Intermountain Biological Engineering Conference

Intermountain Biological Engineering Conference

Harnessing the Power of Biology

Join us October 29th & 30th for a two-day Conference, Friday from 3:30 to 5:30 and Saturday Morning 8:30-to Noon. The events will have presentations, a poster competition, industry mentorship, and more! The event is taking place both in-person and virtually through Utah State University and will provide opportunities for students, professors, and industry professionals to be involved. Updates based on the status of COVID-19 will be posted here, as well as sent to registered participants.

Guest Speakers:

nathan lacross

Name: Nathan LaCross
Title: COVID-19 Wastewater Surveillance in Utah
Abstract: Beginning as a pilot project developed through partnership between the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, three universities, and the Utah Department of Health, Utah's wastewater surveillance program began collecting data in April 2020. The Program, now a member of CDC's National Wastewater Surveillance System, continues to provide a great deal of valuable information on SARS-CoV-2 trends in communities throughout Utah.

eiteman mark

Name: Dr. Mark A. Eitman, Ph.D.
Title: Engineering Bacterial Metabolism by Modifying Enzyme Kinetics
Abstract: Metabolic engineering is used to improve titers, yields and generation rates for biochemical products in host microbes such as Escherichia coli. Ultimately, any introduced, heterologous pathway must compete with existing native pathways. A typical strategy to generate more product is to overproduce the enzymes involved in the introduced pathway, an approach which is limited because of its impact on cell resources. Another approach to increase product formation is decreasing the activity of native pathways. In this presentation, I focus on recent work in our lab to decrease the activity of citrate synthase, which allows improved synthesis of biochemicals derived from the central carbon metabolite acetyl-CoA. We integrated into E. coli C ΔpoxB numerous citrate synthase genes (gltA) having specific point mutations that were anticipated to reduce citrate synthase activity. These variants were assessed for growth and the production of acetate, a model product derived from acetyl-CoA. Results are also provided on the production of citramalic acid, one example product derived from acetyl-CoA.

phillip heck

Name: Phillip Heck, Ph.D., P.E.
Title: Biological Engineering Applications in Wastewater Treatment
Abstract: The Central Valley Water Reclamation Facility (CVWRF) is the largest municipal wastewater treatment plant in Utah and serves over 600,00 residents living in Salt Lake County. The facility has designed and is currently constructing upgrades to all components of the treatment process to meet future water quality regulations. The new treatment systems incorporates the latest biological treatment process advances in the main liquid-stream process, the sludge digestion process, and in side-stream processes for removing phosphorus and nitrogen from recycled sludge dewatering streams. This presentation will review biological engineering applications in wastewater treatment using the CVWRF facility as a case study.

Libbie Linton

Name: Libbie Linton, P.E.
Title: Evaluation of an Integrated Tertiary Treatment System to Achieve Ultra-Low Phosphorus in Municipal Wastewater
Abstract: In 2022, the WWTP will be subject to a more stringent National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit standard. Various physico-chemical based unit processes, including tertiary clarification and membrane filtration, were considered for their ability to consistently meet these requirements. The new ITT and SCC systems incorporatea unique collaborative design approach that was selectedfollowing evaluation of existing infrastructure and current plant conditions.We will alsodiscuss aspects of design approach between owner, integrated process equipment supplier, and engineer, as well as ongoing and future work.


Utah State University Biological Engineering Department.