Dr. Butcher received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1987. He is a Research Engineer at the Senior Scientist level and Head of the Energy Conversion Group at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY. His biofuel research is tied to the fact that while organic materials take millions of years to transform into fossil fuels, biofuel feedstocks can be grown in just a few months and are biodegradable, nontoxic and most importantly, renewable. In addition, the plants themselves consume carbon dioxide, helping to counterbalance what is produced when the fuels are burned. According to Dr. Butcher, "if we can further develop biodiesel and other biofuel use, we would likely see a significant economic benefit due to an increase in the agricultural production of biofuel feedstock in upstate new York and elsewhere in the United States." He has been a part-time lecturer at Stony Brook University since 2008 and acts as a mentor at BNL in programs for visiting engineering students.