Biodiesel innovator, NGSB supporter Dallas Hanks dies at 51

By Ron Kotrba | July 01, 2014

The biodiesel industry suffered a major loss last week when Dallas Hanks, 51 years old, died of cancer. A native of Burley, Idaho, Hanks earned master’s and doctoral degrees from Utah State University, and pioneered the idea of growing biofuel feedstock on nontraditional lands. 

Hanks was a big supporter of and contributor to the National Biodiesel Board’s Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel Program, where student scientists could be offered scholarships to attend industry events and other scientific mentoring activities. To honor Hanks’ contributions to biodiesel research, the National Biodiesel Foundation has established the Next Generation Scientists Dallas Hanks Memorial Fund, the proceeds of which will be used to advance the original objectives of the program and assist in carrying out the visionary work started by Hanks. 

“Dallas Hanks had a knack for bringing stakeholders together to pursue a bigger picture and successfully pioneered the idea of growing biofuel feedstock plants on nontraditional agricultural land such as airports, military bases, and highway right-of-ways, ultimately creating the Freeways to Fuel program,” said Joe Jobe, CEO of the NBB. “That was just one example of the dozens of biodiesel-related projects he had a hand in creating. He was a brilliant scientist, educator, humanitarian, entrepreneur, spirited lover of life, and a certified good dude. Our industry was fortunate to be a part of his passion, a passion he has passed on to new leaders through the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel who will continue the work he began.”



4 Responses

  1. Peter Brown



    He will be missed, his vision was based on facts that will come to pass, not politics, wishful thinking or money.

  2. Graydon Blair



    Oh, that's so sad...I've met Dallas many times and was always impressed with the work he did on Biodiesel. He will be greatly missed.

  3. Wayne Wickizer



    This IS very sad news. We were "shirt tail" friends. I had encroached on his professional territory with information about an innovative, small, gasification unit. Dallas spent his valuable time with me examining and "proofing" this technology never talking down to me for a moment. He always returned my calls. The Agriculture and Academic communities have suffered an irreplaceable loss. The end note here is that I liked Dallas.

  4. Michael R. Morgan



    Dallas' passing leaves a large gap. He was a great man and had more enthusiasm and excitement for continuing biodiesel research than anyone I know. I am grateful I got to know him and get to help perpetuate his work here at USU and also his legacy as a Co-Chair of the NGSB.


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