Big Ambitions - Pitch N Pick Winner Spectroleum Labs develop technology that could transform oil industry

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Story by Jeff Green

Tucked away in a small well-used lab along the ground floor of the Chemistry-Physics Building, a trio of eager young scientists have big plans to transform the province’s oil industry.

Liam Whelan, Josh Walsh and Lucas Stewart – all Memorial alumni – are the minds behind Spectroleum Labs, a local chemical sensing start up that’s developed an innovative piece of technology they say will positively impact business and the environment.

“Specifically our company is developing an environmental sensing platform for the offshore oil industry,” said Mr. Whelan, who grew up in Mount Pearl, N.L., and holds both a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in chemistry.

Spectroleum got off the ground in August 2015. Since then, the group has been meeting with industry players, local levels of government and the business community. They also recently took part in a mentoring program through the Genesis Centre, Memorial’s award-winning business incubator for technology start-ups. In fact, Spectroleum clinched top spot during Pitch and Pick, an April 15 event where aspiring entrepreneurs pitched business ideas to a panel of judges and a packed audience at Bitter’s Pub and Restaurant.

“The event was an amazing opportunity for us to pitch our technology to the local community, which we’re extremely grateful for and even more so to be chosen as the winner of the event,” noted Mr. Walsh, a native of Pasadena on the province’s west coast. He also holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in chemistry and is currently completing his PhD in the subject.

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Michelle SimmsComment