Monthly Archives: June 2011

Virent Produces Biofuel from Source Outside Food Supply

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently reported on the success of Virent Energy Systems of Madison in creating biogasoline from a combination of corn stalks and leaves left on farms after the corn harvest, as well as pine tree branches, needles and stumps left on the forest floor after logging. Former Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Researcher Randy Cortright (PhD, 1994) and Steenbock Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering James Dumesic formed Virent in 2002 to commercialize a single-step, low-temperature, catalytic reforming process that can generate hydrogen and a wide range of fuels from sugars, ethylene glycol and methane. Read the article at

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Field Reports: Dan Reich Reports on the Value of Engineering to the Entrepreneur

The Spinback team: Andrew Ferenci, Corey Capasso and Dan Reich

Dan Reich is an electrical and computer engineer who builds businesses and pushes innovation. “I’m all about technology, business, culture, and entrepreneurship,” he says. In January 2011 Reich co-founded a social commerce company called Spinback. Four month later, Spinback was acquired by a company called Buddy Media, the Facebook management system of choice for eight out of the ten top global advertisers. Before Spinback, Reich was an early employee at Lotame, a business he helped grow from a small office with a handful of people, to one with several offices around the world. He has helped create new products and strategies, and secured business partnerships with companies like Google, Conde Nast and other media companies and startups.


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What Wows the Facebook Generation?

ASEE Prism, the magazine of the American Society for Engineering Education, featured UW-Madison College of Engineering’s InterEgr 102 course in its “Dynamic Dozen” list of hot engineering courses. The article discusses courses that spring from imaginative themes, at times cutting across engineering, the sciences, and humanities.

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