June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.234.1 - 15.234.7
BioSUCCEED: Bio-products Sustainability, a University Cooperative Center for Excellence in Education
Three land-grant universities have identified mutual and complementary interests for the pursuit of an academic program in biomaterials and bioenergy, Bio-products Sustainability, a University Cooperative Center for Excellence in Education (BioSUCCEED). BioSUCEED's innovation is based on the development of graduate-level programmatic modules that can be delivered by any of the three University partners. The initiative has been developing content for six biomass and bioenergy related classes: Fundamentals of Biomaterials Science, Biomaterials Characterization, Thermal Conversion Processes, Biological Conversion Processes, Solid State Composites, and Environmental & Policy Studies of Biomass Use. To maximize the dissemination and impact of the courses, all of these customizable classes are being offered at no cost (open access website) to the national biomass and bioenergy community. The partnering universities expect that BioSUCCEED will help to produce students who will contribute to the innovation in biomass and bioenergy that is needed to allow them to be utilized more widely and sustainably. Evaluation data on the current impact of BIOSUCCEED is provided.
Biomass is a renewable and sustainable resource consisting of forest, agriculture, and organic-based materials (biomaterials=value-added biomass) that can be exploited to address current societal energy and materials needs in a manner similar to the current petroleum-based economic paradigm. A confluence of factors, including regional importance of biomass, current curricula, land grant and agricultural missions, regional energy policy issues, and existing collaborative arrangements have created a favorable environment for North Carolina State University (NCSU), North Carolina A&T State University (NCAT), and the University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station (UT) to formally unite their efforts in the creation of an electronic, advanced degree program in biomass.
The College of Natural Resources (CNR) at NCSU has already identified products from biomass in several components of its long-range strategic plans. This strategic plan identifies its Forest Biomaterials and Biotechnology Initiative (FBBI) as a key growth area in terms of both research and instruction. NCSU has a number of Biomaterials courses that it regularly offers.1
NCAT has over the past few years begun to focus upon the development of interdisciplinary graduate programs and initiated this past fall within its interdisciplinary Energy and Environmental Systems graduate program a concentration in Sustainable Bio-products.2 This concentration capitalizes on NCAT’s agriculture and engineering research strengths. The BioSUCCEED initiative will help NCAT enhance its graduate course offerings in materials from biomass and better educate a growing crop of students interested in this area.
The final partner, UT has a long, rich history of research and development activities in biomass processing. Much of this effort has addressed development of agricultural practices for sustainable production of bioenergy crops such as switchgrass and poplar. Considerable
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