Meet the Spiritus Team: Pioneering Sustainable Carbon Removal

At Spiritus, our mission to revolutionize carbon removal is driven by a diverse and accomplished team of experts who are committed to creating a sustainable and low-carbon future. Led by innovation veterans Charles Cadieu and Matt Lee, our team combines a passion for creative problem solving, a transparent culture, a wealth of experience across the necessary domains to bring our carbon removal solution to market and to a globally relevant scale.

Meet the Co-Founders:

Charles Cadieu Co-Founder and CEO

Charles Cadieu, PhD, CEO, founded IQ Engines (acquired by Yahoo!/Flickr) and Caption Health (acquired by GE HealthCare). As Co-Founder and CEO of Caption Health, Charles led the company to develop an FDA breakthrough medical technology that was named a 100 Best Invention by TIME Magazine.

Charles has raised >$75 million for his startups from leading venture (Khosla Ventures, DCVC) and non-dilutive (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NSF) funders.

Matt Lee
Co-Founder and CTO

Matt Lee, PhD, CTO, invented Spiritus’ breakthrough sorbent technology. He is a materials engineering expert with specialization in hierarchical and bioinspired porous solids, complex fluids, multiphase systems, and colloid science.

For 10+ years as staff scientist and technical manager, he has focused on advanced materials at scale to support national security at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). He holds a BS from UCSB and MS/PhD in Chemical Engineering from UCI.

Our Accomplished Team

Beyond our co-founders, Spiritus boasts a dynamic team of professionals spanning diverse fields such as chemistry, mechanical engineering, process engineering, environmental science, and commercialization.

Jon Rau
VP of Engineering

Jon Rau, VP Engineering, has, for the past 17 years, assembled and led numerous teams of scientists and engineers to meet challenging objectives under time pressure.  Jon was most recently Director of the Engineering and Technology Maturation (ETM) Program for LANL, a $200M/year program for materials, chemistry, and physics R&D in support of LANL’s national security mission. 

Mindy Ren
Head of Carbon Removal Infrastructure

Mindy Ren brings twelve years of hands-on experience in managing EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) projects ranging from $100 million to $20 billion across the energy and high-tech sectors. Prior to joining Spiritus, she oversaw the execution strategy and planning efforts for hyper-scale data center projects at Meta (Facebook). Additionally, she piloted battery manufacturing and established the first Megapack production facility at Tesla. Prior to these, Mindy spent eight years as Construction Lead at ExxonMobil, delivering complex onshore and offshore Oil and Gas infrastructure projects in challenging environments. 

Dan Opila, PhD
Chief Architect

Dan Opila, Ph.D., P.E. Chief Architect, has a proven history of new product development and team leadership taking ideas from concept to mass production in renewable energy (over 2 GW installed solar inverters), consumer electronics, automotive (BoseRide), and aerospace (rocket test systems). He is a Professor at the US Naval Academy focusing on power systems and has over 50 patents and publications. He graduated from MIT undergrad in 3 years with a perfect GPA and received an MIT M.S. in his 4th year. 

James Burbridge
Director of Business Development

James Burbridge is the Director of Business Development at Spiritus, where he leverages over a decade of expertise in carbon removal, market analysis, and strategic partnerships. In his role, he leads business development efforts, forging strategic alliances, and driving growth opportunities in the evolving carbon removal landscape. 

Prior to joining Spiritus, James led the North America Advisory team at Carbon Direct, working closely with major carbon removal buyers. He also contributed to the XPRIZE Foundation's $100 million Carbon Removal prize and the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, focusing on CO2 utilization technologies. His career began as a reporter in China, Singapore, and California, covering global energy markets and environmental policies.