Manufacturing Engineering celebrates the inaugural 30 Under 30 honorees. These people have taken the road less traveled—and they deserve recognition for it.
Modern culture doesn't do enough to celebrate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, let alone Manufacturing. Yet these are the fields that allow us to eat, live, heal, entertain and protect ourselves. Without competence and leadership in these areas, our country is in trouble.
Christina is as much an engineer as she is an entrepreneur. Which explains why she quit her stable job in corporate America—specifically as a process engineer at Clorox—to, as she explains it, “go save the American economy.”
She went to a startup, BioFuelBox, where she and a former Clorox colleague, Marc Privitera, developed and scaled the world’s first commercial scale supercritical biodiesel reactor with technology licensed from Idaho National Labs. The system would convert waste trap grease typically sent to landfills into ASTM 6751 biodiesel at a rate of 1MMGPY.
In 2010, BioFuelBox was recognized with a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer award—the same year as Twitter.
“Joining a startup is considered a big risk,” Christina said, adding, “The biodiesel adventure was excellent. I love the fast pace of the venture capital world. We scaled the system from bench to pilot to commercial scale in fourteen months.”
Ultimately, the business succumbed to the economic downturn. But Christina brushed it off, thankful for the experience and in 2010 launched PreProcess, Inc. with Privitera. PreProcess, a chemical engineering consulting firm for entrepreneurs, has major clients and oversees manufacturing projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
It all feels natural to Christina, who recently turned 30. “PreProcess practices entrepreneurial engineering as compared to traditional engineering firms. Entrepreneurs must be able to decide, focus, and pivot and the technical firm supporting them must be able to do the same,” she said.