John McGowen

Director of Operations and Program Management - Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation
Ph.D., PMP

Dr. John McGowen, PhD, PMP, currently serves as Director of Operations and Program Management for the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI) at Arizona State University (ASU). AzCATI lead’s the DOE funded Algae Testbed Public Private Partnership (ATP3), a $15M project focused on providing open, collaboration oriented testbeds to the industry and academic research communities, and conducting coordinated, multisite cultivation trials to provide data on the current state of technology for algae based biofuels and products. As Director of Operations, he is responsible for the overall program management and identification, coordination and implementation of projects for customers at AzCATI, as well as the identification and implementation of best practices in algae growth and processing, standardization of methodologies and the implementation of long-term cultivation feedstock trial experimental framework.  As a portfolio manager and founding member of ASU’s Project Management Office, his key responsibilities center on developing, adapting, and integrating project management best practices into an academic translational research and development environment.  He has a specific focus on large-scale proposal development, teaming, industrial outreach, collaboration and industry relationship management and has over 20 years of experience in project/portfolio management and technology development. He has been a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) since 2008.

Project Responsibilities
  • Serves as co-investigator coordinating state of technology (SOT) cultivation runs at the AzCATI testbed for DISCOVR program.  
Featured Publications
  1. Wang, J., Rosov, T., Wensel, P., McGowen, J., Curtiss, W. “A preliminary implementation of metabolic-based pH control to reduce CO2 usage in outdoor flat-panel photobioreactor cultivation of Nannochloropsis oceanica microalgae.” Algal Research, Volume 18, 2016, Pages 288-295, ISSN 2211-9264,
  2. Laurens, L., Van Wychen, S., Pienkos, P., Harmon, V.,­ and McGowen, J. “Harmonization of Experimental Approach and Data Collection to Streamline Analysis of Biomass Composition from Algae in an Inter-Laboratory Setting,” Algal Research, Volume 25, 2017, Pages 549-557, ISSN 2211-9264,
  3. McGowen, J., Knoshaug, E., Laurens, L., Dempster, T., Pienkos, P., Wolfrum, E., Harmon, V. “The Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership (ATP3) Framework; Establishment of a National Network of Testbed Sites to Support Sustainable Algae Production,” Algal Research, Volume 25, 2017, Pages 168-177, ISSN 2211-9264,
  4. Knoshaug, E., Wolfrum, E., Laurens, L., Harmon, V., Dempster, T., McGowen, J. “Unified field studies of the algae testbed public-private partnership as the benchmark for algae agronomics.” Scientific Data, Volume 5 Article Number 180267, 2018.