Announces Scientific Advisory Board Addition Petroleum industry veteran to lead commercial development of algae-based biofuels Mario Tredici joins Christoph Benning, William Freytag, Krishna Niyogi and Robert Tijan on advisory board
March 4, 2009
Aurora Biofuels, Inc. has unveiled a new management structure to speed the commercialization of its algal biofuels, and has announced an addition to their scientific advisory board, which advises in the development of highly-efficient algae production.
Aurora Biofuels has named Robert Walsh its new Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. With over 25 years in the traditional petroleum industry and recent corporate leadership experience in the advanced biofuels space, Walsh will bring his experience to Aurora as the company continues to develop its proprietary algae technology and expand production of commercial quantities of algal fuel. With the appointment of Walsh, Matthew Caspari, a founder and the company's previous Chief Executive, will become Vice President of Business Development.
"After years leading companies in the traditional petroleum and biofuels industries, and knowing what it takes to transition from the lab to the market, I see that the exceptionally strong science and engineering at Aurora Biofuels makes us particularly well-positioned for this journey, and I'm excited to join the team," said Walsh. "Aurora can become the low-cost producer of biofuels, with a readily available, cheap, scalable source of feedstock, the opportunity to produce large volumes, and greenhouse gas reductions which double that of sugar-based advanced biofuels."
Walsh is a renowned transportation fuels executive with more than 28 years of global petroleum industry experience including 26 years at Royal Dutch Shell. From 2001 to 2005, he was General Manager Supply for Shell Europe Oil Products where he was responsible for $30 billion in annual revenue. He was most recently President of advanced biofuel company LS9, Inc.
"Aurora Biofuels' world class team has made great progress developing advanced, economical algae biotech and process engineering technology," said Jim Long, Venture Partner at Gabriel Venture Partners and Chairman of the company's Board of Directors. "With Bob Walsh joining the team, we can now move quickly towards commercializing this proprietary technology."
In addition, a new member of the Aurora Biofuels scientific advisory board was announced today. Dr. Mario Tredici, a professor of microbiology at the University of Florence and a leader in the mass cultivation of microalgae as feed, chemical and renewable fuels, joins a four-member advisory team employing their experience and expertise for the benefit of the company. Tredici joins Dr. Christoph Benning, a Professor of Biochemistry at Michigan State University studying biochemistry and metabolism of plants and algae; Dr. William Freytag, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BaroFold, Inc.; and Dr. Krishna Niyogi, a professor of Plant and Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley focused on the molecular genetics and ecophysiology of algae and plants.
Dr. Robert Tijan, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry at UC Berkeley and director of Berkeley's Stem Cell Center, has recently been appointed to be the president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Tijan will resign from his advisory role April 1st in order to assume full responsibilities at the HHMI.
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