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SIUE research center names new business development specialist

The National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville recently added Aimee Dillenberger as its new public policy and business development specialist.

Dillenberger, of Waterloo, earned a master’s in business administration last month from the University of Mississippi, where she also earned a bachelor’s of public policy leadership in 2019 and minored in Spanish.

“With the onset of COVID-19, and the subsequent downturn in the economy, it became increasingly important for NCERC to have someone on staff who can simultaneously work both public policy and business development,” said NCERC Executive Director John Caupert. “NCERC found that individual in Aimee Dillenberger. Her undergraduate public policy degree complemented by her MBA makes her the perfect candidate to handle those dual responsibilities.”

Dillenberger will be responsible for developing internal business development plans for external sales of NCERC’s analytical, consulting, fermentation and pilot plant services. She will also develop programs to engage stakeholders and prospective clients about contractual research and collaboration opportunities with NCERC. Additionally, she will assist with biorenewables public policy and outreach to academic institutions, trade associations and the private sector.

“NCERC is a shining example of a public/private partnership success story,” said Caupert. “Public, meaning NCERC was created by Congress in the 1996 Farm Bill. The efforts of the U.S. Congress were complemented by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Illinois General Assembly.

“The Illinois General Assembly recognizes NCERC as a Biorefining Center of Excellence. The efforts by Congress and the General Assembly were to drive private sector companies to the NCERC for proof of concept, validation and technology scale-up. For nearly 17 years, NCERC has been the leading example of how public/private partnerships should work.”

About the NCERC

The NCERC is a nationally recognized research center dedicated to the development and commercialization of biofuels, specialty chemicals and other renewable compounds. The Center’s fully functional dry grind pilot plant and laboratories are equipped with advanced biofuels capabilities, including corn fractionation, pretreatment, and a fermentation suite with 5, 30, 150 and 1500L scale-up. Facilities are staffed by industry veterans with more than 100 years of collective experience in fermentation and biofuels production. This knowledgeable team has the flexibility and expertise to design and carry out projects in any region of the advanced biofuels or specialty chemicals space. For more information, contact Claire Weinzierl at or visit


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