sustainable bio-based aromatics


Robert L. Johnson, Ph.D., Senior Scientist

Robert serves as SusTerea’s senior research scientist and PI on the current phase I NSF STTR phase grant. Robert’s is working to scale up and optimize SusTerea’s technology for use in plug-flow reactors, expand the coumalate platform, along with business development via customer discovery, and market research. Robert obtained his BS degrees from Minnesota State University, Mankato, in biotechnology and biochemistry, a Masters degree from the Bio-Systems Engineering Department at Washington State University, and his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Iowa State University in 2014.


Brent H. Shanks, Ph.D., Technical Advisor and Co-Founder 

Brent Shanks investigates the reaction kinetics of SusTerea's technology as it progresses toward commercialization.  He concurrently is the Director of the Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC) and is the Steffenson Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Iowa State University.  Brent brings his decade of industrial leadership experience from Shell Chemical Company.  He obtained his B.S. in chemical engineering from Iowa State University, followed by his M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology.


Peter L. Keeling, Ph.D., Interim President and Co-Founder

Peter Keeling manages the business development aspects for SusTerea and draws on his 30 years of experience in industry at Syngenta, ExSeed Genetics and BASF.  Over his career, he has founded or co-founded multiple startup ventures.  Peter is also the Innovation Director for the Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC) at Iowa State University.  He has a B.S. in applied biology from Hertfordshire University, a Ph.D. in biochemistry and toxicology from the Council of National Academic Awards, and completed postdoctoral research at ICI/Zeneca Seeds.


Our management team includes dedicated experts with vast experience in industry and academia to creatively explore both research and business development opportunities to maximize SusTerea's product offering.  


Management Team

George A. Kraus, Ph.D., Technical Advisor and Co-Founder 

George Kraus serves as the Technical Advisor to explore the coumalate platform in the context of SusTerea.  He is simultaneously University Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Iowa State University and has authored over 300 scientific papers and patents during his 37 years in academia.  George has previously served as the Department Chair and Director of the Institute for Physical Research and Technology (IPRT) at Iowa State University.  He received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Rochester and his Ph.D. from Columbia University.