Jose Hernandez
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Note: Jose Hernandez was a Business Development Fellow in 2017/18. This interview was conducted in fall 2017.

Jose Hernandez is a second-year master’s student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He earned his bachelor of science in bio-engineering from the University of California, Merced. His research focuses on reducing the amount of greenhouse gas allowed to reach the upper atmosphere.

In a nutshell, describe your project or venture.

Ever since the start of the Industrial Revolution, changing climate conditions and a rise in global temperatures have resulted in a vast change in certain ecosystems such as the ocean and a wide arrange of agriculture land. By developing technology that converts certain greenhouse gases into fuel, we can leverage the energy potential of these products while potentially slowing down the pace of climate change.

What’s important about your research or project—and where do you hope to take it?

Over the past few years I had the opportunity to work on a topic that not only impacts our local communities, but humankind. Knowing that this technology can help the local farmer who’s struggling with their seasonal harvest or a person affected by rising water levels inspires me to work on my project every day. Given that I have access to some of the leaders in the catalysis industry on campus has afforded me the opportunity to continually improve my own technology.

Do you plan to participate in the Big Bang! Business Competition or “just” the workshops? How do you expect this to help you as an aspiring entrepreneur?

For the upcoming year I will just be participating in the workshop aspect of the Big Bang! Competition. This will be the first exposure that I have with other entrepreneurs on a more grand scale. Given that most of the program focuses on different venture scenarios, being able to see some of the ventures that people are working on will be great.

How will your experiences as a Business Development Fellow help you to change the world?

Thus far, one of the most challenging parts of my research has been trying to take my idea from the workbench and into the market. The best lesson that the Business Development Fellows program has taught me has been the components required to cultivate innovation and entrepreneurship within an organization as small as a startup—or a major company.