Robbie Barbero is a biological engineer trained at MIT and Dartmouth College. Between undergraduate and graduate school he spent five years working for three biotechnology companies – two in CA and one in NH – in manufacturing, engineering, and sales-oriented roles. While in graduate school, he co-founded a clean energy company, Thermeleon, that is developing a durable and cost-effective color-changing roofing material that can reflect heat on hot days and absorb it on cool days.
For his Ph.D., he worked for Angela Belcher in the biomolecular materials research group at MIT on a variety of nanotechnology and biological engineering projects with applications in energy and medicine, including the use of high-speed AFM to elucidate the kinetics of antimicrobial peptide action. He mentored five MIT undergraduate research assistants, served as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate lab class and served on the MIT BE graduate student board.
Robbie strongly believes in the importance of training the next generation of entrepreneurs and helped organize the MIT $100K competition life sciences track and the MIT Clean Energy Prize during his Ph.D. In 2010, Robbie was co-managing director for the MIT Clean Energy Prize, where he oversaw fundraising, marketing and event planning. He has also played a role in training young synthetic biologists – he was an adviser for the 2007 MIT iGEM team and a judge for the 2008 and 2009 iGEM competitions.
He volunteers for the College Behind Bars program, where he mentors a prisoner in a Massachusetts Correctional Facility in her pursuit of a college degree. He loves to play soccer, to ski, and to spend time outside with his family.