Biodiesel innovator, NGSB supporter Dallas Hanks dies at 51
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.”