David R. Shonnard

David R. Shonnard


  • Research Professor, Chemical Engineering
  • Robbins Chair in Sustainable Use of Materials
  • PhD in Chemical Engineering, University of California, Davis (1991)
  • MS in Chemical Engineering, University of California, Davis (1985)
  • BS in Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno (1983)


My teaching interests are in sustainable engineering, environmentally-conscious design, life cycle assessments, and chemical reaction engineering.

Research interests are in systems analysis for sustainability, environmental life cycle assessments of renewable energy technologies, and chemical recycling of waste plastics for a circular economy.

Bioprocess Engineering / Renewable Bio-Based Fuels
Research in these areas employ a range of conversion approaches, including molecular biology techniques for enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass and acid catalyzed hydrolysis of woody biomass.  Thermochemical process engineering includes micro pyrolysis and pilot-scale fast pyrolysis.  Biomass feedstocks include forest biomass, forest residuals, municipal solid waste,  forest products wastewater streams, energy crops (hybrid poplar, switchgrass, willow), and residuals from the agricultural sector (corn stover, cane bagasse, rice straw).

Research Interests

  • Bioprocess engineering
  • Alternative energy/Biofuels
  • Sustainability