Dr. Jon H. Van Gerpen is the Project Director. He is a mechanical engineer and the Department Head for the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department. He moved from Iowa State University, where he worked for 20 years on projects relating to biodiesel production and utilization and diesel engine combustion and emissions. At Iowa State, he directed the design and construction of a pilot plant that was capable of producing about 250,000 gallons/yr of biodiesel. He has also coordinated a series of biodiesel workshops to assist existing and potential biodiesel producers with business management techniques, analytical methods, and production technology.
Dr. Brian He is a food and bioprocessing engineer and assistant professor. He has an integrated background in agricultural engineering, biosystems engineering, and chemical engineering. His research interests include renewable energy and value-added products from biobased resources. His research activities in the biodiesel area involve in integrated processing of oil seeds for sustainable biodiesel production and by-products utilization, novel continuous-flow reactor system for biodiesel production.
Dr. Dev Shrestha is an agricultural engineer and assistant professor. He is a bioenergy specialist in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Idaho. His expertise includes precision agriculture, production agriculture, and renewable energy. His research interests include energy crop production, Biofuels production, and modeling of renewable energy systems.
Dr. Joe Thompson supports research and educational projects in the area of biofuels. This support includes: fuel production and analysis; setting up and conducting research on different aspects of biodiesel production; giving tours of the facility to diverse groups; and participating in energy fairs, workshops and conferences. He also manages an analytical lab and assists graduate and senior design students with their projects.
John Herkes is an instructor and PhD candidate with the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. He has world-wide experience in agro-industrial development and operations. His background includes food processing operations, maintenance, management and design. Specialties are consulting with management and training of operating and staff personnel. He has three patents in food processing.