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Akachukwu (AC) Obi

MCSC Impact Fellow

Akachukwu (AC) joins the consortium from the University of Virginia where he recently completed his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry as one of the premier graduate students in the research group of Prof Robert J. Gilliard Jr. He was awarded a Jefferson Fellowship to study the capture and transformation of small molecules (e.g., CO2, CS2, H2) to value-added species using earth abundant and biocompatible main group elements (e.g., carbon, magnesium, calcium, bismuth). Through the lens of coordination chemistry and catalysis, AC explored critical topics in the development of alternative fuels such as solid-state hydrogen storage and carbon dioxide reduction, and developed proficiency in air-sensitive organic synthesis and characterization and computational analysis.

AC’s graduate work was inspired by his formative years growing up in the oil-producing Niger-Delta region of Nigeria. As a result, he’s not only interested in energy-based solutions to climate issues, but also the human and socioeconomic aspects. Prior to his Ph.D., he was trained as an educator and social science researcher at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, where he conducted active inquiry on equitable learning at private boarding schools. This experience enabled him to query the critical impact of social inequities in learning behaviors and education.

At the MCSC, AC combines his well-rounded understanding of molecular chemistry, energy and social behaviors to advance impact projects centered about carbon capture, use and sequestration (CCUS), as well as circularity. His main goal is to not only innovate novel technologies towards decarbonizing the global economy, but also interrogate barriers to scale and adoption from diverse perspectives including technology, business and policy. 

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