• June 16, 2024

About Me

Welcome!

My story is simple, I started out liking chemistry and then merged into engineering.  In 2008, I graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Akron.  This degree came with a minor in Chemistry and a Certificate in Polymer Science.  However, along the way I started working and studying in the bio-fields.

Shortly after graduation and taking a summer off to relax, I began a PhD program in Chemical Engineering with a focus in BioProcess Engineering.  Six extraordinary years later, lots of research and exploration, my PhD was finished with a successful dissertation on how fungal morphology and nutrient limitation can improve enzyme production and reduce manufacturing costs.

Checkout our group research group website at UAkron.edu.or my Research page to see some of my PhD work.

I have worked on enzyme production, fungal morphology, soy protein processing, algae oil production, biosurfactants, and bioplastics.  I have developed HPLC, MS, GC, FTIR, and TLC methods, for lipids, surfactants, carbohydrates, polymers, and small organic molecules.  Developed and created techno-economic models and integrated process flow diagrams and process simulations to understand where savings can be achieved and build a competitive advantages.

After leaving the university, I worked for 5-1/2 years at a biotech company optimizing and developing fermentation processes for sophorolipids.  These highly functional, safe, and easy to produce soaps are literally made from sugar and oil by growing yeast.  Starting as a research scientist to help develop and improve lab methods, moving to creating an engineering team, and building fermentation facilities, expanding into new markets, and building a culture of collaboration, honesty, and trust, it was a wild ride surrounded by incredible people.

But, like all good things… it was time to move on…  I’ve decided to go back to my roots in bioprocessing.  By levering the economic and engineering skills from UAkron, combined with a few industrial scale-up features, my new project is carbon capture using algae.

Fastidious, calm, and fat!  These algae cells love to grow, eat carbon dioxide and make lots of oil.  The goals are simple:  low cost oil production using algae.  Leverage the power of sunshine to clean up this world, and make a profit too.

 

 

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Explore, Create, & Enjoy,
– Nick

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