The University of Michigan is a highly collaborative institution both internally across disciplines and externally through international partnerships. Home to over 100 programs ranked in the Top 10 in their respective areas of research, the University of Michigan seeks to discover and disseminate breakthrough innovations at disciplinary interfaces to solve complex sustainability challenges and improve lives at the local and global level.

The Global CO2 Initiative at University of Michigan will focus on technologies, processes and policies to increase the rate at which carbon dioxide is removed from the global carbon cycle and help identify and support technologies that are scalable.

MISSION

To transform CO2 into commercially successful products using a system-level process of technology assessment, technology development and commercialization, accomplished through convening and downstream promotion in partnership with entities around the world.

VISION

To identify and pursue commercially sustainable approaches that reduce atmospheric CO2 levels by 10% of current emissions per year.

LEADERSHIP

Volker Sick

Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Volker Sick brings to the Global CO2 Initiative years of experience as a leading scientist and administrator.  As associate vice president for research, natural sciences and engineering, Professor Volker Sick serves as liaison between the Office of the Vice President of Research (OVPR) and scholarly and creative activities across the university in the natural sciences and engineering. As a senior member of the OVPR administrative team, he helps orchestrate major interdisciplinary initiatives, such as the Global CO2 Initiative, leads a translational research program, deals with policy issues and works with Federal Relations for Research to promote the university’s research agenda. His research focuses on developing and applying optical imaging techniques to enable studies of mass and energy transfer with uses in research on reacting flow systems, such as internal combustion engines, waste water treatment. These techniques are also used for human eye disease monitoring.

Professor Sick teaches courses that provide strong experiential experiences, such as a Mechanical Engineering laboratory course, the International Engineering Summer School at TU Berlin, and Techlab@Mcity. Professor Sick received numerous awards for teaching, research, and service, including the President’s Award for Distinguished Service in International Education, the Combustion Institute Silver Medal, and the SAE International Leadership Citation. He serves as the Editor of the Proceedings of the Combustion Institute and on the editorial board of Experiments in Fluids and Progress in Energy and Combustion Science. He is a Fellow of SAE International and the Combustion Institute.

Miheala Banu

Startup co-founder

Mihaela Banu develops natural fiber composites - green composites - with high mechanical properties such as strength and stiffness.

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Susan Fancy

Program Director, Energy Institute

Susan Fancy specializes in managing projects and processes at the intersection of energy and climate.

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Jonathan Fay

Executive Director CFE

Jonathan Fay focuses his efforts on facilitating and inspiring entrepreneurship and innovation in PhDs, Postdocs, and Faculty.

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Greg Keoleian

Founder/Director, Center for Sustainability Studies (CSS)

Greg Keoleian’s research focuses on the development and application of life cycle models and sustainability metrics to guide the design and improvement of products and technology.

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Nicholas Kotov

Catalysis for CO2 use, serial entrepreneur

Nicholas Kotov is working on conceptual foundations and technical realizations of biomimetic nanostructures.

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Victor Li

World-leading innovations in concrete

Victor Li leads the research group that invented the world's most ductile concrete in use in tall buildings and long bridges today.

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Shellie Miller

Co-lead faculty at CSS

Shelie Miller develops life-cycle assessment models with an emphasis on emerging technologies. Shelie also directs U-M's Program in the Environment

Anna Stephanopoulou

Energy Institute Director

Anna Stefanopoulou is the Director of the University of Michigan Energy Institute, which co-supports the Global CO2 Initiative.

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Alan Taub

LIFT, new Michigan Materials Research Institute

Alan Taub develops reinforced natural fibers by adding nanoparticles (carbon nanotubes and/or metal nanoparticles) in the plants as they are growing so that the uptake nanoparticles can be naturally incorporated into the fibers or leaves.

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Ralph Yang

CO2 capture and use techniques

Direct CO2 capture from power plants and chemical processing facilities offers an effective path to avoid CO2 release into the atmosphere.

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Victoria Campbell-Arvai

Assistant Research Scientist, School for Environment and Sustainability

Direct CO2 Investigates whether CDR makes people more or less likely to participate in other environmentally-related decisions, along with attitudes towards new technology and how that influences adoption.

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Brad Cardinale

Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability

Direct CO2 Researches carbon sequestration and storage, and the conversion of algae into usable fuel. Seed-funded projects: "Does conservation of biological diversity increase carbon capture and storage?” and "How many, and which species are needed to maximize the sequestration and burial of carbon?"

Bill Currie

Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability

Expert on soils, land management, and carbon cycle. Seed-funded projects: "Assessing the potential to protect and enhance carbon sinks on nonindustrial private forest land in the northern great lakes region" and "Factors in forest management to protect carbon sinks on private forestland in the great lakes region."

Neil Dasgupta

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Evaluates and tests hierarchically structured nanocatalysts for efficient chemical transformation of CO2 by high temperature tandem photocatalysis. Seed funded project: “Broadband solar energy harvesting for chemical transformation of CO2 into fuels.”

Paige Fischer

Assistant Professor, School for Environment and Sustainability

Researches carbon issues related to forestry management and carbon storage. Seed-funded projects: "Assessing the potential to protect and enhance carbon sinks on nonindustrial private forest land in the northern great lakes region" and "Factors in forest management to protect carbon sinks on private forestland in the great lakes region."

Sol Hart

Associate Professor, Communication Studies

Specializes in understanding the role of the media in motivating and engaging the public and how to create effective messages that can cross ideological divides. Seed-funded projects: "The role of naturalness and tradeoffs in perceptions of carbon dioxide removal and climate change mitigation," "Exploring the nature and impact of media coverage of carbon dioxide removal," and "Testing risk compensation effects of learning about CDR in a representative sample."

Mark Hunter

Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Investigates carbon storage in mycrorrhizal fungi, with the supporting aim of conservation/reclamation of peatlands as a cost-effective near term CDR/mitigation option. Seed-funded project: "Enhancing long-term carbon sequestration in soils by mycorrhizal fungi."

Timothy James

Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Studies the evolution of sex and reproductive traits of fungi. Seed-funded project: "Enhancing long-term carbon sequestration in soils by mycorrhizal fungi."

Christian Lastoskie

Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Investigates the technical, economic, and social feasibility of motor vehicle onboard carbon capture. Seed-funded project: “Microbial mechanisms for atmospheric methane removal.”

Nina Lin

Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering

Investigates tripartite bacteria systems to produce feedstocks. Seed-funded projects: "Biological carbon sequestration and conversion to stable and valuable molecules through synthetic microbial consortia" and "Carbon sequestration and conversion to industrially relevant bionomers: a photosynthetic microbial consortia approach."

Mark Lindquist

Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture

Conducts empirical research with the aim of providing an evidence base to support the design and planning of environments that perform ecologically, socially and culturally for more sustainable outcomes. Seed-funded project: "Examining the design and perceptions of high performance landscapes for carbon dioxide removal."

Neil Marsh

Professor, Chemistry

Investigates tripartite bacteria systems to produce feedstocks. Seed-funded projects: "Biological carbon sequestration and conversion to stable and valuable molecules through synthetic microbial consortia" and "Carbon sequestration and conversion to industrially relevant bionomers: a photosynthetic microbial consortia approach.

Charles McCrory

Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Researches the electrochemical reduction of CO2 and H2O for the conversion of intermittent energy sources to chemical fuels Seed-funded project: “Broadband solar energy harvesting for chemical transformation of CO2 into fuels.”

Stephen Ragsdale

Professor, Biological Chemistry

Studies microbial CO and CO2 metabolism, testing the coupling of low potential enzyme mediators to reduce gaseous CO2 to solid oxalate at STP. Seed-funded project: “Enzymatic carbon capture and biocatalysis by reduction to oxalate.”

Kaitlin Raimi

Assistant Professor, Public Policy

Researches how social motivations have the potential to promote or prevent sustainable behaviors.Seed-funded projects: "The role of naturalness and tradeoffs in perceptions of carbon dioxide removal and climate change mitigation" and "Testing risk compensation effects of learning about CDR in a representative sample."

Johannes Schwank

Professor, Chemical Engineering

Researches fundamental and applied problems in heterogeneous catalysis, sensors, and energy storage materials.Seed-funded project: “Broadband solar energy harvesting for chemical transformation of CO2 into fuels.”

Jeremy Semrau

Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Develops new biochemical and molecular techniques to better monitor in situ microbial communities. Seed- funded project: “Microbial mechanisms for atmospheric carbon removal.”

Steve Skerlos

Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Produces mathematical carbon modeling for least cost deployment strategies to achieve carbon negativity. Seed-funded project: "Direct air capture in a least cost carbon negative future."

Stuart Soroka

Professor, Communication Studies

Investigates political communication, the sources and/or structure of public preferences for policy, and the relationships between public policy, public opinion, and mass media. Seed-funded project: "Exploring the nature and impact of media coverage of carbon dioxide removal."

Mike Traugott

Research Professor, Institute of Social Research

Studies the mass media and their impact on American politics. Seed funded project: "The measurement of knowledge, concern, and policy opinions in the Beyond Carbon neutral domain."

Nicholas Valentino

Valentino is Professor, Political Science

Researches public acceptance of scientific claims and motivated reasoning in the context of climate change. Seed funded project: "The measurement of knowledge, concern, and policy opinions in the Beyond Carbon neutral domain."

The Global CO2 Initiative at the University of Michigan combines the assets of CO2 Sciences, founded by Bernard J. David, with what was previously the Beyond Carbon Neutral initiative at the U-M Energy Institute. Both endeavors aimed to accelerate the rate at which carbon dioxide was removed from the atmosphere. The board of CO2 Sciences elected to combine its assets with U-M in order to leverage its resources and ecosystem.

The Global CO2 Initiative at the University of Michigan combines the assets of CO2 Sciences, founded by Bernard J. David, with what was previously the Beyond Carbon Neutral initiative at the U-M Energy Institute. Both endeavors aimed to accelerate the rate at which carbon dioxide was removed from the atmosphere. The board of CO2 Sciences elected to combine its assets with U-M in order to leverage its resources and ecosystem.

The Global CO2 Initiative at the University of Michigan is fortunate to have the support of a global network of partners across various sectors and causes. From individual supporters such as Mac McQuown to international organizations such as Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, we aim to expand the network of individuals and institutions pursuing a common mission in deploying CO2 removal and utilization technology.

Industry, Government & Philanthropic Partners

Industry, Government & Philanthropic Partners