Christine Gabardo joins Breakthrough Energy’s Innovator Fellows program from CERT Systems Inc. in Toronto, Canada. An expert in electrochemistry, Christine has focused her career on electrochemical device engineering and carbon dioxide utilization technologies. At CERT Systems Inc., Christine and her team are working on a system to convert captured CO2into green chemicals, fuels, and plastics.
CERT Systems Inc. has developed an electrochemical process that uses only water and electricity to convert CO2-rich solutions from capture systems, eliminating the energy-intensive purification process and the majority of energy costs associated with direct air capture. CERT Systems is currently transforming carbon dioxide into ethylene, which can then be used for a broad range of applications including plastics, textiles, and sustainable aviation fuels.As part of the Fellows program, CERT Systems Inc. intends to scale their lab model into a pilot to demonstrate the process from air to ethylene.
Christine earned a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering and a Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering from McMaster University. After completing her degrees, she spent four years as a Postdoctoral Fellow of Mechanical Engineering at University of Toronto, focused on developing and scaling electrochemical CO2reduction devices.
Who has had the greatest impact on your career path?
My PhD advisor and postdoctoral fellowship advisor have had the greatest impact on my career path. My PhD advisor encouraged me to pursue a career developing technology and taught me how to build and lead a laboratory. My postdoctoral fellowship advisor saw my potential and gave me many opportunities to lead in the research group and the XPRIZE team, while being a constant champion for my success in these endeavors.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I love spending my free time being active and getting outside -running, biking, sailing, hiking, skiing, playing soccer -anything that gets my heart beating and fresh air in my lungs.
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