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LSU Today Flagship Faculty
What was your previous position and where?I received my dual Ph.D. in 2003 in biological & agricultural engineering and food science at North Carolina State University. I also held two postdoctoral positions, one with USDA Market Quality and Handling Research Unit in Raleigh, N.C., and another at LSU with the Institute for Ecological Infrastructure Engineering.
What brought you to LSU?I moved here with my family when my wife was hired on the LSU faculty in 2003. Once here, I enjoyed working on various research projects across campus as a postdoctoral researcher and as a research professor and, when the opportunity arose, I applied for my current tenure-track faculty position. I think that the new developing initiatives in the area of hiring and retention of dual career couples, spearheaded by LSU, will greatly benefit the university.
What is your research interest?My current research interests include bio-energy management - harvesting and post-harvest technologies for processing biological materials into fuels; electromagnetic and other advanced processing methods for agricultural, food and environmental applications; sensors, imaging and process control methods in bioengineering, bionanotechnology and bio-energy.
What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?My goal is to develop a nationally and internationally recognized research program in the area of biofuels production from different agricultural and biological sources, preferably from non-food feedstock using a suite of electromagnetic and other advanced technologies. These technologies can be further developed to be used in other engineering fields such as bionanotechnology. I hope that the students trained in my lab will achieve professional success after they leave LSU and that the undergraduate students will remember my contributions to their education and will find them useful in the future.
What do you enjoy most about LSU?The people. I have excellent working relationships within our departmentís faculty members and with collaborators from across campus. All members of my research lab, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students are excelling at what they do and they do it with great enthusiasm. Our undergraduate student body is great; students do really well in our biological engineering curricula.
What are your major accomplishments?Among my major accomplishments I can count development of an innovative method for oil extraction and its transesterification into biodiesel from traditional and alternative feedstock, development of a method for treatment of ballast water to prevent introduction of invasive species into the native waters of Louisiana and other states and participation in an interdepartmental, multistate and interdisciplinary bio-nanotechnology project. A few of these accomplishments were highlighted in national and international media outlets such as The New York Times, BBC News, Popular Science and Nanowerk, among many others. On a different note, my most important accomplishment is my family; I have two wonderful daughters, one born here in Louisiana (Larissa) and the older one (Emily) proudly counting herself as a first grader Tiger Cub at the University Laboratory School.