The 2011 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo kicks off today in Phoenix and there will be some new faces on hand – some biofuel scientists of tomorrow. This year, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) helped to bring around 10 of these budding researchers to the conference.
A full-ride scholarship was awarded to Evan Le, a senior studying mechanical engineering at the University of Nevada. Le was chosen by the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel, an organization launched in 2009, to help encourage young students to pursue biofuels research.
“As an aspiring Ph.D. student, this scholarship will be a great opportunity for me to expand my knowledge of biodiesel and enhance my skills, so that I can make a meaningful contribution to bioenergy research,” Le said.
Le’s scholarship is supported by the United Soybean Board and the soybean checkoff, and the Ohio Soybean Council has also provided a partial scholarship to Qingshi Tu, a University of Cincinnati Environmental Engineering student. In addition, NBB has contributed partial scholarships to several other students, including the four co-chairs of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel:
• Mikkel Leslie, Oregon State University (Environmental Engineering)
• Lucas Ellis, Dartmouth (Biochemical Engineering)
• Jason Strull, University of Nevada – Reno (Material Sciences and Chemical Engineering)
• Bernardo del Campo, Iowa State University (Biorenewable Resources and Technologies)
“These students are the future scientists who will develop and improve energy solutions, and bringing them into the biodiesel community now is a small investment that could yield huge returns,” said Don Scott, NBB director of sustainability. “They have demonstrated such an inspiring commitment to biodiesel, which promises to be here for decades to come, and we look forward to working with them.”