Q & A WITH ROB
How has Telluride Science impacted your career?
I am a much better and more broadly knowledgeable scientist because of Telluride Science workshops. These workshops naturally incubate far-ranging discussions about important issues that you don’t read about in journal articles. More importantly, these conversations with peers are not limited to 20 minutes or an hour, but rather take place all day, all week, and in and outside the classroom. The full science immersion is like nothing else, and those experiences have had a lasting and profound impact on me.
Is there a grand challenge that your field of study could potentially solve?
There are so many grand challenges related to health and climate, and they’re all important. Public health, climate change, a green economy, environmental resilience. . . . people will prioritize differently and all of them will be correct. For me, the grand challenge most important to me is energy. The transition to hydrogen and renewable fuels will take decades. However, we need to reduce carbon emissions now and we need to do so while using infrastructure that’s in transition. We hope that our research will lead to more durable and efficient devices that are capable of using conventional fuels today (with twice the efficiency) and hydrogen/green fuels in the future. We are also starting to think of how technologies enabled by our work can also remove CO2 from the air. We feel that’s a win-win outcome.