DAVIS, Calif.; January 10, 2017–Two of the 11 UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellows selected this year are engineering faculty who are specializing in sustainability.
Tina Jeoh, associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering, is noted for her work in developing sustainable biofuels and bio-based products.
Jeoh is investigating how to best commercialize the conversion of cellulosic biomass – tough, fibrous plant parts such as straw, corn stalks or wood – into biofuels like ethanol. When compared to gasoline, using this biomass to produce advanced biofuels can cut greenhouse gas emissions in half. Her lab has also developed new methods for microencapsulating proteins, probiotics and other bioproducts in food and pharmaceutical applications.
“Tina is an extraordinary scholar and mentor who has significantly advanced the science and engineering of sustainable fuel production and provided outstanding innovations in delivery of bioactive materials for health and nutrition,” said Bryan Jenkins, Biological and Agricultural Engineering department chair.
In addition to research, Jenkins added that Jeoh is dedicated to advancing gender equality in the sciences and has “contributed enormously to STEM education and to enhancing opportunities for all.”
Jeoh joined UC Davis in 2008 and is currently an associate professor. In 2011, she received an NSF CAREER Award for an early-career scholar with outstanding potential. She earned her Ph.D. in biological and environmental engineering from Cornell University in 2004.
Alissa Kendall, associate professor in the UC Davis Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is using a multidisciplinary approach to mitigate climate change. Her work combines principles of industrial ecology and engineering to develop and apply life cycle analysis methods to transportation technologies, civil infrastructure, and agricultural production systems.
Civil and Environmental Engineering department chair, Amit Kanvinde, said Kendall brings together key areas of study to address a pressing global issue.
“Her considerable breadth of inquiry is inspired by a common problem – the urgent need for climate change mitigation solutions,” he said.
Kanvinde added that Kendall has had remarkable success in winning research grants to do this and has developed new undergraduate and graduate courses at UC Davis in Sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment.
Kendall has received a number of honors and awards for her work, including the UC Davis Hellman Fellowship in 2009, selection to participate in the Frontiers of Engineering Education program in 2012, and in 2013, she was the first woman to receive the International Society of Industrial Ecology’s biannual Laudise Young Researcher Prize, which honors outstanding achievements by investigators under the age of 36.
Her newest area of study advances life cycle analysis for research and development. As part of a recent NSF Engineering Research Center (the Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics) she is pioneering a life cycle-based innovation process for all Center projects.
Kendall joined UC Davis as an assistant professor in 2007 and was promoted to associate professor in 2013. She received a joint doctorate from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, School of Natural Resources & Environment, and the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, in 2007.