Joseph DeSimone


Dr. Joseph DeSimone, CEO and Co-Founder

Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone brings a unique perspective to Silicon Valley as CEO and co-founder of Carbon. As a professor at the University of North Carolina for over 20 years before launching Carbon in 2013, Joe made scientific breakthroughs in areas including green chemistry, medical devices, and nanotechnology, also co-founding several companies based on his research. When Joe took on 3D printing, he brought together insights from diverse fields to co-invent the core technology that now drives the Carbon Platform. Powered by Digital Light Synthesis™ (DLS™) technology, the Carbon Platform is enabling companies to break free of traditional polymer manufacturing methods to advance product innovation. Carbon has cracked the code on 3D printing at scale and is now a 400+ person global company defining the digital revolution in manufacturing.

Joe grew up in the Philadelphia area and studied chemistry at Ursinus College, a small liberal arts school in his hometown. A first-generation college student, he was inspired by chemistry and went on to earn his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech in 1990, joining the faculty at UNC that same year. He quickly achieved international recognition as a scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur, earning major accolades including the U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award and the Lemelson-MIT Prize. In 2016 President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor in the U.S. for achievement and leadership in advancing technological progress.
At UNC, Joe built a strong culture in his research group centered on the notion that diversity is a fundamental tenet of innovation. He mentored 80 students through Ph.D. completion, half of whom are women and other members of underrepresented groups in STEM. He credits much of his laboratory’s success to this approach, frequently emphasizing how both human and disciplinary diversity accelerate progress in team problem-solving. Joe now brings this perspective to Carbon and considers it crucial for Carbon’s position as a world-leading digital manufacturing company operating at the intersection of software, hardware, and material science.
An author of over 350 scientific publications and a named inventor on nearly 200 issued patents, Joe maintains academic appointments at both UNC and North Carolina State University. He is one of only roughly 20 individuals elected to all three U.S. National Academies—the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Engineering. Joe currently resides in Monte Sereno, California with his wife of 30 years, Suzanne. They have two children and two grandchildren.

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