Engineering seminar to discuss ethanol production

Published: Oct 26, 2009 4:04:00 PM
Media Contact: Sally Credille,, 334.844.3447

Auburn University's Department of Chemical Engineering will host a presentation by Michael Henson, faculty member in chemical engineering at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, on Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 3:30 p.m. in 136 Ross Hall. Henson will discuss "Genome-Scale Dynamic Flux Balance Models for Optimization of Microbial Ethanol Production."

Henson will explain how metabolic engineering strategies that enhance steady-state biomass or ethanol yields are evaluated for their fed-batch performance. His presentation demonstrates how dynamic flux balance models are developed and used for optimization of ethanol in pure and mixed culture fed-batch bioreactors. Henson will also talk on extending the computational methods in order to batch cultures of S. cerevisiae and E. coli for ethanol production, which are predicted to enhance ethanol productivity more than pure cultures.

Henson is director of the Process Design and Control Center and co-director of the Institute of Massachusetts Biofuels Research at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado, a master's degree from the University of Texas and a doctoral degree from the University of California-Santa Barbara. Henson also serves as associate editor for Automatica and the Journal of Process Control.

Contributed by Cassity Hughes