28 Nov 2021

Hi! I’m a founding team member of NuMat Technologies, a nanotech startup using custom-designed materials to filter toxic environmental pollutants out of air, water, and fuels. I have an M.S. in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and B.S. degrees in chemical engineering and finance from Lehigh University. I have authored patents, academic publications, and open-source libraries.

You might be thinking “okay… but what does that mean? What do you actually do?”. If you’re thinking this, congratulations! You already have something in common with my friends, family, and 99% of society.💬(probably) I’ve spent years beta testing my answer on anyone within earshot, and now I will give you my best current version.

What’s nanotech?

Nanotechnology is making materials better by zooming in and organizing their atoms. Here are some nicely organized atoms:

Looks like a drinking straw, doesn’t it? Well, it basically is.💬To anyone with a Ph.D. in physics, chemistry, or materials science… I’m sorry. These nanotubes are incredibly strong if you push in from the ends but flexible if you push from the sides. Small molecules can pass through but large molecules can’t. They’re so small that you can only see the straws with the fanciest of microscopes. In the real world, we’ll see nanotubes as a flour-like powder that can be used by product manufacturers for its straw-like properties.

Organizing atoms to make powders with interesting properties. That’s it.💬Once again, so sorry.

What does NuMat do?

We use nanotech to make very good Brita filters. NuMat filters are 100 times more effective but 1,000 times more expensive. Their cost means you’re not going to see them in your kitchen any time soon.

However, there are millions of people needing better filters. We make the world’s best gas masks for first responders, safety systems for industrial workers, and even military technology supporting the counter-proliferation of chemical warfare agents.

We use computer software to rationally design nanomaterials.💬This was part of my Ph.D. thesis. I could talk about it for hours. We use computers to design materials with nano-sized holes large enough for some molecules to pass through but small enough to block others. This approach allows us to design the right material for the right application™ and make amazing products in high-value industries.

What do I do?

I’m a chemical engineer by training, a software developer by passion, and a deep tech business builder by career. I use my varied background to help where it’s needed most, be it fundraising, team building, new capability buildout, or startup growing pains.

I’ve recently been focused on leading NuMat’s tech team toward the development of critical technology for personal protective equipment. PPE is a massive need requiring tons of industry-specific customization, as the hazards faced by firefighters are very different than those faced by lithium miners. Initial proof points have led to a torrent of PPE technology requests and a tech team constantly growing to keep up.

To manage the constant growing pains, I’ve had to work on increasingly abstract challenges. Individual contribution gave way to people management, which gave way to product management, which in turn gave way to tackling challenges around organizational health. It’s a lot, but it’s a very fun ride.

Want to work together?

I enjoy sharing my experiences with entrepreneurs and technologists. I’ve given talks and mentored companies for universities, national labs, venture funds, and large companies. I’m easily nerd sniped and willing to help for free on projects with a clear positive societal impact. If you’re interested, please email me to continue the conversation.