The Scholars podcast is a show featuring scholars from the General Sir John Monash Foundation. Hosted by CEO of Mojo Media, Justin Kelly, he interviews the best, brightest, boldest and bravest across all fields of academia, business, science, humanities, and the arts. In this episode, Justin interviews chemical engineer and 2017 Woodside John Monash Scholar, Dr Brett Parkinson.
Brett has a Bachelors and Masters of Chemical and Materials Engineering from the University of Queensland, and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London. He was actively involved in the University of Queensland Clubs and Societies as President of the Chemical and Environmental Student Society and coordinated the Student Unions Mental Health week. Brett has worked at Incitec Pivot, Momentive Specialty Chemicals and at the Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovations. His research efforts have focused on an integrated process for the economic production of zero CO2 iron and petrochemicals, and his PhD addressed sustainable energy generation from natural gas through catalytic cracking to hydrogen in non-oxidative molten salt environments. Brett ultimately hopes to help develop sustainable manufacturing industries and energy policy in Australia. He is passionate about sustainable manufacturing, low-carbon energy systems and the energy sector as a whole.
Brett is pursuing an international career in the energy field, highlighting disruptive energy technologies. He is currently a senior engineer at C-Zero, an organisation commercializing a proprietary process for transforming natural gas into clean hydrogen and a solid carbon co-product. C-Zero just completed a $11.5M series A funding round co-led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Eni Next, with participation from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and AP Ventures. The funding will accelerate the first commercial-scale deployment of C-Zero’s drop-in decarbonization technology, which will allow industrial natural gas consumers to avoid producing CO2 in applications like electrical generation, process heating and the production of commodity chemicals like hydrogen and ammonia.
In this episode, Brett chats with Justin about his passion for sustainability and innovation in engineering, the incredible work of C-Zero, and the most rewarding part of working in the sustainable energy sector.