Program to send next-gen scientists to Nat'l Biodiesel Conference
Look beyond the classroom for educational opportunities, advises Dan Browne, a student at Texas A&M University and co-chair of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel.
Browne has done just that by attending the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo twice on scholarship. He describes the conference as “a nexus of science, business, and policy where student scientists not only gain access to world-class biodiesel science and engineering, they get to observe the interplay between the key sectors that constitute the industry.”
Students studying a wide array of disciplines have a unique opportunity to grow their passion for biodiesel at the 2014 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, Jan. 20-23 in San Diego.
The National Biodiesel Board is again offering scholarships to selected applicants who are members of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel, an NBB program that aims to educate and collaborate with young scientists.
“Attending the conference has provided an unparalleled opportunity to absorb knowledge from industry leaders,” said Browne who is pursuing a Ph.D. in biochemistry. “This unique experience helped me to better understand the role of science within the greater framework, while giving me direct connections to the scientists at the cutting edge.”
The biodiesel industry views student participation as key to the future of the industry.
“Many students are already working on exciting biodiesel research that could have a lasting impact on the industry,” said Don Scott, NBB's director of sustainability. “We believe student participation in our conference is an important investment with the potential for tremendous return in the form of information sharing and relationship building. Each year students bring something new to the table and we're excited to see what's in store for 2014.”
Students attending the conference will have opportunities to attend conference sessions and network with scientists in the field, with a specially arranged luncheon for students and scientists. They may also present a poster on their biodiesel-related research during the event.
Last year, 16 students from nine universities received scholarships to attend the conference. The scholarships are funded by state soybean organizations and the United Soybean Board through the soybean checkoff.
Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. The nation's first domestically produced, commercially available advanced biofuel, biodiesel is produced at refineries in nearly every state in the country and supports some 50,000 jobs nationwide. NBB is the U.S. biodiesel trade association.