Now in its fourth year, the NEC Scholarship Program, sponsored by the Renewable Fuels Foundation and the Renewable Fuels Association, seeks to attract students of higher learning who wish to pursue a career related to ethanol. By offering scholarships that waive the conference registration fee, this program provides eligible students with opportunities to hear from and meet with top industry leaders, policy makers and academic and technical experts. The aim of the program is to reach aspiring ethanol advocates and open new doors and present new perspectives on biofuels’ place in our world today and beyond.
2013 Scholarship Winner
This year’s winner is Wade Hunt. Wade grew up in a small community south of Lincoln, Nebraska. He began studying chemical engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2008. In the spring of 2010, he was accepted to the UCARE (Undergraduate Creative Academic Research Experience) in Egypt to study abroad and the Lulea, Sweden research internship. In Sweden, he determined properties of a biodegradable composite material. His UCARE project began with dilute acid hydrolysis of wet distillers grain, the coproduct of ethanol production. His goal was to further quantify and qualify useful materials within the stillage for ethanol production. His second project, which he is still currently involved in, is soybean oil epoxidation with immobilized enzyme. In the fall of 2010, he was accepted for a research internship at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he worked on proof of concept research for an extractor system. He was able to perform analogous tests to degrade a common, large protein in aqueous solution. Wade’s senior project is to develop a packed bed reactor for the production of biodiesel. He is a firm supporter of renewable energy resources, and believes great strides need to be taken to further develop current and future processes to secure the world’s energy needs.
The Renewable Fuels Foundation (RFF) is dedicated to meeting the education, research and strategic planning needs of the U.S. fuel ethanol industry. The goal is to assure a growing healthy renewable fuels industry well into the future. The focus of the RFF is toward academia, industry and public policy makers as we address issues related to new users, new feedstocks and new technologies that will impact the future of ethanol. For more information visit www.renewablefuels-foundation.org.