Auburn University Faculty Awards

Auburn University Faculty Awards

2012 President's Outstanding Collaborative Units Award

Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts

Steven E. Taylor, Professor and Head, Biosystems Engineering
Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

Ph.D. — Texas A&M University
M.S., B.S. — University of Florida

Portrait photograph of Steven E. Taylor

"Contributing to the growth and development of a young engineer or young faculty member by being a teacher and mentor is one of the most rewarding undertakings in life."

Steven Ellis Taylor is professor and head of the Department of Biosystems Engineering and the director of Auburn University's Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts. He is a registered professional engineer. Taylor's teaching, research, and outreach activities have focused on numerous aspects of forest engineering and value-added product development using wood. In the forest engineering area, he has conducted research on forest harvesting and transportation systems, forest roads and stream crossings, portable bridge systems, water quality impacts from forest operations, and the use of geospatial technologies in forest operations. In value-added product development, his work has concentrated on bioenergy and bio-based products and engineered wood products. As department head, he coordinates a wide array of ongoing education, research, and extension programs in biological engineering and the application areas of agriculture, forestry, and natural resources. As center director, he helps bring together faculty from across the university with interests in bioenergy and bioproducts research and outreach. In addition, he provides management and direction for Auburn's developing set of bioenergy and bioproducts laboratories.

Sushil Adhikari, Assistant Professor, Biosystems Engineering
Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

Ph.D. — Mississippi State University
M.S. — Asian Institute of Technology
B.S. — Tribhuvan University

Portrait photograph of Sushil Adhikari

"The proudest moment in my life was when I received a French Government scholarship to study renewable energy at Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. That opened completely new opportunities in my life and that's the reason why I am at Auburn University, far away from home."

Sushil Adhikari's areas of research include biomass gasification and pyrolysis, biomass treatment for thermochemical processes, and hydrogen production from biological materials. Adhikari’s work has been supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Electric Power Research Institute, the Department of Transportation-SunGrant, the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, and others. He has worked with a number of investigators from Auburn and from outside of the university, resulting in total external competitive funding of more than $25 million. Adhikari currently serves as an associate editor for the journals, Transactions of ASABE and Applied Engineering in Agriculture. He received the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station 2011 Director's Researcher Award; the 2011 College of Agriculture Dean's Grantsmanship Award; and the 2010 Distinguished Young Agricultural Engineer Award from the Alabama Section of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. He has published more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles in the field of bioenergy and biofuels. He is currently supervising the research of four Ph.D. students, four master's students, and two undergraduate students.

Christopher Roberts, Dean and Professor
Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

Ph.D. — Mississippi State University
Ph.D., M.S. — University of Notre Dame
B.S. — University of Missouri

Portrait photograph of Christopher Roberts

"It was only through the successful collaborations that I have had with my students and faculty friends that I have achieved anything at all in the research arena. This creative research award is important to me because I know that I share it with them. It is our award, and that means a lot to me."

Christopher Roberts began his career at Auburn University as an assistant professor in 1994. He served as the chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering and the George E. and Dorothy Stafford Uthlaut Professor of Chemical Engineering from 2003 to 2012. In July 2012, Roberts was appointed dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. Roberts has a strong record of scholarly achievement in the areas of nanotechnology, nanomaterials synthesis and processing, synthetic fuels, catalysis, supercritical fluids, gas-expanded liquid technologies, and molecular thermodynamics. He has published 120 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, given more than 350 technical presentations at national and international conferences, and has three U.S. patents. He has been the principal investigator or significant co-principal investigator on more than $16 million in extramurally funded research contracts and grants. Roberts currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals Fuel Processing Technology and Fluid Phase Equilibria. He has received the SEC Academic Consortium Faculty Achievement Award, the Auburn University Excellence in Innovation Award, and has twice received the Auburn Engineering Senior Research Award. He is currently directing the research of seven PhD students and several undergraduate students.

Mario Richard Eden, Joe T. and Billie Carole McMillan Professor and Chair, Chemical Engineering
Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

Ph.D., M.S. — Technical University of Denmark

Portrait photograph of Mario Richard Eden

"I have loved the people at this institution since my first visit to the Auburn campus. During my time here as a visiting student, I made friendships that strongly influenced my decision to pursue an academic career in the U.S. The strong sense of family and the tremendous potential of the university still is the source of my dedication to this place. There is something special about the university and the city of Auburn that is impossible to describe, but once you experience it, you never forget it."

Mario Eden is the chair and Joe T. and Billie Carole McMillan Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He is also the director of a recently funded National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship on integrated biorefining. Eden's research interests include process design, integration and optimization, and molecular synthesis and product design. He is the co-author of almost 80 refereed papers and book chapters, 30 invited lectures and seminars, and more than 200 presentations at national and international conferences. He has successfully secured close to $18 million in extramural funding as PI or significant co-PI from various federal and industrial sponsors. Eden has received the NSF CAREER award, the Auburn Engineering Junior Research Award, the William F. Walker Superior Teaching Award, the Fred H. Pumphrey Teaching Award for Excellence, the SGA Award for Outstanding Faculty Member in the college, the Outstanding Faculty Member in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and the Auburn Engineering Senior Research Award. He serves on the editorial board for Chemical Process and Product Modeling, the advisory board for the Computer Aided Process Engineering Center, and is a member of the International Energy Agency Annex IX on Energy Efficient Separation Systems.

Oladiran Fasina, Professor, Biosystems Engineering
College of Agriculture

Ph.D. — University of Saskatchewan
M.S., B.S.— Obafemi Awolowo University

Portrait photograph of Oladiran Fasina

"The award is important to me because it brings recognition to the collaborative work that has been going on for several years at Auburn University in the area of biomass and bioenergy research, teaching, and outreach."

Oladiran Fasina is a professor and the undergraduate program coordinator in the Department of Biosystems Engineering. His areas of expertise include renewable energy, agricultural and biological materials compaction, handling and processing, and value-added utilization. Fasina has published 57 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals, authored four book chapters, and given more than 80 presentations at national and international conferences. He is on the editorial board of ISRN Renewable Energy Journal and Journal of Renewable Energy and is an associate editor for the food and process engineering journals of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Fasina also holds several leadership roles within the ASABE professional society. His awards include the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship; the Junior Faculty Researcher Award in the College of Agriculture; the 2007 and 2012 ASABE Standard's Developer Award for leading the development of the first national standard on biomass energy terminology and definitions; and the 2007 ASABE President's Citation Award. Since joining the Auburn University faculty, Fasina has been involved in several collaborative projects that have generated nearly $33.3 million in extramural funding and support.

Mark Hall, Renewable Energy Specialist
Alabama Cooperative Extension System

Ed.S., M.Ed., B.S. — Auburn University
B.S. — Athens State University

Portrait photograph of Mark Hall

"This award confirms that I am part of a larger team and am proud to participate in Auburn University's innovative energy solution efforts. It's another example of how the land-grant mission, by providing people from all walks of life with applied, practical knowledge and insights to improve the quality of their lives and workplaces, remains relevant today."

Mark Hall is the renewable energy specialist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. His current efforts include working with 10 Alabama municipalities to develop and implement the recycling of used cooking oil into biodiesel projects; working with existing and potential renewable energy entrepreneurs; and producing renewable energy brochures and videos. In 2005, Hall received a Superior Service Award for "visionary leadership in renewable energy education and promotion" and in 2004, 2006, and 2007, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System Extramural Funding awards. Hall coordinates and provides leadership for educational programs pertaining to production and utilization of renewable fuels and the production of feed stocks for renewable energy in Alabama. Hall said the 4-H program, an effort he said he believes embodies the heart and soul of the land-grant mission, is what introduced him to Auburn. He said the 4-H hands-on learning experience led him to become an Extension agent. Hall and his wife of 30 years have two children. Their daughter is an Auburn graduate and their son is currently a freshman at Auburn.

Tom Gallagher, Associate Professor, Forest Operations
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences

Ph.D., M.S. —Virginia Tech
B.S. — University of Maine at Orono

Portrait photograph of Tom Gallagher

"I truly believe there are real advantages and synergy to be gained by projects that are multidisciplinary. So, working with and learning from these other great researchers has really improved my understanding of the entire process and helped me see certain things from a different perspective."

Tom Gallagher came to Auburn in June 2003. He spent 14 years in the industry, working with the Federal Paper Board and International Paper in North and South Carolina, buying wood and coordinating wood flow into a pulp mill and sawmill. He joined the faculty at Virginia Tech in 1998 and received his Ph.D. from the university in 2003. His current research involves biomass harvesting and transportation. Gallagher said his favorite thing about Auburn University is the camaraderie of the faculty and the reference to Auburn Family.