research group is optimizing material compositions and processing techniques (i.e., fabrication and carbonation of hydrated lime) to realize the most efficient fabrication of CO2NCRETE™.

JR DeShazo2

J.R. DeShazo

Director, UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation; Professor, Public Policy, Urban Planning and Environmental Engineering, UCLA

Dr. J.R. DeShazo is the Director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and a Professor of Public Policy, Urban Planning and Environmental Engineering at UCLA. His research focuses on designing policies to accelerate market adoption and diffusion of innovative technologies that reduce environmental externalities such as global warming. Dr. DeShazo is providing the economic and market analysis for the team.

Mathieu Bauchy

Mathieu Bauchy

Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UCLA

Dr. Mathieu Bauchy is an Assistant Professor in the Civil and Environmental Department of UCLA. His research group specializes in the characterization, optimization, and design of disordered materials, with a focus on reducing the carbon footprint of cement and concrete. Dr. Bauchy’s research primarily relies on novel computational methods inspired by physics, condensed matter, and soft matter sciences. For this project, Dr. Bauchy is focusing on material properties and carbon uptake.

Richard Kaner

Richard Kaner

Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, UCLA

Dr. Richard Kaner is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. His current research topics include graphene, energy storage, superhard materials, membranes for fluid filtration and purification, and conducting polymers. Dr. Kaner is developing membrane technologies to separate CO2 from flue gas, and polymeric admixtures to augment performance of the CO2NCRETE™ materials.

Laurent Pilon

Laurent Pilon

Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UCLA

Dr. Laurent Pilon is a Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. His research group is engaged in a wide array of interdisciplinary research projects focusing on developing sustainable energy technologies, including energy efficient composite building materials, microalgae, and novel methods for energy conversion. For this project, Dr. Pilon is focused on developing process cycles for optimized energy efficiency during carbonation and material manufacturing.

James DiFilippo
James Di Filippo
Master of Public Policy Candidate and Graduate Student Researcher, UCLA
Gabriel Falzone
Gabriel Falzone
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, UCLA
Joseph Gall-1
Joseph Gall
Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, UCLA
Kelsey Jessup
Kelsey Jessup
Project Manager, Luskin Center for Innovation UCLA
Cheng-Wei Lin
Cheng-Wei Lin
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UCLA
Louis Linden
Louis Linden
M.S. Student, Department of Mecahanical and Aerospace Engineering, UCLA
Bu Wang
Bu Wang
Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UCLA
Yiu Shun Wong-1
Yiu Shun Wong
Undergraduate Research Assistant, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, UCLA
Zhenhua Wei
Zhenhua Wei
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UCLA

Advisory Board

Carbon Upcycling UCLA’s advisory board comprises industry-leading experts in structural engineering/design, development and manufacturing of concrete products, power generation, intellectual property, and investment in sustainable ventures.

Jefferson W. Asher
Jefferson W. Asher
Principal and Chairman of the Board, KPFF Consulting Engineers

Jefferson W. Asher is a Principal and Chairman of the Board of KPFF Consulting Engineers. He specializes in the development and application of earthquake resistance design approaches, including seismic base isolation, and has been responsible for the structural design of  over 250 major projects. He holds BS and MS degrees in engineering and civil engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is a registered Civil and Structural Engineer in the state of California.

Roger Becker
Roger Becker
Vice President of Technical Services, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute

Roger Becker is the Vice President of Technical Services at the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI). He specializes in precast concrete, and has served on several PCI committees and councils, including Technical Activities and Building Code (both of which he chaired), Research & Development, and Hollow Core Slab Producers. He is a Fellow of both PCI and ACI, holds BS and MS degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Anne M. Ellis
Anne M. Ellis
Managing Principal, Anne Ellis LLC

Anne M. Ellis is Managing Principal at Anne Ellis, LLC, a management, industry and technical services firm specializing in the built environment. Specializing in the field of concrete, Anne served as president of the American Concrete Institute (2013-2014), the leading worldwide authority for the development and distribution of consensus-based standards, and technical resources relating to concrete. She holds a BS in civil engineering from Virginia Tech and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Virginia.

Alex Hall
Alex Hall
Head of Readymix Performance, Head of Health and Safety, LafargeHolcim

Alex Hall is the Head of Readymix Performance and Head of Health and Safety at LafargeHolcim. He has extensive experience in Readymix concrete, and a strong background in aggregates for concrete applications. He holds a BS degree in construction management from University of the Witwatersrand, a CPFA from University of the Witwatersrand Business School, and an SMP from IMD Laussane.

Kenneth J Ladwig
Kenneth J. Ladwig
Senior Technical Executive, EPRI, Energy and Environment Sector

Kenneth J. Ladwig is a Senior Technical Executive in the Land and Groundwater area of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Energy and Environment Sector. He has more than 35 years of experience in environmental science research, primarily in the areas of coal combustion product (CCP) management for disposal and use, and groundwater assessment and remediation. He holds BS and MS degrees in geological sciences from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

C_Liu_opt
Cliff Z. Liu
Partner and Intellectual Property Lawyer, Foley & Lardner LLP

Cliff Z. Liu is a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He has extensive experience in patent issues associated with complex technologies, including, MEMS, nanotechnology, and clean technologies. He also regularly advises technology companies with respect to their surrounding patent landscape. Dr. Liu holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is admitted to practice in California and before the United States Patent & Trademark Office

Jim McDermott
James McDermott
Managing Partner, US Renewables Group

James McDermott is a Managing Partner of US Renewables Group (USRG), one of the largest investment firms focused exclusively on the renewable energy industry. With an extensive background in entrepreneurship and investment, he has started, run and invested in the following companies: Stamps.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: STMP) (Founder and CEO), Spoke Software, Inc. (Founder and CEO), Archive, Inc. (Founder and CEO), Practice Technologies Inc. (Investor and Board Member), NanoH2O, Inc. (Founder and Board Member) and OH Energy, Inc. (Founder & Board Member).

Paul H Seiler
Paul H. Seiler
Technology Manager, BASF, Construction Chemicals Division

Paul H. Seiler is the Technology Manager with BASF, Construction Chemicals Division. He specializes in concrete admixtures, synthetic fibers, and waterproofing. Holding degrees in chemical engineering and industrial engineering, and an Executive MBA, he has extensive experience in the development of chemical admixtures, and has overseen the design, startup, and operations of numerous admixture production plants.