Wen became the interim director of the Center for Crops Utilization Research (CCUR) in 2018. From 2005 to 2010, he was an assistant professor at Virginia Tech in Biological System Engineering. In 2010, Wen joined the Iowa State University Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition as an associate professor and was promoted to full professor in 2016. Wen’s research has focused on green and sustainable food, fuel and biomaterials processing technologies. One area of his research studies the cultivation of microalgae for wastewater treatment and for value-added products. In 2013, Wen led the development of Iowa State’s first pilot-scale algal production facility located at the BioCentury Research Farm. The facility is helping university researchers and industry develop new algae cultivation technologies and products. He is co-founder of Gross-Wen Technologies Inc., an Iowa-based start-up company that uses algae to mitigate water pollution while delivering high-value products, including biofuels, food, feed and fertilizer. The company’s system currently is being tested in Cresco, Iowa, and Chicago. Wen has secured over $6.5 million dollars in research funding. These research results have led to a number of technology innovations and patents. As Center Director his priority is to enhance the Center visibility and leverage staff expertise and services available for industry and faculty aiding in conducting research and outreach programming in food, feed, and biorenewables.
Area of Expertise:
Algae Cultivation Technologies and Products
Biofuels and Biomaterials
B.S., Chemical Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology
M.S., Chemical Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology
Ph.D., Biochemical Engineering, The University of Hong Kong