Strategic Advisory Board
R. Benemann, Ph.D.
Benemann is a highly sought after,
internationally-recognized, bioenergy expert who is
currently active on advisory boards to several domestic and
overseas governmental agencies and corporations.
Throughout his 30+ year career, he has authored numerous
publications related to microalgae based upon his work in
the area of biofuels, in particular microalgae biofuels,
greenhouse gas abatement, and environmental
biotechnologies. He was a key participant in the US
Department of Energy "Aquatic Species Program" and a
principal author of the final report prepared for the
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Among other activities, Dr. Benemann was a member of the US
DOE-NETL (National Energy Technology Laboratory) "NOE
Carbon Sequestration Project Review Committee" and is
Manager of the International Network on Biofixation of
CO2 and Greenhouse Gas
Abatement with Microalgae" operating under the
International Energy agency "Greenhouse Gas R&D
Programme." Dr. Benemann is on the steering committee of
the Algal Biomass Organization, a not-for-profit industry
association. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from UC
Berkeley, where he worked with the founding figure in U.S.
microalgae research, Dr. William Oswald.
Berkey is a nationally recognized
expert on environmental and energy issues associated with
alternatives to fossil fuels, environmental clean-up, and
hazardous waste management. Dr. Berkey is now a private
consultant to government and industry but previously was
VP, R&D, and Chief Quality Officer for Concurrent
Technologies Corporation (www.ctc.org), a 1,500-person,
applied R&D, and technology transfer organization with
35 regional offices across the U.S. His specific areas of
focus included advanced fuel cells, hydrogen economy
technologies, alternative energies, and clean environmental
Dr. Berkey has maintained a high level of involvement in
the development of energy and environmental research
strategies at three U.S. National Laboratories over the
past 15 years – Chair of the Strategic Planning Review
Committee for the Idaho National Energy and Environmental
Laboratory (10 yrs); Member of the Laboratory Advisory
Committee for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (5
yrs); and Member and former Chair of the Environmental
Advisory Committee for the Savannah River Site of the U.S.
Department of Energy (DOE) (15 yrs).
Dr. Berkey is a member of the American Chemical Society and
a Patron of the American Nuclear Society. He has been a
member of DOE’s Environmental Management Advisory Board, as
well as the Scientific Advisory Board of the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Berkey holds a B.S. in
Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and a Ph.D.
in Engineering Physics from Cornell University and attended
the Executive MBA Program at the University of Pittsburgh.
E. Brune, Ph.D.
with more than 30 years of research activity in aquaculture
research, is an internationally recognized expert in
aquaculture engineering, wastewater treatment, and recovery
of waste nutrients. He has been working closely with Kent
BioEnergy's founders for more than 25 years.
He is the inventor of the Partitioned Aquaculture Systems
(PAS) and Controlled Eutrophication Process (CEP) systems
at Clemson University to which the company has exclusive
worldwide rights. He continues to work with the company on
advancements related to those technologies.
As a tenured Professor at Clemson University in South
Carolina, he holds the Endowed Chair in the Department of
Agricultural and Biological Engineering, College of
Agricultural Sciences. Prior to his appointment to Clemson
University, Dr. Brune directed a large aquaculture
engineering program at the University of California at
Davis. He has written many publications on the design of
aquaculture water treatment systems, describing his
extensive research in the use of fluidized bed treatment
concepts and other innovative systems. He recently authored
a special report for the U.S. Congress, Office of
Technology Assessment on Sustainable Aquaculture in the
U.S. Dr. Brune received his Ph.D. from the University of
Missouri in Agricultural and Environmental Engineering.
Dodds has led interdisciplinary
process development groups using biological methods to
perform organic synthesis for over 25 years resulting in an
extensive record of patents and publications. Pursuing a
longstanding ambition, he established Dodds &
Associates in 2002, providing technical management and
diligence to the small and start-up pharma, biotech, and
industrial biotech companies. Recently, he consulted on
several Industrial biotechnology projects for producing
commodity chemicals from biomass, for three years at the
Michigan Biotechnology Institute.
In the earlier days of his career, David was one of the
first scientists at Sepracor. His work led to a number of
patents covering the enzymatic resolution of pharmaceutical
intermediates. Then, he established a new process group at
Schering-Plough which successfully introduced biocatalysis
at scales ranging from lab-bench to pilot-plant.
Subsequently, he became Director of Fermentation and
Biocatalysis Development at Bristol-Meyers Squibb. Among
other projects, Dr. Dodds was involved and instrumental in
all TAXOL® related process technology. He currently serves
on the technical advisory board of zuChem, and has just
completed six years on the advisory board of Codexis.
David obtained his Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry
under Prof. Bryan Jones at the University of Toronto in
1984. He was awarded a Medical Research Council of Canada
post-doctoral fellowship, which he pursued in molecular
biology with Prof. Marvin Caruthers at the University of
Haigh is the principal of BKH
& Associates, a business development consulting
practice focused on the life sciences sector, developing
domestic market opportunities for international companies
and advising early stage companies in partnering
opportunities and capital formation.
Prior to that, he was a Trade Commissioner for the Canadian
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade from
1997, providing advocacy on Canadian issues within the
Southwestern United States and developing bilateral trade
and investment opportunities. As Trade Commissioner, he was
responsible for representing Canadian life science
capabilities across the U.S. Southwest and was a resource
for bringing companies, institutions and government
agencies together to advance cross-border business,
bilateral trade, and investment opportunities.
Mr. Haigh is a member of Pasadena Entretec supporting
technology companies in the San Gabriel Valley and past
Chair of Entretec's Public Policy Committee. He has also
been involved on BIOCOM (San Diego) Capital Markets and
Legislative Committees. He has a B.S. in Engineering from
UCLA and an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School
of Management at Claremont Graduate University.
Zhang is a Professor in
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at
the University of California, Davis. She has many years of
research, teaching, and engineering experiences with biogas
and biofuel production, environmental pollution control,
organic residual management and bioconversion technologies.
Her current research is focused on conversion of organic
residuals to biofuels and biobased products, wastewater
treatment, and air quality control. Dr. Zhang has over 160
scientific publications and 4 patents. She is the director
for UC Davis Biogas Energy Project, which is sponsored by
the alliance between UC Davis and private industry. She has
served as an expert on many international and national
technical committees and is a member of editorial boards of
several scientific journals.