UMN Researcher Named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Roger Ruan portrait

Congratulations to Roger Ruan, a professor and director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering and director of the Center for Biorefining, who was recently named a National Academy of Inventors Fellow. This is the highest professional distinction awarded solely to inventors. He was chosen by the selection committee for demonstrating “a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.”

A researcher whose work focuses mostly on renewable energy, Ruan has disclosed eight technologies to Technology Commercialization and holds 19 US patents. He has one US-issued patent on converting scum waste from wastewater treatment plants into biodiesel, and two US-issued patents on a process to make ammonia. Ruan also conducts research into food processing, with an emphasis on sustainable development, circular economy, and pathogen disinfection, and recently received a granting notice from the United States Patent Office for his method to decontaminate powdered food using microwaves.

Ruan is currently working on forming a startup based on a process that produces liquid fertilizer from air and water using a plasma reactor he developed.