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Engineering | Center for Negative Carbon Emissions (CNCE)

People

Leadership

Klaus Lackner, Ph.D.

Director, Professor at the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment (SSEBE)

Lackner’s research interests include closing the carbon cycle by capturing carbon dioxide from the air, carbon sequestration, carbon foot-printing, innovative energy and infrastructure systems and their scaling properties, the role of automation, robotics and mass-manufacturing in downscaling infrastructure systems, and energy and environmental policy. Read more

Allen Wright

Executive director

Allen is also an appointed Senior Sustainability Scientist with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Wright’s current research focuses on the characterization and improvement of air capture media as well as other related technologies. Read more

Affiliate Faculty

Matt Green

Matt Green

Affiliated Faculty

Matthew Green is currently an Associate Professor with tenure within Chemical Engineering at ASU. He joined the faculty at ASU in 2014 as an assistant professor. His research is focused on the design and synthesis of novel, ion-containing polymers to be used in applications such as water purification, carbon dioxide capture, nanocomposites, and micellar solution assemblies. He obtained bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry (2007), and a doctorate in chemical engineering at Virginia Tech working with Prof. Timothy Long (2011). Then, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Delaware in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department with professors Thomas Epps, III and Millicent Sullivan.

Houlong Zhuang

Houlong Zhuang

Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Houlong Zhuang is an assistant professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy at Arizona State University. He received his doctorate in materials science and engineering at Cornell University. Prior to ASU, Dr. Zhuang was a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University. Dr. Zhuang’s current research interest is using machine learning and multiscale computational simulations (e.g., density functional theory calculations) to design energy-related materials such as high-entropy alloys, quantum materials, and sorbent materials for direct air capture.

Jennifer Wade

Jennifer Wade

Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Jennifer Wade has worked in the areas of carbon capture, gas separation membranes, fuel cells and solid-state catalysis within the refining and automotive industry. One of her early patents is tied to the separate of carbon dioxide at high temperatures, enabled by ionic transport through composite membrane materials. She continues to collaborate with the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions at Arizona State University, only now focusing on the separation of carbon dioxide from air. Further, she serves on the steering committee on the Northern Arizona University’s Climate Action Plan where they explore ways to mitigate carbon emissions relevant to the Northern Arizona community, including the exploration of using local forest residues to offset natural gas heating and as an opportunity for negative carbon emissions.

Staff

Robert Page

Robert Page

Project Manager

Mr. Page serves is an independent consultant focusing on project management and organizational development. While the majority of his work has been concentrated on electrical energy generation he has successfully managed major projects from conception through completion in insurance, healthcare, engineering, and software. Following his years with a regulated utility his consulting clients have ranged from entrepreneurial start-ups to established companies including EPRI, AEGIS, DOE/NETL, Duke Power, Panda Energy, Bally Entertainment, American Express, Arizona Department of Health Services, Burns & McDonnell, ECOtality, and Comp-Health.

John Cirucci

John Cirucci

Chief Engineer

johncirucci@asu.edu

John is a chemical engineer and process technologist with emphasis in gas
separations, process design, energy systems and geospatial analysis. He provides
process engineering expertise for development of CO 2 direct air capture, hydrogen
systems and energy storage technologies. Previously, he managed corporate
exploratory technology at Air Products and Chemicals, and held prior positions as
process engineering manager and engineering technology manager for the Electronics
Division, and lead engineer in the Chief Engineers Office. He is a Fellow and past Board
Director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He serves on the AIChE
Foundation Board of Trustees and co-chairs the Global Societal Initiatives Committee.
He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering and Masters in Geographic Information Systems
from Penn State, and an MS in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University.

Jason Kmon

Jason Kmon

Engineer

kmon@asu.edu

Jason is a mechanical engineer with the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions.  Born and raised in Phoenix, he received his degree in mechanical engineering from Arizona State University.  His experiences in technical theatre, production automotive development and working aboard the largest ships in the world allows him to help researchers engineer and produce solutions for carbon capture.

Travis Johnson

Travis Johnson

Staff Member

Travis Johnson received his Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University in 2005 and spent five years as an entrepreneur. He returned to ASU and received his Professional Science Master’s degree in Science and Technology Policy in 2012 from the Consortium of Science Policy and Outcomes. He became a certified Project Management Professional in 2014. Travis currently is the executive director for the Center for Negative Carbon Emissions. He also does business development and program management at ASU LightWorks©, a research initiative that strategically integrates renewable energy research across the university. His focus is on promoting and commercializing technology in the carbon capture field and uniting university research with business opportunities to enable energy system transitions. He is also a Sustainability Science for Future Teachers course instructor, Faculty Associate for the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and Affiliate Faculty in the Global Security Initiative at ASU.

Post-doctoral research associates

Habib Azarabadi

Habib Azarabadi

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Habib.Azarabadi@asu.edu

Habib, from Tehran, Iran is a post-doctorate in the CNCE. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran. Habib also holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Engineering from Arizona State University. As a master’s student, he worked with Dr. Amy Landis on a project about the life cycle analysis (LCA) of passenger car tires funded by the USDA and Cooper Tire and Rubber Company. Later on, he joined Dr. Lackner’s group for his Doctoral studies with focus on feasibility study as well as environmental and economic analysis of the air capture technology. Air capture has the potential to improve the current carbon management systems in the fight against Climate Change. Reducing cost and emissions of basic infrastructure industries (e.g. power plants) through scale down and mass production is another area of interest Habib is working on.

Graduate students

Evvan Morton

Evvan Morton

PhD student

Evvan.Morton@asu.edu

Evvan Morton, from Cincinnati, Ohio, is a Sustainable Engineering PhD student at Arizona State University. She is also pursuing a certificate in Responsible Innovation in Science, Engineering and Society.  Evvan received her Bachelor’s degree in Materials Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. Evvan’s research focuses on creating a waste management paradigm for carbon dioxide emissions. This includes developing a sustainable carbon permitting program that engages the fossil fuel industry to reduce their emissions, implement carbon sequestration, and balance the carbon budget. Her other projects include developing waste management strategies using anaerobic digestion in Belize and analyzing the food-water-energy nexus concerning concentrating solar power in Morocco.

Arvind Ramachandran

Arvind Ramachandran

PhD Student

aramac13@asu.edu

Arvind, from Chennai, India is a Ph.D. student in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at ASU. Arvind received a Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology in Tiruchirappalli, India. Arvind also holds a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University in New York. At Columbia University, he worked with Dr. Robert Farrauto on experimental catalysis. Since then he has switched gears to focus on computational material science. Currently, he is studying the interactions of hydrogen with niobium metal. This problem is scientifically interesting and can have applications in separation membranes. In his spare time, Arvind likes to watch and play soccer.

Vibhesh Javalkar

Vibhesh Javalkar

Graduate Student

vjavalka@asu.edu

Vibhesh, from Mumbai, India is pursuing his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering under Dr. Klaus Lackner in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at ASU. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from K. J. Somaiya College of Engineering, Mumbai. Vibhesh also holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University. As a Master’s student, he worked with Dr. Mani at Photovoltaic Reliability Lab, ASU on “Automated Indoor Angle of Incidence Measurements of Photovoltaic Modules”. This project is one of its kind, low-cost alternative to other commercially available indoor soiling test setups. The design and commercialization of this low-cost product will aid in the testing of anti-soiling & anti-reflective coatings, and the development of artificial soiling test standards. He also worked at CNCE as part of the SRP project to help develop and design the Direct Air Capture Tiburio mechanism along with the Central Processing Unit. Before starting his Masters, he worked for 2 years as a Senior R&D Engineer at Blue Star Ltd, India in the Logic Development and Validation team.

Thiago Stangherlin Barbosa

Thiago Stangherlin Barbosa

Graduate Student

tsb.environment@asu.edu

Thiago Stangherlin Barbosa is a PhD student at CNCE. He holds a bachelor`s degree in Environmental Engineering by the Universidade de Caxias do Sul RS Brazil; and a Master`s degree in Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering at ASU.

He is advised on his PhD by Dr. Klaus Lackner doing his research characterizing novel materials for efficiently CO 2
adsorption and desorption utilization temperature and moisture swing process.

The best performer materials will be utilized in the first Mechanical Tree prototype in which has the aim
to reach economic feasibility of Direct Air Capture technology.

Yuta Kaneko

Yuta Kaneko

Graduate Student

Yuta Kaneko, from Japan, is a Ph.D student in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at ASU. Yuta received a Bachelor’s degree of Science in Physics and a Master’s degree of Science both from the University of Tokyo. He joined Dr. Lackner’s group in 2020 for his Doctoral studies with focus on air capture technology.

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