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The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

Faculty & Staff

James Petersen

James Petersen Headshot 2019

James Petersen, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor

Bioremediation of contaminated aqueous systems, modeling of biological processing operations and on-line optimization of biological processes

Personal Website

Office: 355 Wegner Hall 📞509-335-8215

The Gene and Linda Voiland
School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering
1505 Stadium Way, Room 105
P.O. Box 646515
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-6515


  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, 1979 – Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, 1976 – Montana State University, Bozeman, MT

Professional Experience

  • Director, Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, WSU, 2008–Present
  • Vice Provost for Research, WSU, 2002–2008
  • Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, WSU College of Engineering and Architecture, 2000–2002
  • Director, WSU/NSF IGERT Center for Multiphase Environmental Research, 1997–2002
  • Interim Executive Director, Inland Northwest Research Alliance, 1999–2001
  • Battelle Distinguished Professor, Chemical Engineering, WSU, 2001–2008
  • Professor, Chemical Engineering, WSU, 1994–2001
  • Faculty Research Associate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 1991–1995
  • Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering, WSU, 1985–1994
  • Visiting Research Associate, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1989–1990
  • Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering, WSU, 1979–1985
  • Visiting Professor, Chevron Research, 1981
  • Visiting Professor, Weyerhaeuser Co, 1980

Research Interests

  • Bioremediation of contaminated aqueous systems
  • Modeling of biological processing operations
  • On-line optimization of biological processes

Board Memberships

  • Washington State Attorney General’s Technology Advisory Committee, 2007–present
  • Editoral Board, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 2003–present
  • American Council on Renewable Energy Higher Education Steering Committee, 2006–present
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Laboratory Advisory Committee, 2006–2008
  • Washington State University Research Foundation – 2002–2008
  • Washington Technology Center – 2002–2008; Vice Chair (2005–2006)
  • Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (2003–2008)
  • Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute (SIRTI), 2006–2008
  • Bio21 Steering Committee, (2002–2004).
  • Washington State Economic Development Council, Technology Commercialization Steering Committee (2004–2006).
  • Governor’s 2006 Life Science Task Force. I co-chaired the “Invest in Research” element of the task force. The report can be found at:
  • Northwest Environmental Business Council (2002–2003)
  • Benchmarking Committee, Technology Alliance (2002–2008)
  • Spokane Alliance for Medical Research (2002–2008)
  • INTEC/Connect Northwest (2004–2005)
  • INEEL Energy and Environmental Sciences Division Review Board (2004–2005)

Honors Received:

  • Iowa State University Professional Achievement Citation in Engineering, October 2004 (,
  • Outstanding Research Faculty Member, WSU College of Engineering and Architecture, 1999.
  • Outstanding Teaching Faculty Member, Chemical Engineering Department, Washington State University, 1985, 1987, 1989.
  • Outstanding Research Faculty Member, Chemical Engineering Department, Washington State University, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999.
  • Listed in 21st and 25th editions of Who’s Who in the West and in the 2nd and 3rd editions of Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America, 2004-2005 edition of Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals.
  • Honorable Mention in Best Paper Award for papers appearing in Drying Technology during 1986–1987 time period. The paper was entitled “Experimental Measurement of Temperature and Moisture Profiles During Apple Drying”, by W.-C. Chiang and J. N. Petersen.
  • ASEE Pacific Northwest Dow Outstanding Young Faculty Member, 1985.
  • Sigma Xi Research Honorary, Member
  • Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honorary, Member

Membership in Professional Organizations

  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Socieity of Engineering Educators