Zachary Hudson

Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry

Dr. Zachary M. Hudson is an Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Chemistry at the University of British Columbia. Zac was born in Ottawa in 1986, and completed his B.Sc. at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He remained at Queen’s to pursue a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Suning Wang, focusing on the development of luminescent materials for organic electronics. During his Ph.D. he also held graduate fellowships at Jilin University in China as well as Nagoya University in Japan. He then moved to the University of Bristol as a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow with Prof. Ian Manners, followed by a second Postdoctoral Fellowship at the California Nanosystems Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara with Prof. Craig Hawker. He currently leads a research program examining a variety of questions in synthetic materials chemistry, ranging from the development of solutions for energy-efficient displays and light sources to the self-assembly of electronic materials on the nanoscale.

Primary Recipient Awards

Wall Solutions, Zachary Hudson, 2019

Zachary Hudson
Wall Solutions
Biodegradation and ecotoxicity testing of compostable single-use coffee pods

Since the introduction of the Keurig coffee machine in 1998, sales of single-serve pods have topped 41 billion per year, using enough plastic to circle the globe more than 13 times if the pods are placed end-to-end.  Unfortunately, single-serve pods are typically made from polystyrene, and require 500-10,000 years to break down naturally in soil. With the mass of plastics in the oceans set to equal the mass of all fish species combined by 2050, the reduction of plastic waste from single-use packaging represents a major public benefit both in Canada and globally. While bioplastic materials with suitable thermal properties have recently emerged, none exhibit the barrier to oxygen required by the food packaging industry to keep products fresh. In collaboration with G-Pak Technologies and Circular Waste Labs, our aim is to develop a single-serve pod such that the entire product can be composted with regular organic waste after use.