Michael R. Ladisch is Director of Purdue’s Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering, and Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. He holds a joint appointment in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, and a courtesy appointment in Food Science. He earned his BS from Drexel University, his MS and PhD from Purdue University, all in Chemical Engineering. He is currently serving as Chief Technology Officer at Mascoma Corporation, under a partial leave of absence arrangement with Purdue University, where he retains limited duties as Director of the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering and as Distinguished Professor. Mascoma is developing innovative and cost effective advances in biotechnology and engineering to unlock and harness the potential of low carbon, renewable energy and to move beyond traditional approaches of ethanol production.
Dr. Ladisch has a broad background in bioscience and bioengineering, and has 30 years experience in biofuels and renewable resources research. He is the author of the graduate textbook ''Bioseparations Engineering,'' and co-authored the undergraduate textbook ''Modern Biotechnology.'' Dr. Ladisch has published numerous research papers and journal articles. He was an inaugural recipient of the Indy Racing League’s Paul Dana Biofuels Award in 2006. He received the Agricultural Team/Biosensor Detection Team and Outstanding Chemical Engineer Awards at Purdue University in 2006. He was awarded the Marvin J. Johnson Award in Biochemical Technology by the American Chemical Society in 2002, and the Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Division Award of American Institute of Chemical Engineers in 2001. Dr. Ladisch was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1999. More recently, in 2008, the AIChE named him as one of the top 100 engineers of the Modern Era. In 2009, he received the Charles Scott Award from the Society of Industrial Microbiology.