Dr. Ruben Carbonell, Frank Hawkins Kenan Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University, has been appointed director of the Golden LEAF Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC). Carbonell succeeds the founding director, Dr. Peter Kilpatrick, who has been named dean of the College of Engineering at Notre Dame University. Carbonell's appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2008.
Located on NC State's Centennial Campus, the Golden LEAF BTEC is the largest facility of its kind in the nation. Through partnerships between NC State, North Carolina Central University and the North Carolina Community College system, BTEC's distance education and on-site programs will train as many as 2,000 people per year. The center will also help attract new biomanufacturing companies to North Carolina; assist the development of new technologies for production of value-added biopharmaceuticals, protein-based products and chemicals from organisms, plants, cell cultures and other bio-based systems; and enhance the creation of rural biomanufacturing jobs and new agribusiness opportunities.
Carbonell will also continue to direct the William R. Kenan, Jr. Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science; he has directed the institute since 1999. In this capacity, he led the establishment of the highly successful Kenan Fellows for Curriculum and Leadership Program, which has become a national model for university and industry K-12 outreach. Carbonell has also co-directed the NSF Science and Technology Center for Environmentally Responsible Solvents and Processes.
“Ruben Carbonell is a distinguished researcher and talented administrator who has worn a number of hats during his nearly two dozen years at NC State,“ says Dr. Larry Nielsen, NC State's provost and executive vice chancellor. “We're fortunate that we can put this important facility and its training programs - which will have such a tremendous impact on the growth of the biomanufacturing sector in our state - in his capable hands.“
A fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society, Carbonell's recent research in bioseparations led to the identification of a specific ligand for the prion protein responsible for the transmission of mad cow disease in humans. This ligand is being used to remove prion protein from blood products. He is the recipient of a number of teaching and research awards, including NC State's Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professorship and the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal.
Carbonell joined the faculty at NC State as a full professor in 1984. He served as head of the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1994 to 1999. He received his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Manhattan College in 1969 and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton University in 1973.
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