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Next Generation Biological Engineering Research Through Renovation Of Laboratories At Auburn University


<p>This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). This project involves the renovation of research laboratories in a building known as the Corley Annex. This is used by faculty in Biosystems Engineering and collaborating units. This gut renovation will upgrade the research space to contemporary levels of laboratory mechanical, electrical, and plumbing infrastructure and will result in a series of research laboratories and support spaces for the biological engineering program. The latter include laboratories for: a) Biomaterials Processing and Conversion; b) Advanced Biological Systems; c) Biosystems Automation; d) Biomaterials Characterization; e) Food Safety Engineering; f) Bioanalysis; g) Chemical Analysis; and h) Fabrication, an enhanced Instrument Support Facility, and new controlled-environment rooms. The renovated facility will be used for research in 1) bioenergy and bioproducts engineering; 2) ecological engineering; 3) food safety engineering; and 4) biosystems automation for natural resource management. It will enhance the existing collaboration between the Biosystems Engineering and Chemical Engineering departments. Specific examples of planned research activities include developing new techniques for processing and pre-treating biomass for the production of liquid fuels or electrical power; finding new techniques for converting biomass to intermediate products suitable for more efficient transport and further bio-refining; determining the fate and transport of emerging contaminants in the environment; quantifying the impacts of climate variability and change on water resources; developing innovative food processing and packaging techniques to extend shelf life of food products; refining food traceability systems to insure food safety; developing sensors and controls to reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides; and developing data collection systems to accurately measure biomass removals and to guide the subsequent application of nutrients to insure long-term sustainability of agricultural and forest lands. The project will improve the Nation?s research infrastructure by adding new capability to solve problems in biological systems with emphasis on critical societal needs for producing renewable energy, maintaining supplies of clean and abundant water, and improving natural resource management. The renovated facility will support an expansion of the existing collaboration in food engineering with Tuskegee University. The research training capacity and capabilities of the renovated facility will support newly approved graduate degrees in Biosystems Engineering.</p>

Taylor, Steven E; Fasina, Oladiran; Fulton, John; Srivastava, Puneet; Wang, Yifen
Auburn University
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