Harvey Blanch

Dr. Harvey Blanch is the Merck Professor of Biochemical Engineering at the University of California Berkeley. He received an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney, and Ph.D. from the University of New South Wales, both in Sydney, Australia. He joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley in 1978, and served as chair from 1997 to 2001. He is also currently the chief science and technology officer of the Joint BioEnergy Institute, one of three DOE-supported bioenergy research centers.

Dr. Blanch’s research is at the interface of biology and engineering, with applications to biotechnology, pharmaceuticals production and biofuels. Following the first oil shortages in 1973 and 1979, he developed enzymatic and microbial routes for the conversion of lignocellulosic materials to sugars that could be subsequently fermented to ethanol for gasohol production. He is the author of the textbook Biochemical Engineering, which introduces engineering students to biological processing.

His awards include the American Chemical Society Marvin J. Johnson Award, the Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Amgen Award, and the Enzyme Engineering Award. He is a fellow of AAAS and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Session(s) by Harvey Blanch: