Reception | Biorenewables Art Competition, Apr. 22, 2016

Biorenewables Research Laboratory Lobby

[POSTER]Biorenewables Art Competition 2016 Opening Reception PosterEarth Day 2015
Apr. 22, 2015 (Friday)
4:00 – 5:30 p.m. (program at 4:15)
Directions to BRL

Light refreshments served
Free and open to the public

Join us for the opening and announcement of the winners of our 2016 Biorenewable Art Competition, the seventh annual year for this event. All accepted entries will be on display.

Art students from Iowa State’s College of Design create works that reflect the mission of the Bioeconomy Institute. We award cash prizes to the top entries, and all of the accepted pieces are exhibited for about a year in the BRL lobby.

Also during this event, Biorenewable Resources and Technology (BRT) Research Seminar students will present research posters.


Seminar | Perspectives on Advanced Manufacturing and the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation

[PHOTO]S. Jack HuS. Jack Hu
University of Michigan

February 15, 2016
Noon – 1:00 p.m., lunch provided
2004 Black Engineering, Iowa State University

Advanced manufacturing has been the buzz recently. What is advanced manufacturing? How can researchers in academia contribute to it? I offer my personal perspectives on this important topic and discuss challenges and opportunities in advanced manufacturing research and innovation.

Two case studies will be used to illustrate how scientific methods and technological innovations can be translated into factory implementations. The first case study is an in-line non-destructive evaluation and real-time control system for joining process quality in lithium-ion battery manufacturing where our work has led to partial implementation on the factory floor. The second case study is on machining process control using high definition metrology. Implementation has been limited in spite of the great promise of this technology. Finally, I discuss the concept of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation and how governments, academia and industry are partnering together for manufacturing innovation.


S. Jack Hu is Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering, and the J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing at the University of Michigan. He is also the Vice President for Research at Michigan, a $1.3B research enterprise. Dr. Hu’s teaching and research interests include manufacturing systems design and operations, assembly modeling, and statistical quality methods. He is the recipient of various awards and was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2015. Dr. Hu received his B.S. from Tianjin University, China in 1983, M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1986 and 1990 respectively.

Seminar | Will Biorenewable Resources Contribute Toward a Low Carbon Future?

Robert Brown, BEI Director

Jan. 22, 2016, 4:10 p.m.
1414 Molecular Biology Building
Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology Dept. Seminar

Biorenewable resources are organic materials of recent biological origin. Agriculture and silvaculture are the two most prominent biorenewable resources today, although algaculture has theoretical potential to dwarf both of these resources. Until recently, biorenewable resources were almost universally acknowledged as low carbon sources of energy, chemicals, and materials. As grain ethanol has grown into a 14 billion gallon industry, a growing number of critics have challenged the environmental credentials of biofuels, even claiming that bioenergy is worse than petroleum in greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. In fact, properly practiced, bioenergy is a low carbon source of energy. It can even achieve the status of carbon negative energy, resulting in net removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, a technology recently recognized at the Paris talks on climate change as an important element of global carbon management. This talk will address the recent criticisms of bioenergy and illustrate how bioenergy can be made carbon negative.

Biorenewables Research Poster Symposium, Dec. 16

2:15 to 4:15 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015
Sukup Atrium, Iowa State University

Iowa State University’s Bioeconomy Institute, Dept. of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, and Dept. of Agronomy present the 2015 Biorenewables Research Poster Symposium, In collaboration with Dr. Jacqulyn Baughman, Dr. Tom Brumm, and Dr. Emily Heaton.

Iowa State graduate and undergraduate students will present research related to biorenewables. Refreshments are served.

BEI Student Continues Poster Excellence at Thermochemical Conference

Joseph Polin, an Iowa State University Ph.D. student working in the Bioeconomy Institute, won second place in the Student Poster Challenge at the tcbiomass2015 conference held recently in Chicago. It marks the third time in a row that an Iowa State student has placed in this prestigious competition.

[PHOTO]Joseph Polin

Polin’s poster, “Investigation of autothermal operation of a fluidized bed pyrolyzer,” was selected from some 38 entrants. Polin also received a cash award of $500. You can view a PDF of Polin’s poster as well as a list and PDFs of all BEI posters.

Joseph Polin, a Ph.D. student at Iowa State University and BEI, won second place in the Student Poster Challenge at the recent tcbiomass2015 conference.

Polin is majoring in mechanical engineering and co-majoring in Biorenewable Resources and Technology (BRT). His major professor is Robert C. Brown, BEI director and Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering. Polin is studying autothermal pyrolysis in pilot-scale reactor systems. In contrast to traditional pyrolysis, the autothermal method uses some oxygen, with the goal of overcoming heat transfer limitations and increasing yields of pyrolytic sugar and phenolic oil. Polin hopes to graduate in December 2017.

Highlighting BEI’s Thermochemical Conversion Research

The tcbiomass conference focused on thermochemical conversion science to turn biomass into fuels and chemicals. It was a busy conference for BEI. The host of the conference, the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), presented BEI’s Brown with the 2015 Don Klass Award for Excellence in Thermochemical Conversion Science. The program featured four Iowa State researchers as speakers and over 20 as poster presenters. In all, over 35 Iowa State people attended the conference.

The BEI 2015 Virtual Tour video made its premiere at the event. The institute also had an exhibit to showcase its thermochemical research capabilities.


Bioeconomy Institute trading card