Timothy Brennan, Ph.D.
Associate
Engineering Management Consulting
  • Menlo Park

Dr. Brennan’s background is in biological and chemical engineering and he has 6 years of experience in developing innovative technologies for biofuel production. During his Ph.D. work at the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia, Dr. Brennan used his chemical engineering skillset to build biochemical and genetic tools to produce renewable jet fuels in baker’s yeast. He worked across a multidisciplinary team of academic and aviation industry experts by advising the economic team on implementation strategies. He specializes in biochemical engineering, metabolic engineering, systems biology and techno-economic analysis. In addition, Dr. Brennan also founded a student organization at UQ aimed at skill development and networking in the energy space. He built a cohort of 300+ students, faculty and industry experts to work on real-life energy problems in Australia.

Prior to his work at UQ, Dr. Brennan worked at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), one of the world’s leading biofuel research institutions. At JBEI, Dr. Brennan invented and patented a novel bioprocessing technology using homogeneous chemical catalysis to breakdown plant biomass into sugars for biofuel production. Dr. Brennan’s other professional experiences were at MIT and Genentech, Inc. At MIT, he built genetic tools to investigate gene expression in parasites such as malaria. During his time at Genentech, he worked in the Process Engineering group and was responsible for validating and updating all of the manufacturing facilities engineering documentation (P&ID, PFD). 

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Biochemical Engineering, University of Queensland, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, 2014
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2009
  • 2014 Runner-Up prize in Australia’s National FameLab Final

    2013 UQ Future Leaders Award

    2013 UQ’s Three Minute Thesis Runner-Up and People’s Choice award

    2013 European Molecular Biology Lab Travel Award winner 

Publications

Brennan TCR, et al. Evolutionary engineering improves tolerance towards jet fuel replacements in yeast. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2015; in press.

Vickers CE, Behrendorff JB, Bongers M, Brennan TCR, Bruschi M, Nielsen LK. Production of industrially relevant isoprenoid compounds in engineered microbes. Microorganisms in Biorefineries. Kamm, B (ed), Springer, Heidelberg, pp. 303–334, 2015.

Watson J, Brennan TCR, Degnan B, Degnan S, Krömer J. Analysis of the biomass composition of the demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica on Heron Island Reef, Australia. Marine Drugs 2014; 12(6):3733–3753.

Brennan TCR, Krömer J, Nielsen LK. Physiological and transcriptional responses of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to d-limonene show changes to the cell wall but not to the plasma membrane. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 2013; 79(12):3590–3600.

Brennan TCR, et al. Alleviating monoterpene toxicity using a two-phase extractive fermentation for the bioproduction of jet fuel mixtures in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 2012; 109(10):2513–2522.

Brennan TCR, et al. Recovery of sugars from ionic liquid biomass liquor by solvent extraction. Bioenergy Research 2010; 3(2):123–133.

Presentations

Brennan TCR. Evolutionary engineering improves tolerance to jet fuel replacements in yeast. Poster, Metabolic Engineering X, Vancouver, Canada, June 2014. (Poster was selected for 90 second speed presentation).

Brennan TCR, et al. Alleviating monoterpene toxicity using a two-phase extractive fermentation for the bioproduction of jet fuel mixtures in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Presentation, 34th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals, New Orleans, LA, April 2012.

Brennan TCR, et al. Alleviating monoterpene toxicity using a two-phase extractive fermentation for the bioproduction of jet fuel mixtures in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Poster, International Conference on BioNano Innovation (ICBNI), Brisbane Australia, July 2012.

Brennan TCR, et al. Consolidated catalysis and extraction of monomeric sugars from biomass. Poster, American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, November 2010.

Brennan TCR, et al. Recovery of sugars from ionic-liquid biomass liquor by solvent extraction. Presentation, Joint BioEnergy Institute Seminar Series, Emeryville, CA, August, 2009.

Brennan TCR, et al. Recovery of sugars from ionicliquid biomass liquor by solvent extraction. Poster, 31st Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals, San Francisco, CA, May, 2009.


Patents

US Patent 20120315695 A1: Recovery of sugars from ionic liquid biomass liquor by solvent extraction, April 7, 2011 (with Holmes BM, Simmons BA, Blanch HW).

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Biochemical Engineering, University of Queensland, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, 2014
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2009
  • 2014 Runner-Up prize in Australia’s National FameLab Final

    2013 UQ Future Leaders Award

    2013 UQ’s Three Minute Thesis Runner-Up and People’s Choice award

    2013 European Molecular Biology Lab Travel Award winner