There are 16 college students who are attending the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Conference that kicks off today in Las Vegas. One student is Jeremy Ferrell, a Ph.D. student at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, who sees great potential for biodiesel to help revitalize rural areas once dominated by tobacco. Today, Ferrell conducts biodiesel research at an industrial ecology project in North Carolina.
“What fascinates me about biodiesel is its diversity across numerous sectors,” said Ferrell. “The opportunity for biodiesel to enhance rural economies is one of the things that drives my career.”
The students are able to attend the conference through a scholarship program offered to members of Next Generation Scientists for biodiesel, an NBB program with the goal of educating and collaborating with young scientists. The United Soybean Board also supports the program through the soybean checkoff.
“They are often called ‘student scientists,’ but the reality is that these are full-fledged scientists, contributing to the large body of work that makes up biofuels research in this country,” said Kyle Anderson, NBB technical project manager. “There is tremendous potential for this NBB program to have a lasting impact on biodiesel research. It’s a great investment to share solid information and build relationships with tomorrow’s scientific thought leaders.”
Another student who will be attending the event is Nina De la Rosa, an Environmental Studies student at Florida International University in Miami. She, along with the other students, will present posters on their research during the event.
“I believe the conference will present engaging information and activities that will allow me to solidify my knowledge, and strengthen research and career interests that I hope to pursue in my professional life,” said De la Rosa. “The knowledge and professional network I gain from this conference will only allow my passion for biofuels to grow and strengthen my commitment to continue in a field that will remain of high importance in our quest for global sustainability.”