Maurice joins Breakthrough Energy’s Innovator Fellows program from Silicate in Dublin, Ireland. His agricultural roots and carbon accounting expertise have helped the Silicate team to rapidly progress research on enhanced weathering. As Silicate’s founder, Maurice is responsible for shaping the company’s strategy, forging partnerships with academia and industry, and developing the team so that Silicate can achieve its ambitious carbon removal goals.
Silicate takes surplus concrete from the building industry, processes it, and applies it to agricultural land to permanently remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Silicate’s pioneering work reliably and safely scales enhanced weathering to become a genuine carbon removal solution. With the support of the Fellows program, Silicate will pursue seminal research in areas critical to scaling terrestrial enhanced weathering to climate-relevant levels of carbon removal.
Maurice has a Bachelor of Science in marine biology from the University of St Andrews and a Master of Science in carbon finance from the University of Edinburgh Business School. Maurice spent three years after his undergraduate studies working on some of the world’s largest farms, shaping his passion for his current work at Silicate today.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
‘Live fast; die young.’ A man who had been a priest in Northern Ireland during the Troubles gave me and my friend a lift once, and these were his parting words as we got out of his car.
Who has had the greatest impact on your career path?
Professor Frank McDermott at University College Dublin. I have yet to meet a more interesting, engaging and bright mind.
What is the most impactful book that you have read?
Well there are lots. But right now, Professor Pat Willmer’s “Pollination and Floral Ecology” is hitting the mark because the bees are busy at the lavender in our garden, and I am digging learning about what makes them tick.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A farmer. I am almost there!