Research Interests


Dr. Brian He is a chemical engineer by training and his job title now is bioprocessing engineer. Brian'ss expertise is in the areas of bioprocessing, biofuels and value-added products from bio-based resources. Brian’s recent research activities include biodiesel production technologies such as microalgal biofuels, chemical/ thermochemical processes for value-added products, and biomass conversion for chemicals and biofuels.

Current Projects


  • National Biodiesel Education Program

  • Engineering R&D on biopesticide preparation from mustard meal

  • In situ transesterification for microalgal biodiesel

  • Glycerol thermal processing for value-added uses





  • Grants Awarded in Past 5 Years
    (2010 - 2016)


  • Commercialization of novel biopesticides: filling engineering gaps required for scale-up. M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust. $119,049 (FGK162). 09/2014 – 08/2017. Brian He (PI), Matt Morra.

  • National Biodiesel Education Program (Phase 3). USDA Biodiesel Fuel Education Program. 10/14 - 09/17. $576,000. Jon Van Gerpen, Brian He (co-PI), Dev Shrestha.

  • Advancing glycerol conversion technology for commercialization for sustainable biodiesel industry. $50,000. Idaho State Board of Education. 07/2012 – 06/2013. Brian He (PI).

  • In situ transesterification of microalgal oil to produce algal biodiesel (Phase 2). $69,922 (KLK902). US Department of Transportation, via University Transportation Center (UTC) program at the University of Idaho. 07/2012 – 06/2013. Brian He (PI).

  • Production of renewable diesel fuel from biologically-based feedstocks. $59,998.40 (KLK). US Department of Transportation, via the Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium (PacTrans) at the University of Washington. 07/2012 – 06/2013. Jon Van Gerpen, Brian He (co-PI).

  • Multiple Enhanced-value Co-products from Regionally Important Oilseed Feedstocks. USDA NIFA. 07/11 - 06/14. $599,210. Matt Morra, Brian He (co-PI), Caleb Nindo.

  • In situ Transesterification of Microalgal Oil to Produce Algal Biodiesel. National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology. 08/11 - 12/12. $57,000. Brian He (PI).

  • Production of Renewable Diesel Fuel from Biologically-based Feedstocks. National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology. 08/10 - 07/12. $160,000. Jon Van Gerpen, Brian He (co-PI).

  • Biobased Energy Educational Material Exchange System (BEEMS). USDA HEC. 08/09 - 08/12. $59,800. Brian He (PI), collaborated with Ohio State University.

  • National Biodiesel Education Program (Phase 2). USDA Biodiesel Fuel Education Program. 10/08 - 09/13. $1,000,000. Jon Van Gerpen, Brian He (co-PI), Doug Haines, Dev Shrestha.