Student Profile

John Buns
Class of '10

John Buns was in the inaugural cohort of the Illinois PSM students, earning his M.S. degree in Bioenergy in 2010.  His educational background was in molecular and cellular biology, earning his undergraduate degree from Northern Arizona University.  John chose the Illinois PSM because he “really enjoyed practical application rather than theory during his undergraduate experience and wanted to enter a more industry focused program.” His internship centered on biomass densification (pellets) with the Dudley Smith Farm and the Agricultural and Biological Engineering department at Illinois.  He highly recommends that students “take advantage of the program and everything Illinois has to offer, from the student organizations to the prestigious professors.”  John now works in Technical Sales for DuPont Industrial Biosciences and serves on the Illinois PSM Advisory Board.

Bioprocessing and Bioenergy Program Graduates

MEET BIOPROCESSING AND BIOENERGY GRADUATES

Abhijit Limaye - Class of '14

Abhijit Limaye is a 2014 graduate of the Bioprocessing and Bioenergy PSM program.  He earned his undergraduate degree in Biotechnology from the B.V. Bhoomaraddi College of Engineering and Technology in Hubli India, where he performed research.  Abhijit says that “during my undergraduate studies, I developed a passion for Bioenergy Science. My ambition is to become an entrepreneur later on in life by starting a renewable energy company. The Illinois PSM Bioprocessing and Bioenergy program was hence a perfect fit for me- a blend of science and business.”    Abhijit found his internship at the Federal University of Vicosa, Brazil through networking, an aspect of the PSM program he truly believes in. “As an international student, I understand how hard it is to find a job, but if you network properly, make good connections, have a great LinkedIn profile and constantly update your resume, it is possible.  This program has helped me connect the industry and academia..”  Abhijit is currently a Technical Service Account Manager with DuPont Biosciences in Des Moines, Iowa.

Tingwen Bao - Class of '13
 

Tingwen Bao is a graduate of the Illinois PSM in Bioprocessing and Bioenergy. Tingwen earned an undergraduate degree in bioengineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.  She completed her internship at the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Lab at the University of Illinois, completing market research to update a market analysis/plan for the new lab.  Tingwen feels that the PSM “gave her the knowledge and skills needed for interviewing and her internship.  There were numerous chances to practice interviewing, build professional networks and prepare presentations.  The practices helped me stand out from the rest of the competition for my current job.”  She currently works as a Grid Integration and Innovation analyst at Pacific Gas and Electric, located in the San Francisco Bay area.

Patrick "Pat" Grady - Class of '12

Pat Grady graduated in 2012 from the Illinois PSM Bioprocessing and Bioenergy program.  He obtained his undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a Chemistry minor.  While in the PSM program, Pat was an agriculture business development intern for BP Biofuels and assisted with developing an undergraduate bioenergy course. He has held numerous positions within BP America including operations project manager, field environmental advisor, air quality specialist and strategy manager before accepting his current role as an account manager for their aviation division.  Pat’s advice is to “remain flexible and adaptable to change, it is the only thing that has remained constant in my career thus far, and many people are either successful or not based on their reaction to business change and uncertainty.”

Beth (Papanek) Conerty, Ph.D. - Class of '11
 
Dr. Beth Conerty is a 2011 graduate of the program.  As a student, she worked in Dr. Hans Blaschek’s laboratory and did consulting work with Illinois Business Consulting.  She went on to get her Ph.D. in Energy Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee where she co-founded the company Nano Elements Source, LLC. She currently serves as their Vice-President of Business Development as is the Program Lead for Entrepreneurial Support and Development at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.  Beth says that because of the Illinois PSM, “I have been taken much more seriously and got to jump in right away because I did have some business background.  I worked with a startup company and their pa of once I graduate.  The parent company said how rare and useful it is to have someone who understands the technical side of things, but can also really speak to the business interests.”
 
John Buns - Class of '10
 

John Buns was in the inaugural cohort of the Illinois PSM students, earning his M.S. degree in Bioenergy in 2010.  His educational background was in molecular and cellular biology, earning his undergraduate degree from Northern Arizona University.  John chose the Illinois PSM because he “really enjoyed practical application rather than theory during his undergraduate experience and wanted to enter a more industry focused program.” His internship centered on biomass densification (pellets) with the Dudley Smith Farm and the Agricultural and Biological Engineering department at Illinois.  He highly recommends that students “take advantage of the program and everything Illinois has to offer, from the student organizations to the prestigious professors.”  John now works in Technical Sales for DuPont Industrial Biosciences and serves on the Illinois PSM Advisory Board.

 

COMPANIES

Bioprocessing and Bioenergy students have had their Illinois PSM internship at:

  • Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company
  • BCS, Inc.
  • BP Biofuels, LLC
  • Clara Foods
  • Clean Energy Trust
  • Cleantech Group
  • Dow AgroSciences
  • Eco Achievers
  • Illinois Dept. of Transportation
  • Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
  • Illinois Green Business Association
  • Illinois Sustainable Technology Center
  • Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL)
  • Novozymes
  • Pekron Consulting
  • PositivEnergy Practice
  • U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • Universidad de Sao Paulo
  • and others.

Bioprocessing and Bioenergy graduates have been hired by:

  • Abengoa
  • ADM
  • BP America
  • BCS, Inc.
  • Cleantech Group
  • ComEd
  • DuPont Industrial Biosciences
  • EcoAchievers
  • EdeniQ
  • Greenaltech
  • Ingredion
  • JLL
  • KPX Life Science Co., Ltd.
  • Marquis Energy LLC,
  • MBI Internationoal
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
  • PositivEnergy Practice
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • and others.

POSITIONS

Bioprocessing and Bioenergy graduates have accepted the following positions after graduating from the Illinois PSM:

  • Associate Chemist,
  • Business Analyst
  • Chemical Operator,
  • De-Risking Professional
  • Engineer
  • Energy Acquisition Analyst
  • International Sales Engineer,
  • Lab Manager,
  • Patent Broker
  • Research Analyst
  • Research and Development Scientist,
  • Remediation Management,
  • Sustainability Analyst,
  • Technical Sales,
  • Technical Service Engineer,
  • and more.

 

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