Biotechnical Engineering


Biotechnology offers new ways of production using biological materials, organisms and systems. Leading research in this area enables the synthesis of  pharmaceuticals, biodegradable polymers, renewable fuels, and other bio-based products from diverse feedstocks. Faculty are developing new crops for improved disease and pest resistance and adaptation to changing climate and conditions. They are also improving waste treatment and conversion, reducing environmental impact and enhancing overall sustainability.

Biotechnical Engineering Faculty

Zhiliang (Julia) FanZhiliang (Julia) Fan, Ph.D
Associate Professor
3016 Bainer Hall | (530) 754-0317 | | Faculty Website
Advancing technologies for production of fuels and chemicals from renewable resources. Metabolic engineering and biocatalyst development; fermentation process development and modeling; biological and chemical process design and economic evaluation.
Bryan JenkinsBryan Jenkins, Ph.D
Professor and Department Chair
2030 Bainer Hall | (530) 752-5084 | | Faculty Website
Energy systems in agriculture, biomass fuel production, thermal conversion, and environmental impacts; combustion and gasification of biomass fuels; properties of fuels; system models.
Tina JeohTina Jeoh, Ph.D
Associate Professor
2044 Bainer Hall | (530) 752-1020 | | Faculty Website
Bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals. Microencapsulation of bioactives.
Jennifer MullinJennifer Mullin, Ph.D
3048 Bainer Hall | | Faculty Website
My research focuses on engineering design education with an emphasis on creativity, design thinking and the impact of design experiences on student’s self-concept and development.
Ning PanNing Pan, Ph.D
229 Everson Hall | (530) 752-6232 | | Faculty Website
Physics of fibrous soft materials; biophysics and biomechanics in human-textile interactions; heat, mass and energy transport phenomena in porous media, nanotechnology in energy storage; and thermodynamics in heat transfer optimization.
Zhongli PanZhongli Pan, Ph.D
Adjunct Professor
3018 Bainer Hall | (530) 752-4367 | | Faculty Website
Professor Pan studies infrared heating technology for various food processes, including blanching, peeling, roasting, drying, disinfection and disinfestation. He also uses ultrasonic and pulsed electric field technologies for improving food processing efficiency.
Herb ScherHerb Scher, Ph.D
Professional Researcher
3037 Bainer Hall | (925) 376-3317 | | Faculty Website
Protection and controlled release of bioactive ingredients (Cells, enzymes and pharmaceuticals) via W/O emulsions, spray dry matrix particles and solid forms coated by a hybrid spray system.
Jean VanderGheynstJean VanderGheynst, Ph.D
Dean of the College of Engineering and Adjunct Professor
3040 Bainer Hall | (530) 752-0989 | | Faculty Website
Dr. VanderGheynst’s research addresses problems that involve the transformation, decomposition and conversion of plant biomass to products. Plants include dedicated crops and algae, food processing residues and urban and agricultural wastes.
Zhang RuihongRuihong Zhang, Ph.D
3046 Bainer Hall | (530) 754-9530 | | Faculty Website
Bioenvironmental engineering. Treatment of agricultural and food wastes for pollution prevention and resource utilization; air quality control for animal and human environments; study of biological, physical, and chemical processing techniques for organic waste conversion and nutrient management; control of gaseous and particulate emissions from animal feedlots and food processing facilities.