Director's Message


From the clothes on our backs to the fuel in our cars and pollution reduction techniques, the applications of industrial biotechnology are embedded in our everyday lives, making it one of the world’s most integrated disciplines. It is the next evolutionary step toward a sustainable and environmentally-friendly chemical manufacturing industry, which itself creates the building blocks that comprise every human-made object. Yet the widespread impact remains unknown until researchers unlock its full potential.  

Ushering in a new era of education in this important area, the Center for Industrial Biotechnology (CIB) pairs a master’s education with targeted experience at a research center focused exclusively on the topic. As part of the master’s degree, students receive a broad education in four industrial biotechnology areas - agriculture, industrial chemicals, biofuels, and healthcare - and then secure an internship to narrow their focus in the area of their choice.

Through the leadership of expert faculty from both the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering and the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, CIB is bringing about the next generation of industrial biotechnology experts and setting the agenda for research in one of the fastest growing disciplines in the country. In fact, market analysis shows that the industry has grown more than 10 percent each year for the past decade, with industrial biotechnology making upward of $370 billion in revenues last year.*  

Through our research and master’s program, we look forward to graduating students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds in this highly lucrative field. We hope you join us as CIB continues to identify and develop new applications that drive us into the future.


Ian Wheeldon
Director, Center for Industrial Biotechnology
Associate Professor, Chemical and Environmental Engineering