Dr. Christina Chang is a Partner at Lowercarbon Capital, where she incubates and invests in new technology startups with outsized climate impact. Christina has broad and deep experience in techno-economics, R&D, invention and patenting of clean energy technologies.
Most recently, Christina was a Fellow at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) within the U.S. Department of Energy, where she developed new research directions for sustainable manufacturing of commodities. In her two-year tenure as a federal employee, Christina initiated and co-led the Agency’s green steel thrust, including co-leading a 200-person workshop with senior stakeholders. She also performed quantitative technology impact studies spanning industrial decarbonization technology areas including process heat and chemical manufacturing, to inform and help create DOE initiatives under Secretary Granholm and President Biden, including the DOE Earthshots, Advanced Manufacturing Office funding opportunities, and U.S. involvement in COP26 in Glasgow. Notably, she conducted the initial technology analysis on carbon-negative building materials that led to ARPA-E’s $45M HESTIA programs. In addition to her innovative technology direction setting, Christina also led several millions of dollars of funding for startups across manufacturing, from sustainable cement to rare earth extraction from mine tailings, and actively co-managed these project teams quarterly. For her work at ARPA-E, Christina has been featured in Physics Today and Forbes.
Before her tenure at ARPA-E, Dr. Chang was CEO of the sustainable steel startup Abraze Engineering. As solo founder of the company, she led technical and market diligence, completed the NSF I-Corps Spark Program, filed a U.S. patent on the technology, and was the grand prize winner of the Harvard President’s Innovation Challenge Ingenuity Award, presented by Harvard President Larry Bacow.
Funded by the EPA-Marshall Scholarship, Dr. Chang completed her PhD in physical chemistry at Harvard in the laboratory of Professor Roy G. Gordon, where she co-developed a patent-pending chemical vapor deposition method to make p-type transparent conducting films for use in perovskite solar panels. Also funded as a Draper Laboratory PhD Fellow, she also deposited dielectric films for microelectronic device applications in industry.
As a Marshall Scholar, Christina conducted scientific research and ambassadorship while living in the UK from 2012-2014. On the Scholarship, she first received an MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures at Imperial College London (2013), where she gained a broad techno-economic understanding of energy systems and conducted research on transient absorption laser spectroscopy applied to artificial photosynthesis clean energy research in the laboratory of Professor James R. Durrant. She then received an MPhil in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge (2014) in the laboratory of Professor Erwin Reisner, where she invented and published a high-performing quantum dot-based solar-to-hydrogen system, the first one to operate in pH-neutral water.
Christina graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 2012 with a Bachelor's in chemistry and Certificates in computer science, engineering biology, and materials science and engineering. A graduate of Princeton’s Integrated Science program, Christina has a deep interdisciplinary background, allowing her to speak multiple scientific “languages” and to conduct translational research across several subfields of science and engineering. Her research includes dye-sensitized solar panel synthesis at the University of Edinburgh in the laboratory of Prof. Neil Robertson, invention and patenting of an environmental decontamination catalytic cycle at Princeton in the laboratory of Prof. John T. Groves, and prototyping of plasmonic nanocrystal-based electrochromic "smart windows" at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in the laboratory of Dr. Brett A. Helms, which contributed to the startup Heliotrope.
Dr. Chang is also a United States Presidential Scholar, a Goldwater Scholar, an alumna of the Research Science Institute, and a Grand Prize Winner of the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award. Christina has engaged global audiences on climate and sustainable energy technology innovation, speaking at the ARPA-E Innovation Summit, TEDx, and chemistry conferences (ACS, MRS, EPFL).
Christina lives in the Boston area with her fiancé, who is a chemistry professor at Tufts. Outside of her passion for climate technology, Christina loves the outdoors, and serves as a rock climbing and hiking leader in the MIT Outing Club, where she teaches environmental stewardship to students and expands access to the outdoors for the historically underrepresented. Christina is a global traveler and trad rock climber, an active mentor to women and non-binary science students, and an enthusiastic polyglot, speaking Spanish and French at every opportunity.