Mark Wilkins, PhD, PE

Mark Wilkins

Contact Information:

East Campus (Lincoln)
211 L.W. Chase Hall

Professor, Director, Industrial Ag Products Center

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D., Agricultural Engineering, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, 2004
  • M.S., Agricultural Engineering, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, 2001
  • B.S., Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University, 1999
  • Licensed Professional Engineer, Oklahoma


  • 25% teaching, 50% research, 25% administration

Areas of Research and Professional Interest

  • Enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass
  • Fermentation for production of bioproducts
  • Processing of corn and other cereal grains
  • Pretreatment of lignocellulosic biomass

In the News: Powered by the Nebraska Engineering News


  • Stewart, D., W.W. Widmer, K. Grohmann, and M.R. Wilkins. 2013. Ethanol production from solid citrus processing waste.  United States Patent 8,372,614.  Awarded February 12, 2013.
  • Widmer, W.W., D. Stewart, K. Grohmann, and M.R. Wilkins. 2011. Method of pretreating citrus waste. United States Patent 7,879,379. Awarded February 1, 2011.

Courses Taught

  • AGEN/BSEN: 898 Internship
  • BSEN 444/844: Biomass and Bioenergy
  • BSEN 445/845: Bioprocess Engineering

About Mark Wilkins

Dr. Wilkins comes to UNL from Oklahoma State University, where he was on the faculty of the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department for 11 years. Prior to joining OSU, Dr. Wilkins was a postdoctoral engineer at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s Citrus and Subtropical Products Laboratory in Winter Haven, Florida.

Wilkins earned an M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2004) in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Purdue University in 1999.  His research interests are in bioprocessing and food processing.

He has co-authored 55 refereed journal articles and 2 book chapters. Wilkins’ teaching interests are in biochemical engineering, food engineering, ethics, and short-term study abroad.  He also served on OSU’s Graduate Faculty Council for 4 years and was the Graduate Program Coordinator for his department at OSU. He is licensed as a Professional Engineer in the state of Oklahoma.  He is married to Lana and has two children: Hannah (4) and Daniel (2). 

Honors and Awards

  • 2019 Leadership Citation, Meetings Council, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)
  • 2019 Outstanding Associate Editor, ASABE
  • Nebraska Corn Checkoff Presidential Chair, 2018-present
  • 2016 ASABE Superior Paper Award
  • 2012 Gale A. Holloway Award for Professional Development, ASABE

Selected Publications

  1. Abdella, A., F. Segato, and M.R. Wilkins. 2020. Optimization of process parameters and fermentation strategy for xylanase production in a stirred tank reactor using a mutant Aspergillus nidulans strain. Biotechnol. Reports. DOI:10.1016/j.btre.2020.e00457
  2. Irmak, S., J. Kang, and M. Wilkins. 2020. Depolymerization of lignin by wet air oxidation. Bioresource Technol. Reports. 9:100377. DOI:10.1016/j.biteb.2019.100377
  3. Li, M. and M. Wilkins. 2020. Fed-batch cultivation and adding supplements to increase yields of polyhydroxybutyrate production by Cupriavidus necator from corn stover alkaline pretreatment liquor. Bioresource Technol. 299:122676. DOI:10.1016/j.biortech.2019.122676
  4. Li, M. and M.R. Wilkins. 2020. Flow cytometry for quantitation of polyhydroxybutyrate production by Cupriavidus necator using alkaline pretreated liquor from corn stover. Bioresource Technol. 295:122254. DOI:10.1016/j.biortech.2019.122254
  5. Li, M. and M.R. Wilkins. 2020. Recent advances in polyhydroxyalkanoate production: Feedstocks, strains and process developments. International J Biol Macromolecules 156:691-703
  6. Li, M, N. K. Wijewardane, Y. Ge, Z. Xu and M.R. Wilkins. 2020. Visible/near infrared spectroscopy and machine learning for predicting polyhydroxybutyrate production cultured on alkaline pretreated liquor from corn stover. Bioresource Technol. Reports. 9:100386. DOI:10.1016/j.biteb.2020.100386
  7. Liu, E., M. Li, A. Abdella, M.R. Wilkins. 2020. Development of a cost-effective medium for submerged production of fungal aryl alcohol oxidase using a genetically modified Aspergillus nidulans strain. Bioresource Technol. 305:123038. DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2020.123038
  8. Abdella, A., F. Segato, M.R. Wilkins. 2019. Optimization of nutrient medium components for production of a client endo-beta-1,4-xylanase from Aspergillus fumigatus var. niveus using a recombinant Aspergillus nidulans strain. Biocatalysis and Agr. Biotechnol. 20:101267. DOI:10.1016/j.bcab.2019.101267.
  9. Li, M., K. Eskridge, M.R. Wilkins. 2019. Optimization of polyhydroxybutyrate production by experimental design of combined ternary mixture (glucose, xylose and arabinose) and process variables (sugar concentration, molar C:N ratio). Bioprocess and Biosystems Eng. 42 (9):1495-1506. DOI:10.1007/s00449-019-02146-1
  10. Li, M, K Eskridge, E. Liu, M.R. Wilkins. 2019 Enhancement of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) production from alkaline pretreatment liquor with an oxidative enzyme-mediator-surfactant system. Bioresource Technol. 281:99-106. DOI:10.1016/j.biortech.2019.02.045