Symposium BI02—Materials Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture and Energy

Materials innovation has been the key to developing new technologies. To support our rapidly growing world population, technological breakthrough has to happen in agriculture and energy, the two most critical sectors. For example, it is estimated that crop yield must be doubled by 2050 to feed the world population. However, emerging pathogens of resistant variety are constantly threatening the sustainability of agriculture as standard disease management practices are failing. To combat these deadly pathogens and safeguard food security, an interdisciplinary team effort must be in place with full support from the government and private industry. This is just one of many pressing issues which has alarmed the White House, resulting in President Obama recently signing the 5-year, one trillion-dollar Farm Bill. Agricultural sustainability is also critical for alternative energy source. To run commercially viable processes for producing fuel from biomass, environmentally-friendly, cost-effective technologies must be developed. High quality biomass production and thermo and biochemical processing of biomass to fuel (and other valuable byproducts) while minimizing waste are challenging. These require the development of efficient catalytic materials and relevant processes for which interdisciplinary effort is absolutely necessary. Therefore, materials innovation will have positive impact on sustainable agricultural practices for crop protection, food safety and bioenergy production. Through sharing of knowledge, this forum will create an environment (i) to learn more about the pressing agricultural issues from stakeholders, (ii) to help identifying possible industrially-viable solutions, and (iii) to identify pathways to minimize regulatory challenges.

Topics will include:

  • Materials Innovations for Crop Protection and Food Safety: - Emerging pathogens and current management practices - Non-traditional pesticides: risks versus benefits - Tools for characterizing pesticides in plant tissue - Systemic pesticides for managing vascular plant pathogens - Sensors for food safety - Sensors for early diagnosis of plant diseases - Sensors for monitoring pesticide application rate -Nanotechnology for food safety and food security
  • Materials Innovations for Biomass to Energy Conversion: - Engineered biomass with low ash content - Novel catalyst for biomass conversion - Environmentally-friendly biomass processing - Tools for characterizing biomass conversion - Biomass as alternative energy source - Sensors for monitoring biomass byproducts - Processes for minimizing toxic biomass waste - Sensors for detecting toxic chemicals in biomass processing facility - Modeling of biomass

Invited Speakers:

  • Christophe Baley (Universite de Bretagne Sud, France)
  • Clive Bock (USDA-ARS-SEFTNRL, USA)
  • Ingo Burgert (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Charles Cai (University of California Riverside, USA)
  • Brigitte Chabert (French National Lab for Agricultural Research, France)
  • David Cosgrove (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
  • Philip Demokritou (Harvard University, USA)
  • Dilip Ghosh (ICAR - Central Citrus Research Institute, India)
  • David Harper (University of Tennessee, USA)
  • Melanie Kah (University of Vienna, Austria)
  • Frank Louws (North Carolina State University, USA)
  • Benedetto Marelli (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Karim Mazeau (Centre de Recherches sur les Macromolécules Végétales, France)
  • Ashok Mulchandani (University of California, Riverside, USA)
  • Mathews Paret (University of Florida, USA)
  • Christina Payne (University of Kentucky, USA)
  • Maria Soledad Peresin (Auburn University, USA)
  • Parthiban Rajasekaran (University of Central Florida, USA)
  • Ashwani Sharma (Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India)
  • Seema Singh (Sandia National Laboratories, USA)
  • Laurene Tetard (University of Central Florida, USA)
  • Breeanna Urbanowicz (University of Georgia, USA)
  • Jason White (Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, USA)

Symposium Organizers

Swadeshmukul Santra
University of Central Florida
NanoScience Technology Center, Department of Chemistry, Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences

Nicole Labbe
University of Tennessee
Center for Renewable Carbon

Michael Molinari
Université de Reims Champagne Ardenne
Laboratoire de Recherche en Nanosciences (LRN) - EA4682

Loukas Petridis
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Center for Molecular Biophysics