Monday, April 16, 2018
9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

MU Ballroom

Hear the perspectives of eight Sun Grant-funded scientists on how to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Anything you can make from a barrel of oil, you can make from a plant!

Each scientist will give a short talk in the morning, followed by lunch at 12:30 p.m., and then wrap things up with a panel discussion with our guests at 1:30 p.m.  Posters by OSU students and researchers will be on display throughout the day.  Lunch registration is required, registration for presentations is encouraged.

For event questions or accommodation requests, please contact Shelly Signs, (541) 737-0724 or






Shannon Andrews runs the Oregon State Crop and Soil Science Central Analytical Laboratory operates as a fee for service laboratory, accepting soil, plant, and soil amendment samples from OSU faculty, staff, students, and extension faculty, as well as gardeners, field reps, and commercial producers.  By quantifying gas emissions, soil erosion, salinization, biodiversity loss, the markets can include the externalities in the cost of production, which can work to encourage producers to adopt best management practices and make significant changes in the environmental impacts of agriculture.

Manuel Garcia-Perez is an associate professor for the Biological Systems Engineering department at Washington State University. He has been working for the last 15 years on projects related with the thermochemical conversion of lignocellulosic materials for the production of bio-fuels and chemicals. Dr. Garcia-Perez has made contributions to the understanding of thermochemical reactions of cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin as well as the characterization and uses of crude bio-oils. He is currently working on the development of more selective pyrolysis reactors and on new concepts to refine pyrolysis oils. 

Andrew G. Hashimoto is Professor Emeritus of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering at the University of Hawaii, and Professor Emeritus of Biological and Ecological Engineering at Oregon State University. In 1986, Hashimoto became head of the bioresource engineering department at Oregon State University.  His major research area was the conversion of the crop residue to ethanol.  In 1995, he became OSU’s vice provost for academic affairs.  His research is focused on biofuel production.  He retired in 2015.

Samir Kumar Khanal is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering at University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. Dr. Khanal obtained Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with focus in Environmental Biotechnology from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Dr. Khanal’s research focuses on bioenergy/biobased products and environmental biotechnology. Dr. Khanal has over 70 refereed journal publications. Dr. Khanal also published two books "Anaerobic Biotechnology for Bioenergy Production: Principles and Applications" and “Bioenergy: Principles and Applications.” He is recipient of Dean’s Research Excellence Award 2016 at University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Hong Liu is a Professor of Biological and Ecological Engineering (BEE) at Oregon State University (OSU). She is one of the world's leaders in the development of microbial electrochemical technologies for numerous applications in energy-sustainable wastewater treatment, energy and biofuels production, and pollutant remediation. She is recognized for her advances and development of several processes that are based on naturally-occurring bacteria that directly produce electrical current from organic matter in wastewater. She created a new method to produce hydrogen biofuels from the electrical current produced by bacteria. Currently, she is leading efforts to commercialize the technologies she and her team developed at OSU. She was named as a Highly Cited Researcher and listed, among about 3000 researchers worldwide, in The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds in 2014, 2015, 2016 by Thomson Reuters.  

Darren McAvoy is an Extension Assistant Professor in Forestry at Utah State University and chair of the Utah Biomass Resources Group. As a Principle Investigator he has developed a mobile gasification unit and two mobile pyrolysis reactors. He is the co-author of the Utah Forest Water Quality Guidelines. He produced an award-winning prescribed fire video for the National Park Service. He holds an MS in Communications from USU and a BS in Forestry from Colorado State University. He was a Consulting Forester in Idaho and a firefighter on the Flathead Hotshot Crew in Montana. 

John Sessions is the University Distinguished Professor, Strachan Chair of Forest Operations Management. He is currently developing techniques for transportation planning, tactical forest planning, strategic forest planning, decision support systems for road management, biomass collection and transport.

Bin Yang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering and the Bioproduct, Sciences & Engineering Laboratory at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. He has dedicated most of his career to the development of renewable energy technologies with particular emphasis on production of biofuels and chemicals from abundant, non-food cellulosic biomass and other sustainable resources. Dr. Yang’s recently funded projects are devoted to develop and commercialize novel technologies for upgrading biorefinery lignin wastes to jet fuel and bio-based products. He has authored over 90 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, made more than 100 presentations, many invited, and has 5 issued patents. He is a recipient of the DARPA Young Faculty Award of 2011. He also serves as an editor board member for Biofuels Bioproducts & Biorefining, Biofuels, Bioethanol, and AIMS Energy.