Dr. Glen C. Irvin Jr. joined Rice’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in February 2019 as Research Professor. Since joining Rice, Dr. Irvin has been focused on core technology generation and commercialization efforts of few walled (1-2 walls) carbon nanotube (FWCNTs) technologies. As Co-PI of the ARPA-E OPEN 2018 Program, he led building of FWCNT reactor laboratories at Rice and the technology development of CNT synthesis efforts culminating in World Class FWCNT product properties and synthesis reactor performance. Leading the OPEN 2018 Technology to Market efforts, Dr. Irvin built the key technical designs, value propositions and competitive advantages of CNT Fibers as thermo-electro-mechanical Power Transmission and Distribution (T&D) overhead cables for use in hardening Overhead Powerlines and building resilience into the Global Electrical Power Grids with goals to significantly reduce First Mile installation costs. Dr. Irvin’s current R&D and commercialization activities are centered on FWCNT Reactor system Scale Up to kiloTon levels using fundamental understanding of the complex flow and temperature fields coupled with fast reaction kinetics using Methane as a feedstock to co-produce FWCNTs and Clean Hydrogen. Dr. Irvin is also focused on utilizing these Scaled Up and cost competitive CNTs as conductive agents in Lithium Ion Battery devices to improve energy density, charging rates, stability, and operational windows for electric vehicles and grid storage applications.
Dr. Irvin is deeply involved in numerous innovation and commercialization efforts. Glen is a prolific inventor with 44 US Patents granted on technologies ranging from polymeric nanocomposites to carbon nanotube based electronic devices. Currently, as part of a team awarded by DOE’s EERE division in 2023, Dr. Irvin will be developing key technology for Lightweight, High-Conductivity CNT Core Conductor for Power Transmission Lines where this unique technology will be tested on Oak Ridge National Lab’s Powerline Conductor Accelerated Testing facility (PCAT) as the first commercial scale CNT T&D Power cable. Recently, Dr. Irvin was part of the team as co-founder of the Carbon Hub (carbonhub.rice.edu) in 2019 with its inaugural launch in Feb 2020. Glen served as the Leader of the Carbon Technical Council (2019 – 2022) which established the Technical Vision for the Institute, developed the key Research Pillars and helped build the initial Research Portfolio deploying the first $7M of the $25M committed funds raised to build a commercial ecosystem of Value Added Carbon Solids to provide Carbon Dioxide free solutions for Global Challenges related to Energy Intensive and harmful Emissions Materials and technologies as well as the electrification of Global transportation fleets and power grids. In 2017, Dr. Irvin was part of a team funded by the DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office to develop Carbon Conductors for Lightweight Motors and Generators.
Prior to joining Rice, Dr. Irvin held formative roles in industry. Immediately prior to joining Rice, Glen was the President and COO of Unidym, Inc, based in Sunnyvale, CA and focused on commercialization of FWCNT transparent conductive films in touch sensors and LCD display devices. During his tenure at Unidym, he led the design, building and launch of a FWCNT manufacturing plant in Pyeongtaek, South Korea and commercialized flexible FWCNT transparent conductors in automotive lighting applications for Tier 1 customers. At Shocking Technologies in San Jose, CA, Glen was the VP of Operations leading the design and construction of Shocking’s San Jose based manufacturing plant producing a novel polymeric nanocomposite dispersion used in mobile device ESD protection with capacity for 250 Million mobile devices annually. Glen was also responsible for bringing online 3 Contract Manufacturing sites to build the final product which integrated into mobile device PCBs. At Dr. Irvin’s first stint at Unidym, Inc., he served as VP-Conductive Products leading the business and commercialization efforts of FWCNT transparent, conductive films. He lead the technical and manufacturing development of wide format, roll to roll coating FWCNT transparent conductive films used in touch sensors and display applications including the World’s First Active Matrix LCD display using FWCNTs based transparent electrodes and with Samsung Electronics, the World’s First 14.3” Color Electrophoretic Display.
Dr. Irvin began his industrial career at Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, NY, first in the Global Manufacturing and Technical Organization and later as part of the Historic Kodak Research Labs. Glen’s focus was on Nanotechnology solutions throughout the imaging Value Chain. As one of the Key Inventor’s of a novel nanocomposite that protected OLED displays, Glen led the commercialization team that designed and manufactured two generations of this polymeric nanocomposite which was deployed in the World’s first, full color Active Matrix OLED Display in a Digital Camera (Kodak LS633). Glen also led efforts on Coatable Conductors for display and touch sensor applications. As Leader of an Eastman Kodak Change Agent Team, Glen deployed newly commercialized sensitized dye imaging components in X-ray film, Dental film, Graphics Arts, and Consumer films in the US, Canada, Japan, Mexico and England. At Kodak, Dr. Irvin’s efforts led to a number of products being commercialized and various awards including being inducted into Kodak’s Distinguished Inventor’s Gallery.