Brian Giera thrives on problems that blend innovation and multidisciplinary teamwork, like his latest project that optimizes production of carbon capture technology with machine learning (ML). His team has created microcapsules only a few hundred micrometers in diameter—“They look like blue caviar,” Giera says—that absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. Recently featured in Lab on a Chip, the project uses ML to unlock real-time monitoring and sorting of the microcapsules, reducing production time and expenses while increasing the quality of the collected product. Giera states, “It was fun to have a computation-centric project and produce something tangible in the lab. We worked with experimentalists on an actual microfluidic device.” The system is portable to other microencapsulation devices and microfluidic production systems that can benefit from automation. With a background in the food and fragrance manufacturing industry, Giera holds a PhD in chemical engineering from UC Santa Barbara. He is active in LLNL’s Abilities Champions employee resource group and regularly mentors interns, noting, “Students are an excellent source of collaboration.”
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