Students join forces in support of biodiesel

By Bryan Sims
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Posted Aug. 31, 2010

A new crop of leaders is emerging in the biodiesel industry through the newly-launched campaign called the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel. The goal of the program is to create an open forum for college students to collaborate, network and share ideas in support of biodiesel.

Led by the National Biodiesel Board with support from the United Soybean Board, the program was formed by 28 founding members representing 22 universities stretching across all academia. The members signed an online declaration of support for biodiesel to get the organization off the ground.

Kaleb Little, communications specialist with the NBB, said the new program is a way to bring biodiesel-minded students, organizations and affiliations together from across the country in a great, connected way.

Modeled after the Scientists for Biodiesel Campaign created in February 2009, the organization includes participation from students pursuing diverse areas of interests, including mechanical, chemical and agricultural engineering; plant and soil sciences; public health; business; education and more.

The program has four co-chairs: Lucas Ellis, Dartmouth University; Bernardo del Campo, Iowa State University; Mikkel Leslie, Oregon State University; and Jason Strull, University of Nevada. According to Little, the initiative is a positive way to help students gain the knowledge and hands-on experiences necessary for advancing the biodiesel industry of tomorrow.

"The idea would be that, as the program progresses and as they move on from college and into the workforce, there would be others to take their place and help grow the program," Little said.

Any student interested in participating can sign the declaration. Students will also have opportunities to learn from each other, including a virtual conference scheduled for Sept. 28. A Facebook page has been created to allow students to discuss biodiesel-related subjects with each other and view profiles of other students and their biodiesel projects.

To learn more or how to join the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel initiative, click here.
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