- Chemical Engineering
Since joining the Chemical Engineering faculty in 1996, Professor Block’s research has been focused on technology for wine fermentations and biopharmaceutical fermentation optimization based on historical process data and artificial intelligence. More recently, his work has included applications to biofuel production including the study of increased alcohol tolerance in microorganisms and of bio-based fuels. Dr. Block teaches Biotech Facility Design and Regulatory Compliance in the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Wine Technology and Winery Systems and Advances in the Science of Winemaking in the Department of Viticulture and Enology. Before joining UC Davis, he worked in the Biopharmaceuticals Department at Hoffmann-La Roche in Nutley, New Jersey, from 1991-1996. At Roche, he was in charge of a fermentation process development group and also a team leader for control systems in new manufacturing facilities. In the latter capacity, he helped to design, build, validate and maintain multiple new facilities. He holds a B.S.E. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Minnesota, respectively.