Sustainable Biofuels: A Personal Odyssey

Lee R. Lynd, Paul E. and Joan H. Queneau Distinguished Professor in Environmental Engineering Design, Thayer School of Engineering

Friday, October 16, 2009, 3:30pm

Spanos Auditorium

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series

In this lecture, given on the occasion of celebrating Professor Lynd's appointment to the Paul E. and Joan H. Queneau Distinguished Professor in Environmental Engineering Design, Dr. Lynd will present the view that the transition to a world supported by sustainable resources is the defining challenge of our time. He will then provide a perspective on his personal journey through three decades of activity in the sustainable biofuels field encompassing science and technology, entrepreneurship, and analysis addressing the role of biofuels in a sustainable world. In closing, educational needs and opportunities associated with the sustainable resource transition will be considered.

About the Speaker

Lee R. Lynd is a Professor of Engineering and an Adjunct Professor of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College, where he has been on the faculty since 1987, and is Professor Extraordinary of Microbiology at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Dr. Lynd holds a B.S. degree in biology from Bates College, an M.S. degree in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, and masters and doctoral degrees in engineering from Dartmouth College. Professor Lynd leads an interdisciplinary research group devoted to being of service to society by enabling and envisioning a transition to a world supported by sustainable resources, and in particular the role of plant biomass in this context. These objectives are approached from the intellectual vantage points of microbiology/molecular biology, process engineering, and analysis of resource and environmental efficacy, with the largest effort devoted to laboratory research-driven advances in the biological conversion of plant biomass to fuels and commodity chemicals. Biomass conversion and utilization has been the central focus of Dr. Lynd's research activity throughout his career. Dr. Lynd has contributed over 100 peer-reviewed articles to the literature as well as several comprehensive reviews and 5 patents. A consultant to industry and government, he frequently gives invited presentations on both technical and strategic aspects of biomass utilization. Awards and professional activities include: recipient of the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award; biofuels industry representative on a committee advisory to the Executive Office of President Clinton on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Personal Vehicles; Associate Editor of Biotechnology and Bioengineering; Manager of the Link Foundation Energy Fellowship Program; and two-time recipient of the Charles A. Lindbergh Award in recognition of his efforts to promote a balance between environmental preservation and technological advancement. He is currently a co-leader of a multi-institution project entitled The Role of Biomass in America's Energy Future.