The Gene and Linda Voiland School of

Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

James Petersen, Ph.D.
Director & Professor

James Petersen

Research Focus: Bioremediation of Contaminated Aqueous Systems, Modeling of Biological Processing Operations and On-line Optimization of Biological Processes

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

Personal website:

Office: Wegner Hall 105F
Office Phone: 509-335-8215


  • 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). This service resulted in the report which can be found at
  • Washington State Economic Development Council, Technology Commercialization Steering Committee (2004–2006). The final report can be found at
  • 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

The Gene & Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, PO Box 646515, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6515, 509-335-4332, Email ChEBE: