RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — RTI International has named Robert Beach, Ph.D., and David Dayton, Ph.D., as RTI Fellows.
The RTI Fellow Program, established in August 2001, provides professional opportunities for exceptionally talented staff committed to science, technology, research and policy analysis in support of RTI's mission to improve the human condition.
Beach, director of the Agricultural, Resource & Energy Economics and Policy Program at RTI, specializes in the development and application of economic models to analyze agricultural, environmental, energy, transportation and natural resource regulations, programs and policies. He leads multiple efforts analyzing the economic and environmental impacts of greenhouse gas mitigation, sustainable development, climate change and adaptation, and bioenergy policy in the United States, China, Latin America and globally.
His work focuses on developing quantitative models that help improve understanding of the implications and tradeoffs associated with alternative policy decisions. He and his team are currently developing and applying several different models for assessment of domestic and international policies and programs. These include economic models focused on the U.S. forest and agricultural sectors, the Chinese agricultural sector, and global greenhouse gas mitigation potential from agriculture, as well as global macroeconomic models used in assessing agricultural, energy, and other policy impacts on international markets, trade, and environmental outcomes.
In addition to his role at RTI, Beach is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at North Carolina State University. He has authored or co-authored more than 80 reports, journal articles and book chapters. He has a doctorate in economics from North Carolina State University and an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from Duke University.
Dayton is an expert in alternative fuels that can be used to create cleaner, cost-effective sources of energy. Dayton, a physical chemist, has more than 25 years of project management and research experience focused on biomass thermochemical conversion processes used to create domestic, infrastructure-compatible biofuels.
He leads projects that are developing advanced biofuels technology and has taken laboratory studies to the pilot plant scale, converting 1 ton per day of biomass—such as wood chips and switchgrass—into a petroleum replacement known as biocrude. He and his team are working to upgrade the biocrude to transportation fuel (gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel) using a process routinely used in the petroleum refining industry. The goal is to maximize carbon efficiency and reduce overall hydrogen demand. In this way, Dayton hopes to produce these bio-based fuels for less than $3 a gallon to be cost-competitive with conventional petroleum-based fuels.
Dayton has authored or co-authored more than 60 technical reports, journal articles and book chapters. He has a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Dickinson College.