Ian McKay

2014 Hertz Fellow
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Ian McKay is founder of Orca Sciences, an applied science group hosted by Gates Ventures in Seattle.

Founded in 2021, Orca Sciences is a philanthropist-backed R&D organization focused on projects in energy & climate. Ian is also co-founder of Peregrine Hydrogen, Savor, Form Energy, and Open Water Power, at which he also served as CTO.

Ian received his MS degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has been lead author on seven patent applications and many peer-reviewed publications, which include the basis for two radically new energy storage systems currently undergoing integration in the Ford Focus electric vehicle and the U.S. Navy Remus-600 autonomous submarine.

Ian received his PhD in chemical engineering at Stanford University where he held two fellowships: The Hertz Fellowship and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. His PhD research included working on new energy conversion chemistries and catalyst materials.

In 2017, Ian was the Hertz Foundation’s Peter Strauss Award recipient. Ian McKay and his team at Open Water Power developed a revolutionary aluminum-water platform technology for undersea power generation that has unlocked the potential of this chemistry that has been unrealized in the past.

“The Hertz Fellowship is amazing because it lets me choose the piece of the energy puzzle that I judge to be most important, and go all out on that one piece.”

Graduate Studies

Stanford University
Chemical Engineering

Undergraduate Studies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


2017, Peter Strauss Award, Fannie & John Hertz Foundation

Related News

Jul 27, 2017
Ian Salmon McKay Co-Created New Aluminum Battery Design Capable of Powering Longer Voyages for Unmanned Underwater Vehicles

Related Events

Jul 31, 2024
Special Event
We are proud to announce a special topical forum focused on the future of energy — supported by the generosity of Eric and Wendy Schmidt — that will happen right before the 2024 Summer Workshop, on July 31, 2024, at the beautiful Mont-Tremblant Resort in Quebec, Canada.