Dr. Andrew C. Hawkins, Team Leader for Gevo Inc., is serving as coordinator for the conversion efforts for the NARA project. The group aims to use yeast biocatalysts to convert pre-treated woody biomass feedstocks to isobutanol. The isobutanol can be converted to a jet fuel blend stock and other valuable products.

Dr. Hawkins has 14 years of experience in the fields of microbiology, bioprocessing, and biotechnology. He was the first full-time scientist to join Gevo, Inc. when it began as a start-up company in 2006. Since joining Gevo, he has managed numerous scientists, senior scientists, technicians, interns, and support staff, coordinated the construction of a BSL2 laboratory per CDC guidelines, taken a lead role in intellectual property asset management, and is an inventor on over 50% of the company’s patent applications. He is currently a Team Leader in Gevo’s technology area, with focus on fermentation development and strain engineering.

Prior to his employment with Gevo, Dr. Hawkins was a Postdoctoral Scholar at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Iowa, where he specialized in microbial physiology and metabolism, bacterial genetics, environmental microbiology, and directed evolution. During his graduate school years at the University of Iowa, Dr. Hawkins was a fellow at the University of Iowa Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing, a National Science Foundation Trainee, and Course Coordinator for the prestigious Microbial Diversity Course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.