UM Nowadays | New biosystems engineering professor pursues carbon-neutral bioproducts

Advanced in Tech & Business

UM Nowadays | New biosystems engineering professor pursues carbon-neutral bioproducts

August 3, 2023 — 

Dr. Warren Blunt joined the Section of Biosystems Engineering as Assistant Professor in Sustainability Engineering on July 1, 2023. For the duration of his undergraduate scientific studies, a summer months stint as a student exploration assistant fueled his curiosity – and his enthusiasm – in bioproducts and their effect on our natural environment.  Warren has returned to his alma mater to explore bioproducts centered on carbon dioxide with the purpose of a carbon-neutral upcoming.

Convey to us about your self.

I acquired my training in the Department of Biosystems Engineering in this article at the University of Manitoba. In that environment, I was presented fantastic options to discover, leverage that know-how into real-planet apps, and mature – both individually and professionally. I finished my BSc in 2011 with a minimal in enterprise, and then subsequently analyzed biofuels and bioplastics from waste throughout my MSc and PhD degrees – the latter was finished in 2019. I was also privileged to have had the prospect to vacation, operate, and publish alongside with global collaborators through this time. This challenged me in new ways but it was a enjoyment and rewarding practical experience. From there, I joined Nationwide Investigate Council Canada as a Analysis Associate. Within the Aquatic and Crop Useful resource Growth Investigation Centre, our crew created a wide range of shopper-dependent and collaborative projects with Canadian compact-medium enterprises, academics, other federal government departments, and worldwide governments with the objective of acquiring and fostering a competitive Canadian bioeconomy.

Why did you get into this location of study?

I am a little bit ashamed to response this issue honestly. The truth of the matter is, in 2009 I was hunting for anything else to do on campus as I took some more summer lessons to speed up my diploma. I was privileged to have been the recipient of NSERC as an undergraduate college student investigate assistant, and I suppose I hardly ever appeared back from there. It’s humorous how at times seemingly little conclusions can alter your everyday living. To my credit rating while, I chose the research location that I did (biofuels), out real worry more than our (my) petroleum habit and need to preserve our environment.

What are you trying to find to investigate with your investigation?

I want to start constructing toward a CO2-dependent biorefinery, with the target of acquiring carbon-neutral (bio)products that feed into a circular economy. My analysis plan will examine working with microbial fat burning capacity to sequester and valorize carbon dioxide. The work I have finished to day has utilised heterotrophic rate of metabolism and involve some form of organic carbon – which can be expensive. Carbon dioxide on the other hand, is commonly offered as the best squander solution of lots of anthropogenic routines. The aim is to enhance the life cycle general performance of industrial bioproducts by pushing them towards a carbon-neutral future. The dilemma is, how much?

Will you be teaching? What appeals to you about staying a trainer?

I will be co-training a “Bioprocessing” graduate-level class in the Fall semester and educating “Impact of Engineering on the Environment”. I like that both of those deal with subjects that I am passionate about, and I am humbled that I get to be considerably of a voice of influence on why aspiring engineers need to have to treatment. No matter if graduate or undergraduate amount, I appear forward to the mentorship alternatives and assisting to equip or encourage these outstanding minds to go out there and make a difference. I want to attempt to make positive that the expertise of the students I educate and supervise is at the very least as excellent, or much better, than my individual.

What you like to do in your spare time?

Dr Warren Blunt on a mountainWith my spare time, I truly take pleasure in reading and earning summaries of the scientific literature…kidding!

I grew up exterior of Winnipeg so my heart has often been with agriculture. This has been translated into a appreciate of gardening and setting up local community by sharing food that is developed regionally and (ideally) sustainably with these all-around me. I nonetheless dream scaling that up 1 day.

I also appreciate becoming outside generally – cycling, snowboarding, mountaineering, and the farther the superior. I generally say, it is not an experience till you speculate if you’ll be producing it property that evening.