Dr. Matt Croughan to Become Chief Technology Officer at Sapphire Energy
Dr. Matt Croughan, the George B. and Joy Rathmann Professor and director of the Amgen Bioprocessing Center at Keck Graduate Institute has accepted the position of chief technology officer at Sapphire Energy, Inc., one of the world leaders in algae-based Green Crude oil production. Dr. Croughan established the KGI bioprocessing center in 2006 and developed a unique program to recruit and educate the next generation of business leaders in bioprocessing. Leveraging the help of his colleagues in the biotechnology industry who often serve as adjunct faculty, he built it into one of the largest masters-level programs in bioprocessing, with approximately 100 graduates to date. Since 1998, he also has worked as an independent consultant providing expert guidance on biopharmaceutical and biofuels process development and manufacturing to more than 55 firms.
“Dr. Croughan has been an outstanding leader of this academic program. His attention to the students, from recruitment to alumni relations, is unsurpassed. He has built and maintained relationships that have greatly expanded our corporate network,” said James Sterling, KGI's VP for academic affairs and dean of faculty.
Dr. Croughan recently won the Student Choice Faculty (Top Teaching) Award for 2012-2013 and beginning August 1 will assume the role of industry professor at KGI while serving as CTO at Sapphire
Energy. KGI is currently searching for a program director for the bioprocessing master's degree program and will immediately seek new leadership for the Amgen Bioprocessing Center.
“I always enjoy my time with the students at KGI and look forward to continued interactions with them, including teaching two courses this fall. Many students, staff, faculty, and industry collaborators have helped make the bioprocessing program at KGI a success, especially Kirilynn Svay Hedberg, our assistant director of bioprocess engineering operations, and I have no doubt that the the bioprocessing program at KGI will continue to improve and expand going forward,” Dr. Croughan said.
In the newly created role of CTO, Dr. Croughan will guide San Diego-based Sapphire Energy in its effort to refine and scale its technologies and algae-to-energy process as it moves towards commercial scale production of Green Crude oil. Sapphire Energy's products and processes in this category differ significantly from other forms of biofuel because they are made solely from photosynthetic microorganisms (algae and cyanobacteria), using sunlight and CO2 as their feedstock.
“Sapphire Energy is the Genentech/Amgen of advanced biofuels, with the top talent and goal-driven culture necessary to address the bioprocessing challenges facing this new industry,” Dr. Croughan said. “Joining the company as CTO is a unique opportunity to be part of another huge success story in bioprocessing.”