Elena Dieckmann

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Elena Dieckmann

2017 Climate Fellow
Founder of AEROPOWDER with Ryan Robinson

Elena Dieckmann 2017 Climate Fellow

Bold Idea 

Eliminate feather waste, one of the most voluminous by-products of the food industry, by developing sustainable material innovations that can be produced wherever humans eat chicken.


Elena teaching Sustainable Design. Credit: Photo courtesy Imperial College.

Elena creating prototypes and labwork. Photo courtesy Shell LiveWire.

AEROPOWDER is tackling the global problem of poultry feather waste. An interdisciplinary team of material innovators, waste experts, and manufacturing partners are developing together a state-of-the-art feather conversion process to produce a feather-based insulation material. AEROPOWDER is pioneering the unconventional use of a waste material in applied circular economy manufacturing. Our goal is to make this conversion process available to those around the world who don't have access conventional synthetic insulation.


Elena is a co-founder and the technical development lead of AEROPOWDER. Together with her co-founder Ryan Robinson, both launched the circular economy start-up that aims to reutilise feather waste. Elena is also a PhD student at the Dyson School of Design Engineering where she is a tutor for sustainable design. Before this, Elena was an international management trainee for a large German car manufacturer. She spent most of her time in Moscow and the Middle East where she worked in supply chain management. However, after two years of successful traineeship, Elena reconsidered her chosen career path and decided for a restart in London by studying the Master of Innovation Design Engineering, a joint programme between the Royal College of Art and Imperial College. During the program, Elena had developed several projects that utilized material innovation to enhance life quality, such as an injury detection suit for paraplegic athletes for which she won the Dyson Runners Up Award. Ryan and Elena were chosen for the 2017 Forbes 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs.

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