Dr. Kevin Solomon is an Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. His work focuses on the development of novel tools and non-model microbial platforms to supply the energy, materials, and medicines of tomorrow. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering from McMaster University (Canada) and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from MIT. As part of his graduate work, Dr. Solomon developed new tools to increase biomanufacturing efficiency. As a postdoctoral fellow at UC Santa Barbara, he applied the latest advances in sequencing technologies to interrogate how microbes interact with their environment and identify new tools for synthetic biology. Using these techniques, he spearheaded efforts to molecularly characterize in depth a class of elusive microbes with tremendous potential for biofuel production, agriculture, and drug discovery. He has received several academic, teaching, and service awards including the Department of Energy Early Career Award, an Outstanding Faculty Award from Purdue Residences, a Genewiz Empower New Faculty Award, a Lemelson Presidential Fellowship, an NSERC Julie Payette Award, and a Science Education Leadership Award from SynBERC. Dr. Solomon’s work is work is supported by the NSF, DOE, private trusts and industry.