Charles Wyman

Charles Wyman Ph.D.

Chair, Ford Motor Company
Chair, Chemical & Environmental Engineering
Distinguished Professor, Chemical & Environmental Engineering

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Princeton University, 1971

Research Areas

Energy Conversion and Storage

Contact Information

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Charles Wyman's research interests include biological and thermochemical conversion of abundant, non-food cellulosic biomass to transportation fuels on biomass pretreatment, enzymatics hydrolysis, and dehydration to make appropriate precursors.

Dr. Wyman has devoted most of his career to leading advancement of technology for biological conversion of cellulosic biomass to ethanol and other products. In the fall of 2005, he joined UCR as a Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering and the Ford Motor Company Chair in Environmental Engineering with a research focus on pretreatment, enzymatic hydrolysis, and dehydration of cellulosic biomass to produce reactive intermediates for conversion to fuels and chemicals. Before joining UCR, he was the Paul E. and Joan H. Queneau Distinguished Professor in Environmental Engineering Design at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Dr. Wyman recently founded Vertimass LLC that is devoted to commercialization of novel catalytic technology for simple one-step conversion of ethanol to fungible gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel blend stocks. Dr. Wyman is also cofounder and former Chief Development Officer and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for Mascoma Corporation, a startup focused on biomass conversion to ethanol and other products.

Before joining Dartmouth College in the fall of 1998, Dr. Wyman was Director of Technology for BC International and led process development for the first cellulosic ethanol plant planned for Jennings, Louisiana. Between 1978 and 1997, he served as Director of the Biotechnology Center for Fuels and Chemicals at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado; Director of the NREL Alternative Fuels Division; and Manager of the Biotechnology Research Branch. During that time, he held several other leadership positions at NREL, mostly focused on R&D for biological conversion of cellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals. He has also been Manager of Process Development for Badger Engineers, an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of New Hampshire, and a Senior Chemical Engineer with Monsanto Company.

Wyman has a BS degree in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, MA and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from Princeton University, and an MBA from the University of Denver. He has contributed over 155 peer-reviewed papers, 25 book chapters, many edited volumes, over 250 presentations many of which were invited, about 25 technical reports, and 21 patents.  He edited a recent book on aqueous pretreatment of cellulosic biomass to which he also contributed several chapters as well as a previous cellulosic ethanol book. Among honors received are election as a Fellow in the American Association for Advancement of Science and being chosen as a Tang Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts. In addition to his role as a founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief of Biotechnology for Biofuels, Wyman is on the editorial board of several technical journals and the board of directors and advisors for several organizations and institutions.


Fellow, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), 2016

Fellow, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), 2016

Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science, 2006

Honorary Master of Arts, Dartmouth College, 2004 

C.D. Scott Award in Biotechnology, 1999

NREL Hubbard Leadership Award, 1992

NREL Staff Leadership Award, 1991

Who's Who in Science and Engineering

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Who's Who of Emerging Leaders in America

Beta Gamma Sigma

Phi Kappa Phi

Sigma Xi

Tau Beta Pi