Key Dates

Sept 20th, 2023 2024 CRC Launch – Applications open
Nov 6th, 2023
(12 pm EST)
Watch the Info Session/Webinar with Frontier & RMI
Dec 6th, 2023
(9 am EST)
Info Session/Webinar with Carbon Unbound at COP28
Jan 8th, 2024
(1 pm EST)
Info Session/Webinar with Peter & Erika Reinhardt
Jan 15th, 2024 Applications closed
Spring 2024 Additional Info Sessions/Teams design and build carbon removal challenge submissions
Feb 12th, 2024
(12 pm EST)
CRC Check-in/Webinar with the Open Source Hardware Association
March 4th, 2024
(9 am EST)
Teams submit designs and documentation of final prototypes
March 18th, 2024 Judges choose 5 finalist teams for the final showcase at Carbon Unbound
Late May, 2024 Final showcase at Carbon Unbound

Why Carbon Removal?

There is already too much CO2 in the atmosphere, and some essential industries – namely, commercial aviation and steel and cement manufacturing – will be very difficult to decarbonize in time. Any chance we have of limiting average global temperature change to a survivable threshold (1.5C or below) must include the removal of carbon from the atmosphere. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has called for Carbon Dioxide Removal (Negative Emissions Technologies), to help us stay below 1.5C above preindustrial temperatures – the threshold scientists agree is the point at which we will irreversibly impact our climate for the worse.

Goals

• Introduce a new generation of students to the world of carbon capture
• Highlight and showcase the carbon removal work already happening in higher ed
• Give students a hands-on opportunity to create brand new solutions to the carbon pollution problem
• Promote new innovations through open source licensing, which will allow more rapid advancement of students’ technologies and enable others to build on the success of earlier submissions
• Build talent networks for employers and future job seekers

Teams

Each team must submit an application, complete with a full list of team members, a faculty advisor, and an overview of their design, by the end of Jan 15th, 2024. Suggested team size is 2-8 members.

The 2023 Carbon Removal Challenge

Watch the 2023 Carbon Removal Challenge Showcase

For more info about the 2023 Carbon Removal Challenge, check out the 2023 Carbon Removal Challenge page. The 2023 CRC was part of NYU’s 2040 Now Initiative.

Playlist for the 2023 Info Sessions and Webinars

From December of 2022 through Feb 2023, the 2023 Carbon Removal Challenge participants were invited to attend multiple info sessions, webinars, and office hours. This is playlist of the sessions of the webinars.

Advisors

Dr. Lehman Marks
Dr. Lehman Marks
• Founder of the Solar Car Challenge, the top project-based STEM Initiative helping motivate high school students in Science, Engineering, and Alternative Energy
• Long time Educator
• Extensive Experience in Project Development & Management
Tom Igoe
Tom Igoe
• Co-founder of Arduino
• Professor, NYU ITP
• Area Head for Physical Computing
Dr. Evvan Morton
Dr. Evvan Morton
• American Association for Advancement of Science
Science & Technology Policy Fellow
Dr. Gregory Nemet
Dr. Gregory Nemet
• Professor, University of Wisconsin
• Lead Author, UN IPCC Report
• Author, How Solar Became Cheap
Michael Weinberg
Michael Weinberg
• President of the board of the Open Source Hardware Association
• Executive Director of the Center on Innovation Law and Policy at NYU

Judges

Grant Faber Grant Faber
Grant Faber is the founder and president of Carbon-Based Consulting LLC, where he conducts life cycle and techno-economic assessments for a wide range of companies working on carbon dioxide removal and utilization. He has worked with, advised, and lectured hundreds of organizations on proper assessment methods for novel climate-friendly technologies. Grant holds an M.S. in sustainable systems and a B.B.A. in finance, both from the University of Michigan.
Ben Swainbank
Ben Swainbank
As the founder of Oceanid MRV, Ben is a recognized leader in CDR MRV methodology and systems development. Ben’s work leading Oceanid MRV has given him a critical perspective on the rapidly evolving CDR industry, working at the vital intersection of commercial, project development, scientific, carbon market, and research organizations.

Oceanid MRV works closely with project developers on all of the mCDR pathways as well as terrestrial pathways like ERW and biochar. Before founding Oceanid MRV, Ben was a tech startup veteran with decades of leadership, software development, project management, and IT experience across climate, telemedicine, insurance, e-commerce, education, and B2B industries.
Krishna Raghav Chaturvedi
Krishna Raghav Chaturvedi
Krishna is a petroleum engineer with training in carbon capture, utilization, and storage. He has a PhD and 2 books, 30+ papers, and 2 patents to his name. He was awarded the Inaugural ‘Best PhD Thesis Award in New Energy Studies’ for the year 2022 by the Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry (FIPI) for his work on new solutions for carbon sequestration. He has also been featured as a Highly Cited Author prepared by Elsevier Data Repository for citations on research for authors in a single year. Currently, he is an Outreach Manager with a major science non-profit.
Alexander Ose
Alexander Ose
Alex Ose is a software engineer, hardware hacker, and environmentalist. As a volunteer researcher at OpenAir, Alex leads the electrochemistry group. He is the designer of Synthwave, the world’s first open-source electrochemical carbon capture device, and Dorothy, an outdoor sensing platform based on commodity hardware. His motto is “go to where the problems are”, and has worked in startups, large companies, and the federal government as a technical advisor.
Max Pisciotta
Max Pisciotta
Max Pisciotta is a Ph.D. candidate in the Chemical Engineering department at the University of Pennsylvania whose research is focused on carbon capture and carbon removal technologies. Throughout their tenure at UPenn, they have published research on carbon capture for natural gas power plants, industrial decarbonization, and direct air capture. They have also co-developed the Road to 10 Gigatons game, and completed internships at the International Energy Agency and Brimstone Energy. Max holds a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from UPenn. Prior to starting their PhD at Penn, they also briefly worked as a Technology Analyst at Accenture. When Max is not working, they can be found running, reading, or baking.
Mariana (Mars) Garza
Mariana (Mars) Garza
Mariana (Mars) Garza is the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Alcove, with a specific focus on Sales, GTM, & Ops. Alcove builds data infrastructure for carbon removal suppliers and project developers. Mars previously worked at XYZ Venture Capital, where she supported investment into top-tier CDR and climate tech companies.
Dr. Kersh Thevasundaram
Dr. Kersh Thevasundaram
Dr. Kersh Thevasundaram is the Head of Science at Clairity Technology, a direct air capture startup in Los Angeles, California. In his current work, he is leading a team in the synthesis and characterization of CO2 sorbents for direct air capture, building on extensive experience in analyzing the benefits and drawbacks of a broad range of solvent and solid sorbent-based DAC approaches. In his previous work as a postdoctoral researcher and graduate student in the College of Chemistry at UC Berkeley, he pioneered novel methods in artificial photosynthesis to make plastic polymers from CO2, water and renewable energy. During his time in graduate school, he was a graduate student instructor in biophysical chemistry, helping undergraduates understand the beauty and thermodynamic simplicity underlying complex natural processes.
Cara Maesano
Cara Maesano
Cara Maesano, PhD is an interdisciplinary scientist and manager at RMI’s Carbon Dioxide Removal Initiative, where she assesses opportunities and challenges for scaling CDR approaches. Her background spans cosmology, particle physics, environmental epidemiology, and exposure science, and she is currently focused on geochemical applications to atmospheric carbon removal. She holds a PhD in Physics from UC Davis and resides in Paris.

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