Taylor appointed Chair of AU’s Alternative Energy Initiative

AUBURN – Steve Taylor, department chair and professor of biosystems engineering, has been appointed by Auburn University President Ed Richardson as head of the Alternative Energy Committee.

Taylor will also lead the soon-to-be-established AU Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts, which will capitalize on the university’s research expertise in forestry, engineering and agriculture and position AU as a national leader in converting natural resources into fuels and other products. The Center will be an integral part of the Institute for Natural Resources.

“This initiative is important on a national scale as we look for ways to reduce dependence on foreign oil and create new industries,” Richardson said. “Under Dr. Taylor’s leadership, the committee will identify and develop alternative energy technologies and prepare them for commercialization in the marketplace.”

Richardson last year committed $3 million toward the alternative energy effort for fiscal year 2007.

Taylor assumes the committee’s leadership role from former co-chairs Ralph Zee and Graeme Lockaby. Zee was named acting vice president for AU research in December, and Lockaby, associate dean and professor of forestry and wildlife sciences, is taking on additional responsibilities with water resource issues.

“The strength of our committee lies in the diversity of its members and the talent and expertise each brings to the table,” Taylor said. “We’ve taken a systems approach in our effort to make alternative energy both efficient and cost competitive. I am excited about the challenge before us.”

For more information on the AU alternative energy initiative, visit http://www.auburn.edu/alternative-energy.

Contact: Brian Keeter, (334) 844-4650 (bkeeter@auburn.edu), or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)