Two BCOE Alumni Make Forbes 30 Under 30 List for 2017

BCOE Alumni Ravi Kurani and Charles Cai named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30

Forbes has released its 2017 30 Under 30 recognizing today’s brightest young entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers and included are two University of California, Riverside (UC Riverside) Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE) alumni. The list honors 30 game changers in each of the 20 industries with Ravi Kurani (B.S. Mechanical Engineering, UC Riverside) and Charles Cai (Ph.D. Chemical and Environmental Engineering, UC Riverside) both named to the Energy category.

Kurani was recognized for the technological advancements made at his startup company Sutro, an automated pool chemistry system that remotely monitors the health of swimming pools, notifies owners if maintenance is required and orders pool supplies. Supported by co-founder and CTO Andrew Redfin, Kurani spent two years iterating on a sensor system that can precisely and accurately measure water quality. Their efforts have resulted in a proprietary sensor architecture that can support up to 70 different types of water quality tests.

Cai co-founded MG Fuels to commercialize a biofuels process he helped develop at the University of California, Riverside that reduces the amount of enzymes used to breakdown biomass to make ethanol. The patented method licensed by MG Fuels, called Co-Solvent Enhanced Lignocellulosic Fractionation (CELF), was developed as a versatile and efficient way to convert raw agricultural and forestry residues and other plant matter into both biofuels and chemicals. The project aims to bring industry closer to producing fuels and chemicals from biomass at high enough yields and low enough costs to become a viable alternative or replacement for petroleum-based fuels and chemicals. His research has been supported by such agencies as the Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

This year, the 30 Under 30 competition was more extreme than ever with more than 15,000 nominations for just 600 spots, equaling an acceptance rate of less than 4 percent. A-list legends of their fields were joined by 30 Under 30 alums to vet and vote on the finalists. Among the Energy category judges were T. Boone Pickens, CEO of BP Capital; Matt Owens, President of Extraction Oil & Gas; and Alison Lami Sawyer, CEO of Rebellion Photonics. For more information on the 2017 30 Under 30, click here.

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