School Welcomes Fernando Resende

Fernando Resende is one of fifteen new faculty members recruited by the School over the past five years; he was appointed Assistant Professor in Bioresource Science and Engineering in September 2011 following a nationwide search. Resende received a BS in Chemical Engineering in 2000 from the State University of Campinas in Brazil, his home country, where he went on to obtain an MS in Mechanical Engineering in 2003. After receiving research training at the University of Zaragoza, in Spain, Resende came to the U.S. for his graduate studies at the University of Michigan, where he stayed until 2009 and received MS and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering. Resende comes to the UW after working as a post-doctoral research associate at Purdue University and South Dakota State University.

Resende’s research interests focus on catalytic processes for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into renewable fuels and chemicals. These processes can be thermochemical (promoted by heat) or hydrothermal (promoted by heat and water). “We want to be able to produce our transportation fuels and high-value chemicals from agricultural residues and non-food crops, instead of fossil sources. This is the concept of a biorefinery, which can reduce our dependence on imported oil, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and also eliminate residues,” says Resende, who won the 2008 Walter J. Weber Student Award in Environmental and Energy Sustainability at the University of Michigan for his research with hydrogen production from biomass in supercritical water. He has plans for a number of key projects related to biomass conversion in his UW lab, including catalytic pyrolysis, gasification in supercritical water, hydrothermal liquefaction, and conversion of ethanol to gasoline.  

Resende joins the Bioresource Science and Engineering (BSE) program, which recently became the lead on a $40 million grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture (seearticle in this newsletter). He will also be teaching in the Bioresource Science and Engineering curriculum, which has successfully completed a strategic transformation from a paper science and engineering program into a broader bioresources-based program. The winner of an Outstanding Instructor Award from the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering, Resende has always been passionate about teaching and mentoring. He says “I am very excited about the learning opportunities that the new curriculum will provide to students, and I am looking forward to contribute to the future of the BSE program."

Fernando is married to Olivia Resende, who is also from Brazil, and he is the father of Felipe, a 1 ½ year-old, very active boy. Fernando enjoys studying the Bible and spending time with his family and friends. Like most Brazilians, he loves soccer and also likes to play and watch basketball.

Assistant Professor Fernando Resende. Photo: Mary Levin.