Bruce Vrana
Adjunct Professor




Bruce Vrana is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, responsible for the senior design project course, CBE 4590, since 2016. Before that, he was an industrial consultant for CBE 4590, advising senior design groups and writing problem statements since 1993. Outside of Penn, he is a Principal Engineer in the Process R&D group at IFF, located in Wilmington, DE, since 2021. Prior to IFF, he worked at DuPont for 41 years, with roles in R&D, manufacturing and corporate engineering. For the majority of his career, he was an internal engineering consultant at DuPont, working with most businesses across DuPont, with extensive work on nylon intermediates, biomaterials and biofuels. His expertise in techno-economic evaluations, engineering evaluations, process synthesis and chemical process design has helped research teams commercialize new products and processes and improve existing ones. For over 30 years, he taught DuPont’s internal course in Economic Evaluations to over 2000 employees globally. He currently leads IFF’s corporate Process Modeling Network.


Research Interests
At Penn, he is interested in all aspects of process design. At IFF, his main work is aimed at developing and commercializing processes for engineered polysaccharides as part of the Designed Enzymatic Biomaterials technology platform. These polymers, derived from renewable resources, are more sustainable than traditional polymers. They have properties useful in a wide variety of applications. 


Research Areas

Systems Engineering


Educational Background
M.B.A.: University of Houston (1984)
M.S.: University of Pennsylvania (1982)

B.S.: University of Pennsylvania (1980)


DuPont Engineering Excellence Award
DuPont Sustainable Development Award
2016 AIChE Delaware Valley Section – Award for Outstanding Alumni


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