Conversion Team

Zeachem, based in Lakewood, Colorado leads the Conversion Team. Researchers from the University of Washington (UW) are also on the team.

Dr. Renata Bura is the leader of the AHB Conversion team.

Bura, Renata

Dr. Bura is a professor in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington and a researcher of the UW Bioenergy and Biochemicals Lab. Renata is the current leader of the AHB Conversion Team. Her research focuses on understanding and improving the process of converting lignocellulosic biomass into high-value, chemical products and biofuels. Renata has a B.Sc in Applied Chemistry and Biology from Ryerson University, a M.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry and Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. in Forest Products Biotechnology from the University of British Columbia.

Chang Dou

Dou, Chang
Chang Dou is a PhD student in Bioresource Science and Engineering at the University of Washington working with Renata Bura and Rick Gustafson. Chang’s primary research focuses on converting hybrid poplar into biofuels and biochemical via biochemical processes. His goal is to make full use of the whole poplar tree and maximize the overall sugar recovery which includes optimizing the bioconversion pretreatment conditions and enzymatic hydrolysis.

Rick G

Gustafson, Rick
(206) 543-2790
Dr. Gustafson is a professor in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington.  Rick is the primary investigator for the entire AHB project and co-leads the Sustainability Team.  His research focuses on bioresource science and engineering.  His lab investigates the development of integrated biorefineries that use biomass to produce a range of products, from commodity fuels to high value food additives. These biorefineries are characterized by having good process economics with minimal environmental impact. His lab uses process simulation as the major tool for process development work. Rick works with colleagues doing fundamental research to integrate state-of-the-art conversion technologies to produce globally optimized processes. Results from the process models are then used in economic assessments to determine financial viability and in life cycle assessments to evaluate the broad environmental impact of candidate process configurations. The process modeling work also extends to developing new methods to measure and control critical unit operations in biorefineries. His lab works with chemists to develop robust probes to measure critical performance variables and developing process control strategies to maximize productivity and product quality.  Rick has a B. S. in Wood and Fiber Science and a Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering both from the University of Washington.


Marquardt, Brain

Dr. Marquardt is Director of the Center for Process Analysis and Control (CPAC) and Senior Principal Engineer at the Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington. His research interests include the development and application of spectroscopic instrumentation, primarily Raman, for continuous real-time chemical, biological and environmental analysis.  A major research focus is the design and implementation of novel fiber-optic sensors/probes for real-time monitoring of industrial and environmental processes.  Brian’s primary research goal is to understand the optical sampling characteristics of various spectroscopic techniques to improve measurement precision, accuracy and stability for improved process understanding and control.

Rodrigo Morales

Morales Vera, Rodrigo
Dr. Morales is a postdoctoral research associate in Bioresources Science and Engineering in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington. He obtained his engineering degree in the Faculty of Forest Sciences at the University of Chile. Morales’ primary research focus is the bioconversion of biomass to fuels and chemicals. His work for the AHB project includes design and modeling the process to make poplar to glacial acetic acid economically feasible and sustainable.


Mozharov, Sergey
Dr. Mozharov obtained his MS in Chemistry from Moscow State University (Russia) and PhD in Analytical Chemistry from University of Strathclyde (UK). He joined Brian Marquardt’s group at Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, in 2011.  Having background in Analytical Chemistry and Photonics, Sergey’s primary research focus is addressing fundamental and practical challenges in development and application of spectroscopic tools to various process environments. This includes design and implementation of specialized fiber-optic and free space sensors, development of sampling interfaces and novel data processing algorithms. His interests cover a wide range of spectroscopic techniques. Currently Sergey’s work is focused on Raman, Fluorescence and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy. He designed a number of sensors and probes that were successfully applied to monitoring batch, microfluidic, and continuous flow processes in harsh environments.