UW News

November 14, 2017

2 UW engineering students make Forbes ’30 under 30 in Energy’ list

Two University of Washington engineering students were included by Forbes magazine on its list of the top 30 people in the world under age 30 working on energy solutions. The list for 2018 largely focuses on people who are working on inventions or have founded companies with the goal of saving energy, reducing carbon emissions or contributing to a more sustainable future.

In its annual list, the magazine profiles “a group of upstarts, judged by our sources and judges, to be among the most promising individuals working across the broad field of anything even tangentially ‘energy’ related.”

The UW awardees are Molly Grear, 28, a doctoral student in civil and environmental engineering, and Matthew Murbach, 26, a doctoral student in chemical engineering.

headshot of Molly Grear

Molly Grear

Grear was cited by Forbes for her work “to design marine renewable energy devices with safer spinning blades that are proven not to harm marine mammals.”

Grear’s research focuses on how marine wildlife such as killer whales in Puget Sound may be impacted by tidal energy turbines, a promising resource to help combat climate change. She characterizes the material properties of marine mammal skin and blubber with the same methods used to study the material properties of steel and concrete. She uses this data to create a finite element analysis of a turbine blade striking an animal — with the ultimate goal of minimizing injury. You can watch more about her work in this video:

head shot of Matthew Murbach

Matthew Murbach

Murbach, co-founder of Battery Informatics, Inc., was recognized for his work “to commercialize battery management breakthroughs to enable faster charging, finer control over degradation and longer lifetimes.”

His research through the UW Clean Energy Institute focuses on inventing new ways to diagnose the state of health in batteries, a critical and expensive asset in the emerging low-carbon energy economy. Battery Informatics is licensing UW intellectual property to extract value from battery assets over the whole battery lifecycle. The company has raised federal and Washington State funding totaling $0.5 million and has been a recipient of matching funds from the WA Clean Energy Fund.