Dr. Brent Shanks is an Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering and the Mike and Jean Steffenson Chair in Chemical and Biological Engineering at Iowa State University. He established and serves as Director of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC). After receiving his B.S. degree from Iowa State University, he completed his Ph.D. degree at the California Institute of Technology. From 1988 to 1999 he worked as a Research Engineer and Department Manager in the Catalyst Department at the Shell Chemical Company technology center in Houston, Texas. He joined the faculty at Iowa State University in 1999 where his group’s research has primarily involved reactions systems for efficiently converting biomass feedstocks to chemicals and fuels. He is co-founder of three early stage startup companies that are focused on chemical platform technologies to produce biobased chemicals.