Professor Pendse joined the faculty at the University of Maine in 1979 and became Department Chair in 2003. He received his M.S. and
Ph. D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the Syracuse University. He was awarded the Dow Outstanding Young Faculty Award from the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) in 1982.
Since early 2004, Dr. Pendse has been driving the University of Maine forest biorefinery efforts beginning with a plan for a small-scale manufacturing development facility for technology demonstration and validation. He is the Founding Director of the Forest Bioproducts Research Institute (FBRI) that brings together researchers from the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department and the School of Forest Resources.
From 2006 to 209, Dr. Pendse was responsible for managing a $10 million Maine Forest Bioproducts Research Initiative (FBRI) funded by in part the National Science Foundation (NSF/EPSCoR). He is also the Principal Investigator of the $5.0 million Research Implementation Project funded in part by the Department of Energy (DOE/EPSCoR). Dr. Pendse led establishment of a new Technology Research Center (TRC) at a 40,000 sq. ft. high-bay facility in Old Town, with a $4.8 million grant from the Maine Technology Asset Fund. He was instrumental in Old Town Mill being selected for the $30 million DOE award for biorefinery technology demonstration, along with Dick Arnold. Currently he is leading an interdisciplinary team of twelve faculty focused on Sustainable Energy Pathways (SEP) for converting woody biomass into drop-in fuels with funding ($2 million) from NSF; bringing researchers together from School of Forest Resources, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering and School of Economics.
In October 2007, Prof. Pendse was appointed to the Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board by Governor Baldacci. He also served on Governor’s task force on ‘Wood to Energy’ in 2008. He is currently serving as the 1st vice-chair of the Transport and Energy Processes (TEP) Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). In September 2009, Prof. Pendse received the UMaine College of Engineering Ashley S. Campbell Award. In March 2010, he was featured in Bangor METRO magazine’s Business Innovation section. In May 2012, Prof. Pendse received the University of Maine Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award.