9th Annual John D. Thompson Entrepreneurial Development Seminar                     

Hosted on October 27, 2022 from 5:00 - 8:00 PM

This year's seminar started with keynote speaker Chris Stern, CEO and Co Founder at CarbiCrete followed by a Cleantech Idea Pitch Competition

Keynote Speaker & Judge

Chris Stern Profile PictureChris Stern is the CEO and Co-Founder of CarbiCrete, a Montreal-based carbon removal technology company that has created a cement-free, carbon negative process for making pre-cast concrete using industrial waste by-products from the steel-making industry. The patented technology stems from McGill Civil Engineering Professor Yixin Shao and his post-doc researcher at the time Dr. Mehrdad Mahoutian, CTO and co-founder of CarbiCrete. The R&D team received early-stage funding via the William and Rhea Seath Award in Engineering Innovation from the McGill Engine Centre. In addition to CarbiCrete, Chris serves as an Advisor and Director to several Cleantech companies in the US and Canada, including EnergyPal, a North American residential solar provider.

Before founding CarbiCrete, Chris was a Co-Founder and Director at Pure Energies Group, a residential solar customer acquisition company which was acquired by NRG Energy in 2014. Chris received his B. Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University.

Cleantech Idea Pitch Competition Judge

Theodora Alexakis Profile PictureDr. Theodora Alexakis is the Vice President of Business Development at Terragon Environmental Technologies, a Montreal based company that develops  technologies to enable Zero Waste Discharge HabitatsTerragon’s unique appliances for waste and wastewater treatment enable the Total Resource Utilization (TRU) habitat, leading to reduced environmental impact and contributing to a revolution in resource management. 

Theodora is a Chemical Engineer who has led the development and commercialization of a number of waste treatment technologies for over 25 years. She has worked with Terragon for 16 years, initially leading the development of MAGS, a waste to energy appliance and, more recently leading the commercialization of all of Terragon’s technologies in various markets. Theodora has multiple degrees from McGill University including a B.Eng, M.Eng and PhD in Chemical Engineering.  

profile pic of Sylvain CoulombeDr. Sylvain Coulombe is a registered Engineering Physicist and Professor of Chemical Engineering at McGill University since 2001. From 1997 to 2001 he was a Senior Research Scientist with GE Research (USA). From 2018 to 2021 he was Associate Vice-Principal, Innovation and Partnerships with McGill University. He is an expert in plasma source and process development with applications in nanomaterial and nanostructure synthesis, electrical power-to-X, circular fuels and materials, and powder re-processing. He has co-authored more than 300 peer-reviewed publications and conference contributions. He is Director of the McGill Centre for Innovation in Storage and Conversion of Energy. He teaches courses in plasma engineering, resource recovery and circular use, transport phenomena, and process instrumentation and control.

Winning Teams

1st Place

Gabriele Capilli (Mining and Materials Engineering, Postdoctoral Fellow) and Minh Tran (Electrical and Computer Engineering, PhD candidate)

2nd Place

Kirk H. Bevan (Department of Mining and Materials Engineering), Yee Wei Foong (Department of Mining and Materials Engineering, PhD candidate) and Prof. Philippe Ouzilleau (Department of Mining and Materials Engineering, Postdoctoral Fellow) 

3rd Place & Audience Favourite

Benjamin Pérez (Bioengineering, undergrad), Cleo Chuying Cao (Bioengineering, undergrad) and Michael Asseraf (Bioengineering, undergrad)

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