People Behind the Science Podcast - Stories from Scientists about Science, Life, Research, and Science Careers
676: Using Algae to Capture CO2 and Create Foods, Biofuels, Chemicals, and Pharmaceuticals - Dr. Thomas Brück
Manage episode 342891524 series 45619
Dr. Thomas Brück is the Werner Siemens Chair of Synthetic Biotechnology at the Technical University of Munich in the School of Natural Sciences. Thomas uses biotechnology methods to more efficiently bind CO2 from the atmosphere using plants and algae, and he also creates value-added products from biomass that we can use in daily life. Some examples are carbon fiber materials that can be used in production of cars or proteins that can be used in foods. Outside of science, Thomas enjoys exploring underwater as an avid diver, spending quality time with his family, and educating the next generation about current global challenges surrounding climate change and sustainability. He received his B.Sc. in chemistry, biochemistry and management science and his master’s degree in molecular medicine from Keele University. He was awarded his PhD in protein biochemistry from Greenwich University. Next, he conducted postdoctoral research at the Center of Excellence for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine at Florida Atlantic University, where he subsequently served on the faculty as an assistant professor. Thomas then accepted a position in industry at the chemicals company Süd-Chemie In Munich, and he worked there for about four years before joining the faculty at the Technical University of Munich. Thomas’s research group was cited in the IPCC world climate report 1.5 for their work on industrial routes for a permanent CO2 sink. In addition, the European Business Council for Sustainable energy recognized Thomas with the e-ward in 2018 for this work. Further, Thomas was the inaugural recipient of the Technical University of Munich’s sustainability award in 2019. He has also been elected as a member of the German Bioeconomy Council, where he provides advice to the federal government on sustainability matters. In this interview Thomas shares more about his life and science.