Dr. Taylor began academic work at Auburn University as an Assistant Professor of Forest Engineering in 1989 and currently serves as Professor and Head of the Biosystems Engineering Department and Director of the Auburn University Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts. Dr. Taylor earned the B.S. with Honors and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Florida and Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering from Texas A&M University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Alabama.
Dr. Taylor’s areas of research, instruction, and outreach include forest engineering, bioenergy, and bio-based product development. Specific research areas include forest biomass logistics; geospatial technologies for site‐specific forest operations management; forest road systems; thermochemical conversion of biomass to liquid fuels and electric power; biomass fractionation; biodiesel production; and development and testing of engineered wood composites. Recent work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Department of Agriculture. He has been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on over $37 million in contracts and grants.
In his role as Director of the Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts, he interfaces with many technical disciplines, industry, and policy makers. As Center Director, he was the primary author on the bioenergy plan for Alabama recognized as a USDA Grand Challenge Winner in 2008, and he was part of the team that received the 2009 Innovator Award (The Future of Southern Energy) presented by the Southern Growth Policies Board. Dr. Taylor is leading a $10 million effort, supported by the Department of Energy, to develop and demonstrate logistical systems to supply high tonnage forest biomass from southern pine energy plantations. Dr. Taylor is one of the co-principal investigators on the $15 million USDA AFRI CAP grant for the Southeast Partnership for Integrated Biomass Supply Systems and he is co-principal investigator on a $3 million NSF IGERT grant on Integrated Biorefining for Sustainable Production of Fuels and Chemicals.
As the Department Head in Biosystems Engineering, he coordinates a wide array of ongoing education, research, and extension programs in biological engineering and the application areas of agriculture, forestry, and natural resources. Currently, he leads a $6 million effort, funded by NSF, to renovate 22,000 ft2 of biological engineering research laboratories within the department.
Taylor serves as Associate Editor for Transactions of ASABE and Applied Engineering in Agriculture. Dr. Taylor serves on the Alabama Joint Legislative Committee on Energy and he has testified in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives on bioenergy and bioproducts issues.