Dr. Barry D. Bruce is Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Microbiology and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He is a Founding Member and the Associate Director of the Sustainable Energy and Education Research Center (SEERC). Dr. Bruce has B.A.s in both chemistry and biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He holds a MS in Biochemistry/Biophysics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Plant Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. Bruce joined the UT Knoxville faculty in 1994 after completing a National Science Foundation post-doctoral Fellowship in Plant Biology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, USDA and DOE. He is currently the PI of a prestigious $1.7 million NIRT (Nanoscience Interdisciplinary Research Team) award from NSF to lead a team of researchers who are trying to harness the power of photosynthesis to generate electricity from solid-state solar panels. In 2008, he was a co-PI of a $3.1 million IGERT Award from NSF develop a graduate program in Sustainable Technology Through Advanced Interdisciplinary Research (STAIR).
Larry Dressler is an entrepreneur who started Tomorrow BioFuels LLC after seeing the need for second generation biofuel feedstock in 2006. Mr. Dressler has built a unique, vertically integrated cycle business model that will produce affordable biofuel and energy with near zero carbon emissions. Mr. Dressler, BSBA American University, has 22+ years experience in hedging, manufacturing, procurement and sales of vegetable oils and meat fats. Larry was brought up in a family vegetable oil refinery business, Colfax Inc, where he became Vice President, Corporate Secretary and an owner of the refinery until its sale in 1999. After two years as a National Manager for Central Soya Company, Larry started two businesses; Edible Food Group & LVD Marketing. Mr. Dressler owns various trademarks on products sold in both domestic and international markets. In 2007, Mr. Dressler developed AIM Systems Equipment, a closed loop bulk automated inventory system designed for industrial food producers. Larry's success is taking concepts to reality; most recently various patent pending technology enabling sequestration, storage and use of flue gases. In addition, development of FALCON™ gas absorption equipment.
Mr. Ernst holds a degree in agricultural biosciences from Penn State University (1963), with over 20 years experience in the cultivation and production of native grass species. He is the founder of Ernst Conservation Seeds, Inc. (46 years with Ernst), the largest national grower of switchgrass and native grass germplasm. He has consulted on numerous biofuels projects with the USDA, Rutgers University, Cornell University, Penn State University, and the University of Rhode Island. He is a cooperative grower of native plants for eight (8) USDA plant materials centers throughout the Eastern U.S., and cooperatively evaluated and implemented switchgrass stratification methods, seed treatments, and cultural practices surrounding the planting and establishment of perennial grasses. Mr. Ernst is internationally recognized as a leader in the biofuels industry, and has advised numerous commercial and municipal institutions on biomass programs, including land reclamation programs. Mr. Ernst is general partner of Plant Advancements, LLC and a member in over 18 professional associations, including serving on the board of directors for the Biofuels Advisory Panel for the Chesapeake Bay Commission.
Dr. Stuart Farquharson launched Real-Time Analyzers in 2001 to develop, produce and market Raman Spectroscopy - based analyzers that detect, identify and quantify chemicals faster and at lower cost in any setting, be it in the laboratory, a production facility or in the field. Dr. Farquharson graduated from the University of Texas in 1981 with a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, where he began his initial research in Raman spectroscopy. He expanded this research to include surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy applications, as a post-doctoral researcher at Purdue University and as an Associate Professor at Michigan State University. He joined Dow Chemical in 1984, and established the Process Control Group in 1985 (Texas Division), where he ruggedized laboratory chemical analyzers for use as process control systems in the plant. In 1991 he joined Advanced Fuel Research to help develop a process worthy Fourier transform infrared spectrometer. After successfully developing this analyzer to monitor silicon wafer manufacturing, he turned his attention to developing a process worth FT-Raman spectrometer, as founder, President and CEO of Real-Time Analyzers. Currently, RTA employs this rugged analyzer in several Raman products designed to perform both industrial and field measurements. An industrial Raman system is currently being used to optimize the performance of biodiesel reactors.
Nathan Gilliland is Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer of Harvest Power, Inc, a developer of organic waste to energy projects in North America. Nathan formerly was an Executive Vice President at Bain Capital, managing $2 billion in investments in utilities, power generation and consumer products. Prior to Bain, Nathan co-founded MyCounsel.com and managed strategic planning and acquisitions for Nutraceutical Corporation, a Bain Capital portfolio company. Nathan was also a consultant at Bain & Company. Nathan earned his BA with Highest Honors from the University of California-Berkeley.
Nat Harris has had a life long interest in the automotive and marine industry. Hepreviously worked for Block Island Maritime, a Newport non-profit organization that funds educational maritime and environmental programs for children. He worked as a Technician with both an independent Porsche restoration shop and BMW of San Francisco. Later, he worked as Service Manager for a Saab dealership. He is an avid boater and lived aboard his 52' Irish Trawler for three years with his wife Jennifer and two children while managing a marina in Southwest Florida. His focus the past couple of years has been the development of his own biodiesel processor which provides fuel for his personal vehicles and heating oil for his home. A graduate of Connecticut College in New London, CT, Nat lives in Newport.
Steven Henck is a Founder and the President and CEO of Arbor Fuel Inc., a biotechnology company focused on creating microbes for the production of second generation biofuels and chemicals. Arbor Fuel has developed microbial strains which digest cellulose and hemicellulose and ferment to ethanol with >90% conversion efficiency. Arbor Fuel has also developed strains which ferment cellulose to butanol, a second generation biofuel and important industrial solvent and plastic feedstock. Prior to founding Arbor Fuel, Dr. Henck was the Senior Vice President of Operations at CuraGen Corporation (NASDAQ: CRGN). He joined CuraGen pre-IPO and helped to grow the company for 10 years. He was the senior manager responsible for process development, technology transfer, and manufacturing processes for the production of recombinant protein and antibody therapeutics for clinical and pre-clinical trials. He led the development and clinical manufacturing launch of three therapeutic drugs in FDA clinical trials. Dr. Henck's previous positions at CuraGen included responsibility for managing a world class genomic discovery facility employing over 200 people for DNA sequencing, expression, cloning, protein expression and purification and cellular validation. In addition, he was the director of an Engineering team developing instruments, automation and processes techniques. Dr. Henck was a member of the team which raised the initial funding for 454 Corporation, recently acquired by Roche Applied Sciences. He also serves on the Technical Advisor Board of Miradia Inc. Dr. Henck holds his PhD in Chemistry from Princeton University.
As Vice President of Operations, Mr. Hoar provides operational management for this Biodiesel consulting firm. AgriFuels LLC major activities include consulting services for the National Biodiesel Board on implementing fuel quality enforcement processes for state Weights and Measures organizations and quality assurance services for Biodiesel producers and marketers. As Principal Investigator, he manages the NBB contract providing quality outreach services to all 50 state W&M organizations through the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) to educate them on the importance of quality biodiesel and to assist them in understanding the ASTM requirement for the fuel and incorporating this standard into their legislative laws and administrative rules. As Operations Manager, he is responsible for financial control and management of the company. Mr. Hoar was previously employed for 30 years in the aerospace industry with Smiths Aerospace and Hamilton Sundstrand, a division of United Technologies. He served as Business Director, Program Manager, Manager of Internal Audit (Quality) and Propeller Systems Product Marketing Manager. Mr. Hoar served 33 years of active and reserve duty in the Connecticut Air National Guard. Mr. Hoar earned a B. S. in Business Management from the University of Hartford and an M. S. in Business Management from Rensselaer at Hartford.
Ric holds a degree in geology with a focus on mining engineering. He has managed a third generation energy distribution business for 22 years. He currently runs over 30 commercial vehicles, including personal, and farming equipment on B20 and higher biodiesel blends. In 2006, Ric became President of Hale Hill BioFuels, and began distributing biodiesel blends for home heating, on highway and off highway use. He has provided this renewable “drop-in” fuel to diesel equipment operators, homeowners, and businesses throughout Connecticut and to date, Hale Hill BioFuels has collectively reduced CO2 emissions by 2025 tons.
Prof. Kausch received a B.A. from the State University of New York (1974-78), and M.S. (1978-80) and PhD (1980-83) degrees from Iowa State University. He conducted his post-doctoral studies in plant molecular biology at the Rockefeller University (1983-1986). He has held positions as a Visiting Professor at Mount Holyoke College (1986-1987), Research Scientist for Pfizer, Inc./DeKalb Genetics Corp. (1988-1992), Senior Research Scientist for DeKalb Genetics Corp. (1992-1997), Director of Research for HybriGene, Inc. (1998-2004), and Full Professor at the University of Rhode Island (2004-present). Dr. Kausch's work has focused on plant transgenics and molecular improvement in grasses and cereal crops. He has contributed numerous research publications and has been a co-inventor on over 42 U.S. patents on agricultural biotechnology, including the first transgenic maize and use of the transit peptide for engineering chloroplast proteins. He is the Founder and President of a non-profit organization called lifeedu.org, with a focus on biotechnology education. Dr. Kausch is currently an advisor and consultant for several biotechnology and bioenergy companies and General Partner for Plant Advancements, LLC.
Gus is the founder of Greenleaf Biofuels, a leading wholesale and retail distributor of pure biodiesel for use as transportation and heating fuel. With a BA in International Relations from Connecticut College and an MBA from Helsinki School of Economics, he brings a global perspective to the local challenges of air quality, energy independence and climate change. Prior to founding Greenleaf Biofuels, Gus was a business development manager for several high tech firms. He successfully launched new products and new companies into existing markets. In addition, Gus has product development and brand marketing expertise, also in the tech sector. He has successfully led teams of sales professionals in meeting overall company objectives, as well as integrating teams through mergers and acquisitions. Gus is a founding member of the CT Biodiesel/Bioheat Association and is playing a leading role in the formation of a biodiesel industry in Connecticut. He is a strong advocate for biodiesel legislation in Hartford, and recently served on the Fuel Diversification Task Force with leaders from the state's energy sector and academia. He is currently developing a project to build a biorefinery in New Haven.
Yi Li is a professor in the Department of Plant Science, University of Connecticut and the Director and Principal Investigator for the New England Invasive Plant Center. Li obtained a B. S. degree from Beijing Forestry University, China and a Ph. D. from Sate University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY. Li laboratory has recently developed a gene confinement technology called gene deletor technology. The technology may be used to prevent the pollen- and seed-mediated spread of foreign genes from transgenic bioenergy plants and reduce the invasiveness of fast-growing transgenic bioenergy crops such as poplar, willow and switchgrass. Li's laboratory has been also worked on genetic improvement of cellulosic bioenergy crops.
Dr. Senjie Lin received a B. S. degree from Xiamen University, China in Marine Biology and a Ph. D. from the Sate University of New York in Oceanography. Lin's expertise is in molecular ecology of microalgae (phytoplankton), using modern biotechnology to address genetic, evolution, and physiology of microalgae. He is currently engaged in search for most promising algal species for fuel feedstock and optimal and inexpensive ways to grow these algae, and investigation of biochemical pathways regulating lipid synthesis.
Randy & Jamie Lohr began Guardian Fuel & Energy Systems, Inc. in 1993. Randy brought his management experience in the oil heat industry combined with his mechanical aptitude (a stint as a marine mechanic didn't hurt!). Jamie added her commitment to environmental protection, sustainable living and interest in alternative energy sources. Both believe that best business practice means todo what is right. Guardian Fuel is a member of the National Oil Heat Research Alliance to provide benefits through consumer education. NORA has launched an ambitious research program to improve both fuel and equipment, to create an improved environment for oil heat customers over the coming years. Also an associate member of the National Biodiesel Board, Guardian Fuel stays informed on the latest research and development of biodiesel in the United States, to ensure biodiesel fuel quality for a seamless transition from standard petroleum fuels, to today's clean-burning, American produced, BioHeat and BioDiesel.
Five years ago Jim joined T.H. Malloy and Sons as an alternative energy consultant and helped in the transition of switching their fleet of home heating fuel delivery trucks to run on Biodiesel and deliver Bioheat. Jim is also the designer and builder of an off-grid, fossil fuel free, wind/solar powered home. He previously worked as a Backcountry Educator in National Wilderness areas. He has been interested in sustainable solutions since the Carter administration. Jim also enjoys writing biographies from a third person perspective.
Richard Parnas grew up in St.Louis Missouri, and then graduated from MIT, Chemical Engineering in 1980. After working at Exxon Research & Engineering from 1980-82, he obtained a MS in Chemical Engineering with Sheldon Friedlander at UCLA in 1984, working on particle deposition. Alternating between school and work, Richard spent a year at SRI International in the Bay Area before returning to UCLA to work with Yoram Cohen for a PhD in 1990, in the area of polymer behavior at solid surfaces. More recently at UConn, Richard has focused on protein based plastics, supported by NSF and USDA, as well as on Biofuels. Richard has built an integrated set of biodiesel laboratories for education and research, obtained a patent for a novel biodiesel reactor/separator and applied for a patent on waste oil pretreatment. With support from the State of Connecticut, Dr. Parnas and colleagues are setting up an ASTM fuel quality laboratory to support BQ9000 certification of biodiesel producers and blenders.
Kenneth F. Payne, Research Faculty, CELS Kenneth Payne is research faculty of the College of Environment and Life Sciences at the University of Rhode Island and is principal of Systems Aesthetics LLC. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) in Regional Planning, with a concentration in economic development planning. He has held policy positions for State, Federal, and local government in Rhode Island. He served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Rhode Island Senate (1997-2007), was Federal Projects Coordinator for U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell (1988-1996), and was Executive Director of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns (1977-1986).
Dr. Michael Raab is a Founder and the President of Agrivida, Inc., an agricultural biotechnology company focused on creating the next generation of industrial feedstocks for the fuel and chemical industries. Agrivida's crops have improved processing traits that enable efficient, low cost conversion of the crops' cellulosic components into final goods. At Agrivida Michael has led business and technical development, funding of the company, assembly of the management and scientific teams, development of a strong intellectual property portfolio, and has negotiated numerous strategic partnering agreements and collaborations. Prior to founding Agrivida, Michael earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his work focused on linking gene transcription to the rates of chemical reactions in living cells. Before studying at MIT, Dr. Raab worked in process research at the Merck Research Laboratories. He is author on numerous peer reviewed research papers, served as a visiting professor on the chemical engineering faculty at the University of Virginia, was named to Technology Review's 2006 TR35 awardees as being a top innovator under the age of 35, and was selected as a participant in the National Academy of Engineering's 2007 Frontier's in Engineering meeting.
Mr. Rinebold is associated with the development of energy projects and energy planning initiatives in the Northeast region. At the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. (CCAT), a federally-supported program established to strengthen technology-led economic competitiveness, Mr. Rinebold, Director of Energy Initiatives, focuses on the advancement of fuels cell and hydrogen technology, energy and infrastructure planning, and the development of renewable and advanced energy technologies. Mr. Rinebold administers and has also served as Chair of the Connecticut Hydrogen-Fuel Cell Coalition, and has also engaged in several energy development initiatives, including development of a regional LNG terminal, advancement of hydrogen and fuel cell technology, and the establishment of renewable energy facilities using agricultural biomass and wind.
Mike reports directly to Governor Donald Carcieri and is a member of the Governor's Cabinet. Prior to this position, Mr. Saul was Deputy Director for the Corporation. He currently serves as Chairman of the Quonset Development Corporation, the development authority for a former Navy base, and Chairman of the Slater Technology Fund, the state's venture capital arm. Mike Saul is a Rhode Island business and banking executive with extensive experience in building organizations, particularly in their critical initial start-up phase or in re-organization. In business, Mr. Saul led successful turnaround and start up efforts with privately held Rhode Island based companies. In banking, Mr. Saul had a distinguished career with Bank of Boston servicing as a senior credit and lending executive. He is a graduate of Providence College and has participated in executive management programs at the University of Virginia, Darden Business School.
Martin is a multi-lingual sales, marketing and general management Professional with 25 years of Canadian and International experience. He has comprehensive experience in developing new markets and new products in a variety of international settings. Martin has optimized merged sales forces and designing and implementing all aspects of the marketing and sales process. Martin has created partnerships and alliances to establish value chain participation for a Plant Traits portfolio in the cellulosic Biofuels industry. He has worked to obtain public funding to support R&D and Commercialization.
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