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ESF Exemplary Researcher Seminar - "Forest Biorefineries: Today and Future"Campus Calendar

Thursday, September 5, 2013
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location: 5 Illick for Seminar / 12 Illick for Reception

Event Description: Dr. Thomas Amidon, recipient of ESF's 2013 Exemplary Researcher Award, will present a campus-wide research seminar highlighting his work in recognition of receipt of this award. He will present the first seminar of the fall semester in the EFB Adaptive Peaks Series: "Forest Biorefineries: Today and Future."

A reception immediately follows in Room 12 Illick Hall.

This presentation will begin with an introduction to the issues involved in Biorefineries and factors affecting its applicability and economic impact for different areas of the world. The current applications for Biorefinery Systems in the world are heavily oriented towards agricultural products and residual biomass. The next major step, Forest-Based Biorefineries, will be emphasized in this talk as they are of high interest based on the amount of publications and relatively high profile corporate efforts, yet few purpose-built applications exist. A significant amount of customization will be necessary for each forested region in the US and the world if Forest Biorefinery applications are to be as productive and profitable as is necessary for rapid growth. The gap between research results and commercial applications is not easily crossed and will lead to somewhat erratic results over the next 5+ years as the most economic approaches and most practical commercial procedures clarify. The range of forest product, and agricultural biomass residue, commercial applications that will be developed is significantly larger than is commonly understood. This will lead to a significant number of applications from a fairly modest scale (400 DT/D) to large scale (over 4,000 DT/D). New York State and the NE US are well positioned to participate in the evolution of Forest Biorefineries and with its unique species composition, product markets, skilled labor pool, cultural background of sustainable forestry and a leadership position in Biomass Willow planting. A significant amount of customization will be necessary for each forested region in the US and the world if Forest Biorefinery applications are to be as productive and profitable as is necessary for rapid growth.

The Exemplary Researcher Award is a College-level award which recognizes a successful, currently active researcher with exemplary research activity, publication record and graduate/undergraduate student mentorship program. The nomination process allowed for nominations from three categories: Outstanding Career Achievement -- for which Dr. Amidon was nominated and selected; Mid-Career Achievement and Early Career Achievement. This category recognizes outstanding career achievements in research activity, who have had a professional career of more than 16 years, and who have been employed by ESF for a minimum of 5 years. Criteria also include documented evidence of outstanding research accomplishments and impact of their work on their discipline; outstanding national and international recognition in the academic community; evidence of a substantial positive impact of research mentorship through undergraduate students, graduate students, and/or postdoctoral associates.

Dr. Amidon:
w Joined ESF in 2000 as Chair and Professor of the Faculty of Paper Science and Engineering, and Director of ESPRI
w From 2007 to the present: Professor, Department of Paper & Bioprocess Engineering (PBE)
w 1976-2000: International Paper. Career progressed from the bench to Laboratory Manager for the Corporate Research Center in Tuxedo N.Y. Managed the Primary Process Development Group, the Pulp Mill Technical Support Group, and the Forest Sciences Group during career in addition to staff service in Research Evaluation, a research and capital investment evaluation group, and a Quality Improvement Process Facilitator
w 1968: SUNY-ESF, Forest Management, B.S. Cum Laude
w 1972: SUNY-ESF, Forest Tree Improvement, M.S.
w 1975: SUNY-ESF, Silviculture, Ph.D.
w 1975-76: Postdoctoral Associate and Instructor in ESPRI and the Faculty of Paper Science and Engineering

Dr. Amidonís career at ESF since 2000 has been exceptional. He has led our efforts in biorefinery research, and is recognized globally for his development of the hot water pre-extraction process for lignocellulosic biomass. A few key indicators of his prominence in this field are the steady stream of invitations to give keynote or plenary lectures, chair important conferences, and invitations to collaborate with renowned leaders from national laboratories and leading academic institutions around the world. He has been the principal investigator for a number of large research grants from the US Department of Energy, and most recently, from the highly competitive National Science Foundation. Many processes that he has either originated or collaborated in developing are now at various licensing stages with private industry. Dr. Amidon has authored or co-authored over 60 publications.

A sampling of Dr. Amidonís synergistic activities include:
(1) Served the AF&PA Chief Technology Officers Committee as the leader of the New Forest Based Materials section and later conducted pilot plant work for the Value Prior to Pulping Consortium. Membership is ongoing.
(2) Attended IEA meetings for three years as the USA country expert in the Biorefinery.
(3) Delivered invited talks on the Biorefinery in Montreal, Helsinki, Brazil, Barcelona, Washington, Argonne NL, Stockholm, Lisbon and six cities in China, and technical talks on this subject at TAPPI, AIChE, IWCS and many local sections of TAPPI. Chaired session on Biorefinery Current State of Development at TAPPI Atlanta Conference, May 11, 2007, and Portland May 2009 and May 2011.
(4) Co-Chair of the second International Conference on the Biorefinery (ICB2009) held in Syracuse, NY. The first ICB was in Beijing in 2007.
(5) Academic advisor who developed and administers a SUNY Bioprocessing Advanced Certificate Program. This Program provides 15 graduate credit hours of Biology and Bioprocess Engineering training with 2-18 graduates per year. Students are BS graduates currently in the work force and over 60 have graduated so far.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Amidon on this well-deserved recognition!

We look forward to your attendance at this special
Adaptive Peaks Seminar and
Invite you to a reception immediately following in
Room 12 Illick

Neil Ringler

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