Breakout Session I


    New Advances in Chemical Processing of


    Randy Cotright

Dr. Cortright is a leading figure in the field of catalytic processing of biomass-derived feedstocks into chemicals and fuels. He is the co-inventor of Aqueous Phase Reforming, the innovative pathway to biofuels and bioproducts used by the BioForming™ technology platform. Dr. Cortright’s background includes research and development, process design, start-up, and operations of large scale industrial catalytic processes at UOP LLC, a provider of petroleum and petrochemical process technologies. He received BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. After leaving UOP, Dr. Cortright earned his PhD in Chemical Engineering, from the University of Wisconsin. In academia, he specialized in catalytic systems for the clean manufacturing of fuels and petrochemicals. Dr. Cortright currently holds seven issued patents and is the author of over 40 technical publications.

    Lanny Schmidt

Lanny D. Schmidt is a Regents Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota. Professor Schmidt's research focuses on various aspects of the chemistry and engineering of chemical reactions in situations with technological applications.  Reaction systems of recent interest are catalytic oxidation processes to produce products such as hydrogen, syngas, olefins, oxygenates, and HCN by partial oxidation.  Applications include direct conversion of alkanes and renewable fuels into chemicals, the production of hydrogen and syngas, and biomass reforming for fuel cells and for chemicals and fuels production. Professor Schmidt has published over 340 papers in refereed journals.  He has supervised approximately 85 Ph.D. theses and 15 M.S. theses at Minnesota.  He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

    Brent Shanks   

Dr. Brent Shanks is a Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Iowa State University.  He received his B.S. degree from Iowa State University in 1983 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the California Institute of Technology in 1985 and 1988, respectively.  From 1988 to 1999 he worked as a Research Engineer and Department Manager in the Catalyst Department at the Shell Chemical Company technology center in Houston, Texas.  His research interests are in the synthesis and characterization of heterogeneous catalysts with particular emphasis on catalytic conversion of biological-based feedstocks.



Return to Conference Agenda