Rob Anex

Position title: Professor


Phone: (608) 890-3839

112 Agricultural Engineering Building
460 Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706

Lab Office:
3123 WI Energy Institute Building
1552 University Ave
Madison, WI 53726

Rob Anex Headshot

Program Affiliations

  • Biological Systems Engineering
  • Energy Analysis & Policy  Graduate Certificate
  •  Environment & Resources Graduate Program

Education and Certificates

  • M.S. 1983 – Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Davis
  • B.S. 1981 – Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Davis
  • Ph.D. 1995 – Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis

Fields of Interest

  • Biological systems analysis and assessment
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Techno-economic analysis


  • Measurements and Instrumentation for Biological Systems
  • Engineering Principles for Biological Systems
  • Introductory Graduate Seminar
  • Introduction to Life Cycle Assessment (on-line course)


Google Scholar Citations

  • Ortiz-Reyes, E., R. P. Anex, 2019. Life cycle environmental impacts of non-cellulosic sugars for the production of biofuels and chemicals. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment.
  • Moore, K.J., R. P. Anex, A.E. Elobeid, S. Fei, C.B. Flora, A.S. Goggi, K.L. Jacobs, P. Jha, A.L. Kaleita, D.L. Karlen, D.A. Laird, A.W. Lessen, T. Lübberstedt, M.D. McDaniel, D.R. Raman, S.L. Weyers. 2019. Regenerating agricultural landscapes with perennial groundcover for intensive crop production.  Agronomy.  doi:10.3390/agronomy9080458
  • Christiansen, K., D. R. Raman, G. Hu, R. Anex, 2018. First-order estimates of the costs, input-output energy analysis, and energy returns on investment of conventional and emerging biorenewable feedstocks. Biofuel Research Journal 5(4): 894-899.
  • Iqbal, J., M. Necpalova, S.V. Archontoulis, R. P. Anex, Bourguignon, M., Herzmann, D., Mitchell, D.C., Sawyer, J.E., Zhu, Q. and Castellano, M.J., 2018. Extreme weather‐year sequences have non‐additive effects on environmental nitrogen losses. Global Change Biology 24(1): e303-e317. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13866.
  • Harmon, J., B. Luck, K.J. Shinners, R.P. Anex, J. Drewry. 2018. Time-motion analysis of forage harvest: A case study. Transactions of the ASABE. DOI: 10.13031/trans.12484.
  • Ortiz-Reyes, E., R. P. Anex, 2018. A life cycle impact assessment method for freshwater eutrophication due to the transport of phosphorus from agricultural production. Journal of Cleaner Production. 177: 474-482.
  • Gunukula, S. and R. Anex, 2017. Techno-economic analysis of multiple bio-based routes to adipic acid. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining 11(5): 897-907.
  • Gunukula, S. and R. Anex, 2017. Evaluating and guiding the development of sustainable biorenewable chemicals with feasible space analysis. Biochemical Engineering Journal, 119:74-83.
  • Gunukula, S., T. Runge, R. Anex, 2017. Assessment of biocatalytic production parameters to determine economic and environmental viability. ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering 5(9):8119-8126.
  • Anthony, R., M. Sharara, T. Runge, R. Anex. 2017. Life cycle comparison of petroleum- and bio-based paper binder from Distillers Grains (DG). Industrial Crops and Products 96: 1-7.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Federal Biomass Research & Development Technical Advisory Committee, 2019 – present.
  • USDA National Institutes of Food and Agriculture, 2016 Partnership Award for Multistate Efforts.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC), Science & Technology for Sustainability (STS), 2008-2009.
  • National Biodiesel Board Sustainability Task Force Advisory Committee, 2008 – 2010.
  • OECD Fellow, Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, 2005 – 2006
  • National Research Council Committee on Science and Technology in Armenia, 2003 – 2004
  • National Academy of Sciences Young Investigator Program, 1999
  • Junior Faculty Research Award, University of Oklahoma, 1997
  • University of California Toxic Substances Research and Teaching Program Fellow, 1992 – 1993

Expertise Summary

Dr. Anex’s research is focused on developing and assessing systems for producing energy, fuels and products from biorenewable resources. For example, Dr. Anex’s research group is studying economic and environmental feasibility of biorenewable chemicals being developed in the Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC), nutrient recovery and cycling in biofuel systems, and impacts of biomass production on the hydrologic cycle.

Dr. Anex’s research combines process development in the laboratory with large-scale model-based assessment of agricultural-industrial systems. Key tools used to evaluate the economic efficiency and environmental sustainability of biobased products are Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Techno-economic Analysis (TEA). Dr. Anex and his students have been working understand the interdependencies among agricultural and industrial systems with the goals of ensuring food, water and energy security for an ever-growing population.