Air date: Saturday, December 14
Guest: Susan MacKay
Host: Steve Woods (Stevoe)
Studio Contributor Debi Davis
Executive Producer: Mark Gould (Sharky)
Assistant Producer: Shannon Maguire
CEO of Cerahelix, Susan MacKay grew up in Tampa, Florida. She attended The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in chemistry. MacKay went on to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned her Ph.D. in chemistry. MacKay described for Stevoe what it was like studying chemistry and biotech and materials research in the “Research Triangle”.
MacKay has over 20 years of experience in product development and surface and materials characterization. MacKay has been honored with a “Woman in Technological Entrepreneurship Award” in 2010, the MaineBiz “Women to Watch” award in 2010, and a Mass High Tech “Woman to Watch” award in 2011. In November 2012, MacKay gave a TEDxDirigo talk on her energy-saving ceramic filtration system. MacKay told Stevoe how training for her TED talk stretched her storytelling ability and what an amazing experience it was.
In 2002, MacKay moved to Orono from Boston, in search of a different lifesytlye. MacKay co-founded Zeomatrix in 2006, along with her husband, Don MacKay, and fellow scientist Karl Bishop. Zeopmatrix developed a patented odor control paper product, which is currently being marketed as a pet litter disposal bag.
MacKay founded Cerahelix in 2011 to commercialize a patented breakthrough in ceramic filtration. She has created the first ceramic filter that filters at high purity and low pressure. This creates the ability to significantly reduce the energy needed to produce high purity water and other fluids under challenging conditions.
Currently, Cerahelix employs 6 technical people and leases a laboratory and offices at the Target Technology incubator in Orono, Maine. Cerahelix a research and development company, that has created a membrane filtration system that combines zeolite (are microporous, aluminosilicate minerals commonly used as commercial adsorbents) with DNA for applications such as purifying water in a biorefinery.