Spiritus Expands Its Team With Industry’s Top Engineering Minds

Spiritus Expands Its Team With Industry's Top Engineering Minds - Carbon Herald

Spiritus, a frontrunner in climate tech, recently unveiled its groundbreaking Direct-Air-Capture (DAC) technology. The company has recently been selected as a carbon removal supplier in Frontier’s latest round of prepurchases for the Fall 2023 season.

It revealed its innovative approach in DAC technology showcasing significantly improved efficiency, paving the way for more economical carbon removal solutions – moving closer to a price per ton of CO2 eliminated at $100. Now, Spiritus is further strengthening its foothold in the industry by announcing a dynamic expansion to its executive leadership.

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“As we usher in this new chapter, the integration of these four visionary leaders to our already powerful team is pivotal. Their collective expertise, diverse experiences, and innovative approaches are the exact catalysts we need. They will be instrumental in advancing our mission, making carbon removal an indispensable weapon in the global climate change arsenal,” said Charles Cadieu, CEO and co-founder of Spiritus.

Jon Rau, VP Engineering: With a stellar 26-year track record, Jon has consistently steered teams of scientists and engineers through demanding objectives. He was most recently Director of the Engineering and Technology Maturation (ETM) Program for Los Alamos National Labs (LANL), a $200M per year program for materials, chemistry, and physics R&D in support of LANL’s national security mission. Jon will be responsible for all of Spiritus’ engineering operations, including the pilot scale-up of the first Carbon Orchards.

Credit: Dmitry Kovalchuk/Shutterstock

Dan Opila, Ph.D., P.E. Chief Architect: Dan has a proven history of new product development and team leadership taking ideas from concept to mass production in renewable energy (over 2 GW installed solar inverters, consumer electronics, automotive (BoseRide), and aerospace (rocket test systems). He is a Professor at the US Naval Academy focusing on power systems and has over 50 patents and publications. Dan will be responsible for the overall architecture and design of Spiritus’ Carbon Orchards and optimization to create efficient energy use, key to successfully bringing down the cost of DAC.

Manny Tafoya, Director of Engineering: With a 17-year tenure at LANL, Manny specialized in dynamic event simulations and heat transfer modeling. His previous role involved leading the robotics and automation group, focusing on automating key nuclear processes. His broad expertise in electro-mechanical systems guides the development of advanced test beds that enhance R&D. Manny will be responsible for key engineering validation of the carbon Fruit and Orchard components, and will work closely with Jon to realize the pilot scale-up.

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Eric Cole, Director of Manufacturing, has 20 years of experience in high and low-volume manufacturing, specializing in transitioning R&D concepts to production through early identification and refinement of requirements to achieve reliable manufacturable products. He spent eight years at Gates Corporation as a process engineer for raw materials for automotive and industrial belts and 11 years at Kansas City National Security Campus as a Lead Chemical Engineer where he partnered with Los Alamos National Lab scientists to insert new technology for national security applications.

He was in Materials Engineering where he supported all active development programs. Eric will be responsible for the manufacturing of Spiritus’ breakthrough sorbent, the key innovation enabling low-cost DAC.

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