The innovation engine for new materials

Workshop on New Frontiers in Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals: What's Beyond the Horizon?

Date & Venue: Thursday, February 6, 2014 (8am-6pm with dinner to follow), Elings Hall 1601, UC Santa Barbara (View flyer HERE)

Monty Alger - Myriant Corporation
Ove Hoegh-Guldberg - University of Queensland, Australia

Charles T. Campbell - University of Washington
Roland Geyer - UC Santa Barbara
Dan Ingersoll - NuScale
Ashok Rao - UC Irvine


There is widespread acknowledgement that chemicals and fuels are a vital component of prosperity and that in the future they must be produced using very different processes and feedstocks than used today.   There is little agreement as to what those processes and feedstocks might look like, what the byproducts will be and how we will handle them, and where innovation and breakthroughs in basic science and engineering might have the greatest impact in enabling transformational processes.   The purpose of the Workshop is to bring together forward thinking engineers and scientists from industry and academia to talk, argue, speculate, and dream a little about what might be possible if only we could ……….    We want to engender open discussion on processes and problems that are not part of the central R&D activities in industry today, but that might be there in the future if major fundamental problems in chemical and material science and engineering are solved.

Organizing committee: Eric McFarland, Craig Hawker, Chris Greig, Mike Doherty, Glenn Fredrickson

Suggested Topics

  • Future Trends in Energy and Product Demand:  Terawatts and Teratons, expecting the unexpected.
  • Sustainable Feedstocks and Intermediates: What might they be? Do we know all the options?
  • Sustainable Processes: Closing all the loops from cradle to grave – before we build.
  • Opportunities and Challenges in Sustainable Energy Systems:  Do we really know all the aboves in all of the above?
  • Big ideas than just might not be so crazy: in situ processing, productive geo-engineering. 

Brief (15-20 minute) provocative presentations are welcome to be followed by lively discussions moderated by a panel.

Confirmed invited speakers: Monty Alger (Myriant), Cora Leibig (Segetis), Carl Mesters (Shell), Ellen Williams (University of Maryland)

Travel and map:
The best way to get to Santa Barbara/Goleta is to fly (airport code SBA). The airport is within a few minutes of the UCSB campus.

Alternately, UCSB is about 100 miles from LAX, and there are road shuttle services such as the SB Airbus (take it to the last stop, Goleta) that provide service to and from Santa Barbara.

Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner connects Goleta to LA, Irvine, and San Diego, but be advised that the Goleta stop does not have a cab stand, and you would need to call one.

If traveling to campus by car, please look for the Highway 217 (Santa Barbara) exit on the 101 North, or the Los Carneros exit (Goleta) on the 101 South. For your navigation system, try: 552 University Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93106. Please arrange parking permits with Naomi Recania no later than Thursday, January 30, 2014. Instructions on where to pick up your permit will be emailed to you once they have been reserved. If you do not receive your permit, please call Naomi on her mobile at 323.533.4027. Please park in parking structure 10, indicated on the map near D6. Elings Hall and P10 are next to each other.

Rooms must be booked individually and paid for by participants. All participants from out of town will be staying at the Best Western Plus South Coast Inn. Please call (805) 967-3200 and reserve your room before Wednesday, January 15, 2014. The rooms will be released after this date. While booking, please mention "Dow Workshop" to receive the UCSB rate, and arrange to pay on your own. Best Western arranges pick-ups and drops from the SBA airport (free call from the airport) and to the Goleta SB Airbus station. The hotel shuttle can also transport you to campus.

Please search Santa Barbara weather. Average minimum and maximum temperatures for Santa Barbara in February are between 44 F and 64 F. Average precipitation for the month is 4.09 in.

The workshop is co-sponsored by the Dow Materials Institute at University of California, Santa Barbara, and Dow Centre for Sustainable Engeineering Innovation, University of Queensland, Australia.





Infrastructural support from the University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory, an NSF MRSEC, is acknowledged.


Naomi Recania
Program Coordinator, Dow Materials Institute
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5121
Phone: (805) 893-5112
Email: naomi [at] mrl [dot] ucsb [dot] edu