Chris Mihalcea

Chris Mihalcea

Director Fermentation



Dr. Mihalcea studied chemistry at the University of Kassel in Germany and subsequently obtained his PhD
from the Technical Physics Department. During his thesis, he developed a fabrication process for a patented
micromachined Near-field Scanning Optical Sensor (NSOM) that allows optical imaging of submicron-sized
features in biological and semiconductor samples with a resolution below the diffraction limit. The sensor
technology was subsequently licensed to Witec GMBH, a start-up company at the time that specialized in
NSOM technology. After 16 years, the company still produces the sensors and sells them as a key component
of their NSOM microscope. Dr. Mihalcea was then offered a post-doctoral position at AIST Tsukuba Japan
where he participated in the development of next generation optical data storage technology. Afterwards, he
joined Seagate LLC, Pittsburgh, a manufacturer of magnetic data storage drives, where he was involved in the
initial development of a hybrid recording head enabling extremely high magnetic storage density. Today, the
technology has reached 2 TBSI recording density and is still considered a technology to be marketed soon. He
won an INSIC technical achievement award for this work. Dr Mihalcea subsequently joined LanzaTech and
has been involved with gas fermentation technology from the onset of the company. He was instrumental in
setting up LanzaTech research labs and played a key role in the microbial selection process that led to
LanzaTech’s proprietary organism that is used today to produce ethanol at scale. Dr. Mihalcea has published
more than 45 peer reviewed research papers and has more than 28 published patents.

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