Mark Wilkins comes to Kansas State University after six years as a professor of biological systems engineering, as well as food science and technology, and as the director of the Industrial Agricultural Products Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. While at UNL, Wilkins was awarded the Nebraska Corn Checkoff Presidential Chair to support his research developing valuable products from corn. Wilkins also served as the graduate chair for biological systems engineering at UNL and was a member of the UNL faculty senate. From 2004-05, Wilkins was a postdoctoral engineer at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service's Citrus and Subtropical Products Laboratory in Winter Haven, Florida. While there, Wilkins was a co-inventor on two U.S. patents related to ethanol production from citrus peel waste.
Wilkins' research focuses on fermentation of sugars and lignin monomers to produce both foods and chemicals. Utilization of waste products as feedstock is an emphasis. Recent projects have included production of bioplastics from fermentation of sugars and lignin monomers, succinic acid fermentation, packed bed fermenter design and utilization of corn fiber as a feedstock for bioprocessing.
Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004
M.S. in Agricultural Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001
B.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University, 1999