Expert Details

Expert in Bioenergy, Renwable Energy, Bioproducts, Agricultural Biotechnology, Waste to Energy, Competitive Intelligence, Bio-Based Products, Commercialization, Technology Scout

Expert ID: 727487 South Carolina, USA

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Expert is an expert in bioenergy, renewable energy and biobased products that works with companies and investment managers to evaluate and commercialize technology, identify new markets and to optimize R&D programs.

Areas where Expert is effective:
- Commercialize technology,
- Identify new markets,
- Technology scouting and evaluation,
- Provide competitive intelligence
- Evaluate intellectual property landscapes,
- Develop technology roadmaps,
- Implement projects,
- Identify the right collaborators, partners and customers.

Examples include:
- Assessment of gasification and pyrolysis systems for conversion of biomass and waste streams to bioenergy sources.
- Development of waste-to-energy gasification facilities.
- Wrote several white papers for US ag biotech companies detailing opportunities for extraction of high value products from commodity crops, energy crop bioprocessing and logistics improvements, non-destructive analysis techniques and market analysis for bioenergy crops.
- For a US ag biotech company, developed a detailed roadmap for fuel pellet production from energy crops.
- Working with the Jamaican Ministry of Energy and Mining, developed a plan for the sugar industry to increase efficiency of biopower generation from bagasse and sustainable forestry.
- Patent landscape analysis for a agricultural biotechnology companies.
- Working with an entrepreneurial team to establish a wood pellet operation in the southeast USA for export of product to European utilities.

Renewable Energy, Bioenergy, Biomass, Waste to Energy, Waste to Renewable Diesel, Waste to Jet Fuel, Bio-Based Products, Logistics, Wood Pellets, Energy Crops

Expert has over 26 years experience in the agricultural biotechnology sector. His experience includes leading international R&D efforts in creating new plant varieties through gene transfer, functional genomics and application of genomic technology. He also was involved in developing advanced imaging and data analysis systems to accelerate collection of phenomic data to evaluate new plant varieties.

Expert has served as a consultant in agricultural biotechnology projects geared toward optimizing R&D with a focus on commercializing laboratory discoveries. He has also served as an adviser to the Genome Canada program for several years as a lab-to-market specialist.

Examples include:
• Directed R&D for adapting plant growth systems to analysis using x-ray technology for seamless integration into existing agricultural biotechnology operations in industry and academia.
• Developed innovative granular rooting medium that allows natural root development while significantly improving image quality.
• Developed novel software-based methods for extraction of quantitative data from images and analysis of developing root systems.
• Wrote a commercialization plan for RootViz FS, the flagship digital x-ray imaging product.
• Served as company liaison to industrial and academic customers as well as trade organizations.
• Raised capital and operating funds through federal grants.
• Managed regulatory affairs.
• Conducted strategic planning and opportunity assessment that resulted in more than doubling the size of the business over two years.
• Developed the core elements of an international research program focusing on growth and biomass productivity of trees.
• Established scientific approaches to improved biomass productivity in trees that are currently in various stages of product development.
• Used a systems biology approach to transfer a knowledge base from Arabidopsis genomics and developmental biology directly to R&D programs in several species of forest trees.
• Established a functional genomics gene testing pipeline for hardwood and softwood trees that spanned laboratory, greenhouse, and field testing.
• Developed a technique for rapid biomass chemical analysis in collaboration with scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
• Used bioinformatics to identify pine and Eucalyptus genes for improved biomass, bioenergy and bioproduct applications.
• Inventor on several US and World patent applications.
• Conducted ongoing competitive intelligence and strategic planning.
• Identified critical outside technology and negotiated licensing agreements.
• Started an R&D program to use gene technology in tree improvement.
• Invented a process for transferring genes into pine trees and established the first world-wide field planting of transgenic pine trees.
• Identified critical technologies and negotiated material transfer agreements.
• Served on the due-diligence team to assist in formation of the joint venture ArborGen.
• Conducted ongoing competitive intelligence review of agricultural biotechnology industry.

Expert has worked with bioenergy statups to provide technical and business development advice. The goal of this work is to commercialize the business of bioenergy from growing the bioenergy crops to delivery of the material to power producers. He has worked with power companies and biomass growers to develop a standardized set of methods for handling and processing of bioenergy feedstock to allow cost efficient use of this material in large-scale power generation. He consulted with an non-US governmental agency to evaluate genomics-based research projects. He evaluated the projects based on the technical competency of the project teams and the potential for commercial success of the proposed projects. Projects included biotechnology applications in medical research, agricultural biotechnology and crop production. Expert has consulted with several university research programs developing advanced feedstocks for bioenergy, biomass, and bioproduct applications. This work involved technical and economic analysis of the projects on an ongoing basis to develop pre-commercial products.Conducting market research and competitive intelligence for a company building a series of renewable jet fuel production facilities. These facilities will use gasification technology to convert waste railroad ties, power poles and municipal solid waste to renewal jet fuel.Led an extended project for the Jamaican Ministry of Energy and Mining to assist the sugar industry in better utilization of their waste biomass in generating renewable electricity. Project analyzed use of waste biomass (bagasse) and potential of selecting sugar cane varieties that would supply more bagasse without sacrificing sugar yield.

Expert also developed a plan to create a new market for energy crops in Jamaica that could feed renewable electricity to the national grid.Developed a reproducible model for implementing waste-to-energy facilities based on gasification and pyrolysis. Facilities are designed to accept a range of waste products including MSW, C&D, urban wood, forestry residues and produce electricity and renewable diesel. Performed technical analysis of currently available gasification and pyrolysis technologies to identify those suitable for current market conditions, ability to be financed and meet performance standards for target markets.Performed agricultural technology landscape evaluations for a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to guide investment decisions intended to accelerate technology applications in developing nations, especially Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Provided intellectual property analysis and performed freedom-to-operated evaluations for technology discoveries. The company was preparing to initiate a new campaign to engage potential customers in collaborative development of their products for agricultural use. They desired a critical review of their R&D capabilities as well as suggestions for marketing strategies. Performed a critical assessment of their R&D capabilities as well as the greenhouse/field performance of new products in the development pipelines. anticipated in strategic planning for strengthening their capabilities for R&D and entering into collaborative product development activities Provided technical evaluation and competitive analysis for several biomass- and bioenergy related technologies in support of long term strategic planning for a major agricultural biotechnology company.Worked on-site to coordinate a research group of 20 employees. Implemented a “work culture change” to refocus an invigorate staff. Developed a plan to consolidate Champaign R&D effort with the breeding program located in Lubbock TX. Oversaw R&D programs including: trait development, plant tissue culture, plant transformation and biofuels production in sorghum (the latter an ARPR-E funded program. Managed the ARPA-E funded project to product farnesene in sorghum as a liquid fuel precursor.

Oversaw line of experimentation. A renewable energy startup was interested in establishing a US-based wood pellet manufacturing facility to serve the EU market.-Assessment of EU pellet market. Identified major uses and potential customers. Compliance with EU sustainability requirements. Compliance with technical standards for biomass pellet fuel -Contacted potential customers
-Facility site selection
-Air permitting. Interaction with engineering/EPC contractors Performed market projections for growth of the pellet market in Europe and North America. Assessed technical requirements of non-woody pellet fuel for use in biomass heating and power generation for two target markets in the EU: large power-generating utilities and residential users.Developed scenarios for for energy crop feedstock logistics in the USA covering targeted growing areas, pellet production and break-bulk shipping from US ports to the EU. Performed a cost analysis for production of energy crop .Performed a cost analysis for production.Wrote a series of technical white papers support of strategic analysis of how R&D can support business goals.White paper topics included:Pellet fuels for renewable energy. Pre-processing biomass feedstock for renewable energy and chemical production. Production of biogas. The impact of agronomic practices on biomass fuel characteristics. Use of near infrared spectroscopy for sorghum breeding trait analysis. Reduction of alkalai, chlorine and ash content in biomass. Production high value products and nutraceuticals in sorghum.

Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities: Savannah, Georgia - Columbia, South Carolina - Charleston, South Carolina - North Charleston, South Carolina

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Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1989 Degree: PhD Subject: Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics Institution: Purdue University
Year: 1985 Degree: MS Subject: Botany and Genetics Institution: North Carolina State University
Year: 1983 Degree: BS Subject: Biology and Biotechnology Institution: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 2009 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Principal Department: Responsibilities: Technology Commercialization - Competitive Intelligence - Biofuels - Bioenergy - Biomass - Renewable Energy

Analysis of clients technical and technology-related business needs, assist with commercialization of R&D leads, market analysis, perform technical and intellectual property analysis, product development, business development, research and development strategy, program management, and process optimization.

Major Accomplishments:
• Evaluated market acceptability, identified customers and potential partners for agricultural
biotechnology companies. Developed strategy for marketing of technical services based on
current needs and future direction of market trends and technology opportunities.
• Performed agricultural technology landscape evaluations for a large, US-based foundation to guide investment decisions intended to accelerate technology applications in developing nations.
• Provided intellectual property analysis and performed freedom-to-operated evaluations for
technology discoveries.
• Built a portfolio of biofuels and agricultural biotechnology customers for genomics services client through targeted marketing and business sector analysis. Client’s services allow optimization of genetic tools, gene resources, bioprocesses and advanced feedstocks.
• Developed plan for increased use of biomass resources in the Jamaican sugar industry for internal power needs as well as power export to national grid. Worked closely with the Jamaican Ministry of Energy to develop a long range plan to use existing biomass resources and designed a long-term R&D program to develop new dedicated energy crops suitable for Jamaica.
• Provided technical evaluation and competitive analysis for several biomass- and bioenergy related technologies in support of long term strategic planning for a major agricultural
biotechnology company.
• Conducted feasibility study on the establishment of an R&D institute to enhance utilization of biomass feedstocks in biofuel production. Identified industry needs for biofuels in the southeast USA, organized stakeholders, and wrote a business plan to launch the facility.
• Conducted patent strategic planning and landscape analysis.
Years: 2007 to 2009 Employer: Phenotype Screening Corporation Title: Chief Scientist Department: Responsibilities: Provided oversight of company research and development.
Managed collaborative projects with government, university and industrial partners. Coordinated marketing campaign and conducted presentations at customer sites. Responsible for management and compliance of regulatory affairs. Served as company liaison to government and trade organizations. Conducted strategic planning and opportunity assessment. Wrote commercialization plan. Performed experimental data analysis and experimental planning.
Years: 2006 to 2007 Employer: Charleston Southern University Title: Assistant Professor of Biochemistry Department: Physical Sciences Responsibilities: Taught courses in Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Botany
Years: 2002 to 2005 Employer: ArborGen Title: Senior Research Scientist Department: Responsibilities: Directed an international R&D program comprising several US-based research groups and international affiliates. Conducted strategic planning for company-wide product and R&D goals. Served as liaison between company project leaders and CEO. Managed regulatory affairs for transgenics, radioisotopes, and biohazards. Served as company liaison to governmental agencies, university cooperatives and trade organizations. Recruited and supervised employees from PhD to BS level including daily oversight and yearly performance evaluation. Managed collaborative research agreements. Inventor on several US and World patents.
Years: 1989 to 2002 Employer: MeadWestvaco Title: Senior Research Scientist Department: Forest Research Responsibilities: Implemented and directed a biotechnology research program for forestry. Recruited and supervised employees including daily oversight and yearly performance evaluation. Conducted strategic planning for company-wide product and R&D goals. Managed regulatory affairs for transgenics, radioisotopes, and biohazards. Served as company liaison to governmental agencies, university cooperatives and trade organizations. Invented a process for transferring genes into pine trees. Negotiated materials transfer agreements. Performed technology assessments related to developing business strategy. Contributed to intellectual assets through invention and patent writing.
Years: 2010 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Chief Technology Officer Department: Responsibilities: Chief Technology Officer - Competitive Intelligence - Technology Scouting - Due Diligence

Global Renewal LLC is a product development group focused on Renewable Energy, Bioenergy and Bio-Based Products.

We are currently developing:
-A wood pellet manufacturing facility in southeastern Georgia (USA) to serve the European energy market.
-Facilities in South Carolina for conversion of municipal solid waste (MSW), construction & demolition debris, yard waste and tree trimmings into renewable energy, fuels and chemicals using gasification.
- An advanced biochar product derived from agricultural materials that can be used in a variety of industrial applications.

Consulting Projects include performing market analysis, technical evaluations and commercialization assistance for a waste to jet fuel project. The series of facilities will using gasification to convert waste railroad ties, power poles and municipal solid waste to renewable jet fuel.
Years: 2014 to 2014 Employer: Chromatin LLC Title: Interim Science Director Department: Biotechnology Research Responsibilities: Agricultural Biotechnology - Biofuel -Renewable Energy - Strategy Development - Turnaround Leadership - Change Management

-Directed plant biotech R&D program,
- Oversaw DOE-funded biofuels development project,
-Integrated biotechnology R&D with sorghum breeding program.
- Inventor on three US Patents and Applications.

Government Experience

Years Agency Role Description
Years: 2007 to 2009 Agency: US Department of Agriculture Role: Project Leader Description: Directed a project to identify energy crop trees with increased resistance to wind throw using non-destructive imaging technology.
Years: 2009 to 2009 Agency: US Department of Agriculture Role: Project Leader Description: Directed a project to identify damage from root pests to crops using non-destructive imaging technology.
Years: 2006 to 2006 Agency: US National Science Foundation Role: Scientist Description: Developed non-destructive image analysis techniques for quantifying plant root development.
Years: 2015 to 2015 Agency: US Department of Energy ARPA-e Program Role: Speaker Description: Presented a seminar on factors related to successful commercialization of biofuel technology.

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 2008 to 2009 Country / Region: Canada Summary: Evaluated genomics-based research projects for funding by the Genome Canada program. Projects included both agricultural and medical applications.
Years: 2007 to 2008 Country / Region: Canada Summary: Provided mid-term evaluations of ongoing genomics projects that were funded by the Genome Canada program. Projects included both agricultural and medical applications. Projects were given scores for progress toward goals and suggestions for re-aligning work where appropriate.
Years: 2003 to 2006 Country / Region: Canada Summary: Provided ongoing technical consulting and commercialization advice for a university-based research program. The program was focused on discovery of new genes to improve the characteristics of planting stock in Canadian Forests.
Years: 2011 to 2011 Country / Region: Jamaica Summary: Working with the Jamaican Ministry of Energy and Mining, Expert led a project to assess bioenergy resources in Jamaica and to develop a strategy to increase the amount of renewable energy available to the national electric grid. This project involved working primarily with the Jamaican Ministry of Energy and Mining and the Jamaican sugar industry. In addition, several government agencies as well as university-based research programs were interacted with over the course of the project. Two significant outcomes came from this project. First, a strategic plan was presented to the Jamaican sugar producers to increase the amount of sugarcane bagasse available to generate power following sugar extraction. This solution included both methods to produce more fiber as well as optimizing the downstream use of the bagasse. Second, a plan was presented to develop a woody biomass production program based on the Jamaican environment, business climate, industrial infrastructure and the availability of suitable woody species. This plan included a long term strategy for both maximizing production of fiber and maintaining sustainability.
Years: 2013 to 2016 Country / Region: Canada Summary: Reviewed projects aimed at creating public-private partnerships as a method of moving University R&D technologies to commercialization. Genome Canada Genomics Applications Partnership Program.
Years: 2002 to 2005 Country / Region: New Zealand Summary: As part of a joint venture coordinated agricultural biotechnology research to identify and isolate genes related to improving biomass crop growth rates and traits related to bioenergy production.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
South Carolina Biomass Council,
EXECnetSC, Charleston Chamber of Commerce
Professional Appointments
EPA Clean Power Plan - South Carolina program development committee for biomass.
Feedstock Committee, South Carolina Biomass Council.
Awards / Recognition
USDA Fellowship, National Needs in Biotechnology
Publications and Patents Summary
9 US and International patents,
46 publications, and
14 invited lectures

Additional Experience

Marketing Experience
Expert has 26 years experience in agricultural biotechnology in a wide variety of roles including technology development, business development, marketing, commercialization, and intellectual property.
Other Relevant Experience
EPA Clean Power Plan - South Carolina Committee
Nov 2015 to Present
Provide guidance and expert knowledge to the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) in providing to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a draft of the South Carolina plan to limit carbon emissions and to increase the proportion of renewable energy uploaded to the SC grid. Specifically, my role is to provide innovative solutions for a biomass component in net carbon reductions including use of forest resources, waste wood and waste-to-energy. As a thought leader on applications of renewables, I am providing solutions for sustainable and environmentally sound input for giving South Carolina reliable plan to address climate change.

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
English Native Speaker

Fields of Expertise

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