University of California
Professor Wyman has devoted most of his career to leading advancement of technology for conversion of cellulosic biomass to ethanol and other products. In the fall of 2005, he joined the University of California at Riverside as a Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering and the Ford Motor Company Chair in Environmental Engineering with a research focus on pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and dehydration of cellulosic biomass to reactive intermediates for biological or catalytic conversion into fuels and chemicals. Before joining UCR, he was the Paul E. and Joan H. Queneau Distinguished Professor in Environmental Engineering Design at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Dr. Wyman recently founded Vertimass LLC that is devoted to commercialization of novel catalytic technology for simple one-step conversion of ethanol to fungible gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel blend stocks. Dr. Wyman is also cofounder and former Chief Development Officer and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for Mascoma Corporation, a startup focused on advanced technology for biomass conversion to ethanol and other products. Dr. Wyman’s diverse career also includes holding major leadership roles focused mostly on biomass conversion over a 17 year period with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), as well as management positions at Badger Engineers and BC International, a biomass startup. He has contributed over 155 peer-reviewed papers, 25 book chapters, many edited volumes, over 250 presentations many of which were invited, about 25 technical reports, and 21 patents. He edited a recent book on aqueous pretreatment of cellulosic biomass to which he also contributed several chapters as well as a previous cellulosic ethanol book. Other honors received include Fellow in the American Association for Advancement of Science, Tang Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, and CD Scott Award for the Annual Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals. In addition to his role as a founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief of Biotechnology for Biofuels, Wyman is on the editorial board of several other technical journals and the board of directors and advisors for several organizations and institutions.
Professor Wyman’s UCR research focuses on conversion of cellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals to address critical issues in the release of greenhouse gases, sustainable energy production, and strategic and economic vulnerability. In particular, our research targets aqueous phase processing (APP) of abundant, non-food cellulosic biomass (e.g., energy crops such as poplar hardwood and switchgrass and agricultural residues such as corn stover) into commodity products including ethanol for use as a transportation fuel.