Meet Our Innovators

Bryan D. Willson, PhD

Associate Research Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Biomaterials Research and Engineering Laboratory, School of Advanced Materials Discovery

Areas of Collaborative Interest

  • Entrepreneurship,
  • Energy access in the developing world,
  • Engine technology,
  • Electric grid technology
  • Licensing his available technologies

In his university role, Dr. Willson has helped to launch or enhance numerous other companies.  His research laboratory, the Engines & Energy Conversion Laboratory, has made important contributions in many areas, including: internal combustion engines, oil & gas production technology, advanced electrical grids, advanced biofuels, technology for the developing world, and advanced building technologies.  Dr. Willson has worked in over 40 countries. 

Dr. Bryan Willson served as a Program Director at ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy), from 2012-2016 and continues to serve as a consultant / advisor to the agency.  Dr. Willson has worked for over 25 years to develop and deploy large-scale technology solutions related to energy, air quality, and human health.  As an entrepreneur, Dr. Willson is co-founder of: Envirofit International, a global company that has developed solutions for clean mobility (direct injection retrofits for 2-stroke cycle engines) and is now manufacturing and distributing clean cookstoves in the developing world; Solix BioSystems, a developer of large-scale production systems for algae-based fuels and specialty chemicals; and Factor(e) Ventures, a venture development firm supporting early stage ventures working on access to energy in the developing world; and Xpower a developer of microgrid technology for the developing world.  In 2020, Dr. Willson leveraged his innovation expertise in a collaboration with Woodward, Inc., developing a portable ventilator system to address COVID-19 medical equipment shortages.


  • US20150368598A1: Systems and methods for positioning flexible floating photobioreactors
  • US20150083108A1: Cook stove assembly
  • AU2014201960A1: Improved diffuse light extended surface area water-supported photobioreactor
  • US20120107792A1: Systems and methods for delivery of gases to algal cultures
  • WO2010002745A1: Model based controls for use with bioreactors
  • US20090305389A1: Permeable membranes in film photobioreactors
  • WO2009149260A1: Compositions, methods and uses for growth of microorganisms and production of their products
  • BRPI0720662A2: Closed system photobiorreators and biofuel production method
  • US20060037572A1: Optical diagnostics integrated with laser spark delivery system
  • US7340129B2: Fiber laser coupled optical spark delivery system

Patent list generated using Google Patents

Last updated on April 18, 2020