Professor Lee Lynd

Dartmouth College Thayer School of Engineering

Watch Lee Lynd’s Talk

Professor Lee Lynd of the Thayer School of Engineering is an expert in the field of sustainable fuel utilization, an entrepreneur, and a brilliant speaker.

Lee Rybeck Lynd is a Professor of Engineering and an Adjunct Professor of Biology and of Earth Science at Dartmouth College, Professor Extraordinary of Microbiology at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and Director and Chief Scientific Officer of Mascoma Corporation, a biomass energy start-up he co-founded. He has been a member of the Dartmouth Faculty since 1987. Dr. Lynd holds a B.S. degree in biology from Bates College, an M.S. degree in bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, and masters and doctoral degrees in engineering from Dartmouth College. Professor Lynd is an expert on utilization of plant biomass for production of energy. His contributions span the science, technology, and policy domains, and include leading research on fundamental and biotechnological aspects of microbial cellulose utilization. He has led an active research group addressing these issues over the last two decades, authoring over 100 papers, book chapters, and reviews as well as 11 granted patents. A frequently invited presenter on technical and strategic aspects of biomass energy, Professor Lynd has three times testified before the United States Senate, and has been featured in prominent fora such as Wired, Forbes, Nova, and the Nobel Conference.


• Inaugural recipient of the Lemelson-MIT Sustainability Prize for inventions and innovations that enhance economic opportunity and community well-being while protecting and restoring the natural environment.

• Charles D. Scott Award for distinguished contributions to the field of biotechnology for fuels and chemicals.

• Two-time recipient of the Charles A. Lindbergh Award in recognition of efforts to promote a balance between environmental preservation and technological advancement.

• National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award.

Selected Professional Activities:

• Steering Committee Chair, Global Sustainable Bioenergy, a 3-stage project addressing feasibility and implementation paths associated with a biomass-intensive energy future.

• Co-leader, The Role of Biomass in America’s Energy Future, a project involving 10 institutions and supported by the Department of Energy, the National Commission on Energy Policy, and the Energy Foundation.

• Biofuels industry representative on a committee advisory to the Executive Office of President Clinton on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Personal Vehicles.

• Biomass Deconstruction and Conversion Focus Area Leader. DOE Bioenergy Science Center ($125 million over 5 years).

• Co-leader, “Reimagining Agriculture to Accommodate Large-Scale Energy Production”, NSF-Funded Workshop, Nebraska City.

• Editorial Board Member, Biotechnology and Bioengineering.

• Organizing Committee Member, Annual Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals.

• Manager of the Link Foundation Energy Fellowship Program.

• Organizing Committee Member, American Academy of Microbiology Symposium on Microbial Energy Production.

Video of Lee Lynd, 2007 Winner of Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability