Auburn University Biosystems Engineering graduate student, Mourredine Abdoulmoumine, will now be able to finish his studies in a newly renovated and highly modernized laboratory.
"They type of work that we do in the facilities is not really meant to be done in the standard chemistry labs. So to have a building designed from the beginning to fit the needs for research is very helpful," explains Abdoulmoumine.
The $6 million renovation, funded by multiple grants, marks the first substantial improvements to the nearly 23,000-square-foot lab since its construction in 1948.
"The programs that will be housed in this particular department will be both research programs that take money and convert it into knowledge and innovative programs that take that knowledge and convert it right back into businesses in the state of Alabama," explains Bill Batchelor, Dean of AU's College of Agriculture
A significant amount of research that will take place in the new Biosystems Engineering Research Laboratory is understanding how to take biological materials, like pine trees or switch grass, and convert them into liquid fuels that could be used in cars.
"Other research looks at food. Engineers look at new types of food products or new packaging materials for food to keep it safe and healthy for us," explains Dr. Steven Taylor of AU's Biosystems Engineering Department.
"Some of the greatest challenges facing mankind today deal with energy, how do you make renewable energy, deals with food production and how you do that in an environmentally sustainable way," explains Batchelor.