DAVIS, Calif.; May 26, 2016—Jean VanderGheynst, associate dean for research and graduate studies in the UC Davis College of Engineering, has received the 2016 Distinguished Postdoctoral Scholar Mentoring Award from the UC Davis Graduate Council’s Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Scholar Welfare Committee.
In addition to serving as associate dean, VanderGheynst is a professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. VanderGheynst has been a staff research scientist at the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Emeryville since 2006. UC Davis is a partner in the institute, a U.S. Department of Energy research center dedicated to developing advanced biofuels. She’s been a member of the UC Davis Energy Institute’s steering committee since 2007.
VanderGheynst also serves as the director of Renewable Energy Systems Opportunity for Unified Research Collaboration and Education, or RESOURCE, which pairs Ph.D. students with elementary school teachers to develop and deliver curriculum related to renewable energy and environmental sustainability. The National Science Foundation provides the funding for RESOURCE, which is a partnership between the College of Engineering and UC Davis’ Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement, or MESA, K-12 Schools Program.
VanderGheynst’s research emphasizes agricultural biotechnology and bioenergy production. Current projects include investigating algae for water treatment and biofuel production and biological deconstruction if cellulosic biomass for next generation biofuels and bioproducts.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Syracuse University and two advanced degrees from Cornell: a master’s and Ph.D., both in agricultural and biological engineering.
The 2016 Distinguished Postdoctoral Scholar Mentoring Award recognizes the vital role mentoring plays in the academic and professional development of postdoctoral scholars at the University of California, Davis, and recognizes faculty who have shown an outstanding commitment to mentoring in the overall success of the university’s postdoctoral scholars.