BE makes High Impact on 2016 Annual IBE Conference

Ronald Sims


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The BE Department made a high positive impact at the 2016 International Annual Conference of the Institute of Biological Engineering, which was held in Greenville, South Carolina, from April 7 through 9. BE was represented by ten students and six faculty members. PhD student Anna Doloman received an award (3rd place) for her research poster “Microbial Dynamics During Anaerobic Digestion of Algae Biomass and Sodium Acetate in an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket Reactor.” Ron Sims was awarded a Presidential Citation as the 2016 Outstanding Session Chair Organizer for the “Algae-Based Systems” Session.” Dr. Anhong Zhou served as Co-Chair of the “Sensors & Biosensors” Session, Dr. Jixun Zhan served as Co-Chair of the “Biochemical Conversions/Metabolic Pathway Engineering” Session, and Dr. Elizabeth Vargis served as Chair of the “Biomaterials and Nanomaterials” session.  Anna Doloman (PhD) and Zak Fica (BS) are the national student representatives serving on the IBE Council of Advisors and represent graduate and undergraduate students, respectively, and faculty members Jixun Zhan and Charles Miller also serve on the 14-member Council. Ron Sims, as past IBE President, also serves as a non-voting member of the Council. Graduate research posters were presented by Lei Sun “Production of Novel Polyketides in E. coli by Supplementing Exogenous Nutrients,” by Chad Nielsen “LacoWare: Programming Lactic Acid Bacteria to Fight Malicious Viruses,” and  by Jason Peterson “BioMethane Production from Wastes Augmented with Algae.” Undergraduate research posters were presented by Alan Hodges “Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Septic Tanks via Compost Biofiltration,” by Tyler Marlar “Optimization of Lipoprotein Extraction Procedure for Wastewater Cultivated Algae,” and by Zachary Fica “Effects of Temperature and Organic Carbon Concentration on Algae-Based Biofilm Biomass Productivity and Treatment of Dairy Wastewater.”  Platform presentation were given by graduate students Jay Barlow “Hydrothermal Liquefaction of Algae from A Biofilm Cultivation System,” and Anna Doloman “Qualitative Analysis of the Microbial Community during Anaerobic Digestion of Algae Biomass.” The complete program for the 2016 Conference is posted at  The 2017 Annual International IBE Conference will be hosted by the BE Department and will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah in early April.