Genomatica's Jeff Lievense to speak at Microbial Fermentation Workshop

lievense_jeff.jpgUC San Diego Extension is excited to announce that Jeff Lievense, Executive Vice President of Process Technology at Genomatica, will be a guest speaker at the three-day Microbial Fermentation Workshop running from August 21 to 23. With over 30 years of industry experience, Lievense boasts extensive fermentation chemical product scale-up experience with industrial-scale plants. His specialties include process design and development, scale-up, and technology transfer and manufacturing support.

Lievense has a laundry list of accomplishments to his name. At Genomatica, he spearheaded the successful scale-up of the technology leader's direct 1, 4-butanediol fermentation process — a landmark event in the industrial biotechnology industry. Before assuming his current position, he served as the Executive Vice President of Technology of Process Development at Amyris Biotechnologies from December 2007 to April 2012. From 1994 to 2007, Lievense worked in various technology management positions in the Research and Development department of Tate & Lyle Plc, a global food and agricultural ingredients company, eventually becoming the Vice President of Technology and Process Development. At Tate & Lyle, he oversaw the fermentation R & D program, successfully commercialized three large-scale industrial fermentation products, and developed and scaled a production process for Bio-PDO (1,3-propanediol) to 100 million pounds per year at a Loudon, Tennessee plant.

Lievense earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Purdue University and a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. He has worked on over 30 fermentation products throughout his career, ranging from conducting early stage research and pilot plant development, to full-scale manufacturing.

UC San Diego Extension partnered with UC San Diego’s Center for Continuing Education in Biosciences to develop the Microbial Fermentation Workshop. In this course, students will learn how to strategically plan and analyze experiments by investigating the most current statistical approaches to designing experiments. Students will furthermore be taught how to apply biological principles to problems involving microbial growth systems. The workshop is geared toward professionals with some prior experience in fermentation seeking to widen their current skill sets, improve their problem solving abilities, and learn the ins and outs of modeling bioprocesses within bioreactors.

Lievense will primarily be speaking about the issues raised from the scale-up of microbial cells from the bench scale to the fermenter. He volunteered to teach as a way of giving back to both the industrial fermentation profession and UC San Diego, as several Genomatica employees hail from the La Jolla university. Genomatica co-founder Bernhard Palsson is currently the Galletti Professor of Bioengineering and an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego, while co-founder and CEO Christophe Schilling earned his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering in 2000. According to Lievense, "The workshop provides excellent training in microbial fermentation, a technology with great significance across modern society: food, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, materials, fuels and environmental remediation. It is also central to the emerging transition from fossil to renewable feedstocks."

Four other instructors will be teaching the course, including UC San Diego professors James Golden, Ph.D., of microbial.jpgMolecular Biology and Pao Chau, Ph. D., of Chemical Engineering. Biotechnology Professor Mike Fino, M.Eng., of Mira Costa College, and Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering Michelle O’Malley, Ph. D., of UC Santa Barbara will also be heading the workshop.

For more information about this workshop, please visit the website or contact Felicia Murray at (858) 534-9353 or

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