Tarleton State University, Texas A&M AgriLife expand bioenergy research

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STEPHENVILLE (October 19, 2016) — Tarleton State University’s Office of Sponsored Projects and Texas A&M AgriLife Research have received an almost $1 million grant to expand their study of bioenergy recovery from animal waste and improve the sustainability of agricultural industries.

The $997,500 grant comes from the Chancellor’s Research Initiative, a fund established by Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp in 2013 to enable the recruitment of star researchers throughout the A&M System.

Dr. Eunsung Kan joins Tarleton’s Southwest Regional Dairy Center as a result of the award, strengthening and expanding collaborative efforts by Tarleton and Texas A&M AgriLife. His research focuses on technologies that recycle dairy manure and wastewater for power generation and other purposes in a way that is environmentally responsible but does not increase operational cost for the dairy farmers.

“The recruitment of Dr. Kan is a great example of why the Chancellor’s Research Initiative is such an important program,” said Chancellor Sharp. “He is an incredible addition to the research efforts at Tarleton and Texas A&M AgriLife, and his research will have tremendous benefits for dairy production in the region and throughout the state.”

 Tarleton State University held a joint press conference with Texas A&M AgriLife Research Wednesday, Oct. 19, to announce a $997,500 grant as part of the Chancellor's Research Initiative (CRI). Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio (top) addresses attendees gathered in the university's Administration Building; (2nd from top) A&M System Chancellor John Sharp is applauded by Director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research Dr. Craig Nessler and Dr. Eunsung Kan following his CRI announcement; (3rd from top) Dr. Nessler talks about the importance of environmental research that will potentially assist dairy producers in becoming more efficient and sustainable in their operations; (bottom photo, l-r) College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Dean Dr. Steve Damron, Charlotte Sharp, Chancellor Sharp, Dr. Kan, Dr. Dottavio, A&M System Vice Chancellor for Federal & State Relations Tommy Williams, Dr. Nessler, A&M AgriLife Vice Chancellor Dr. Mark Hussey, College of Graduate Studies Dean Dr. Barry Lambert and Provost Dr. Karen Murray gather following Wednesday's press conference announcing the Chancellor's Research Initiative at Tarleton.

Tarleton State University held a joint press conference with Texas A&M AgriLife Research Wednesday, Oct. 19, to announce a $997,500 grant as part of the Chancellor’s Research Initiative (CRI). Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio (top) addresses attendees gathered in the university’s Administration Building; (2nd from top) A&M System Chancellor John Sharp is applauded by Director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research Dr. Craig Nessler and Dr. Eunsung Kan following his CRI announcement; (3rd from top) Dr. Nessler talks about the importance of environmental research that will potentially assist dairy producers in becoming more efficient and sustainable in their operations; (bottom photo, l-r) College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Dean Dr. Steve Damron, Charlotte Sharp, Chancellor Sharp, Dr. Kan, Dr. Dottavio, A&M System Vice Chancellor for Federal & State Relations Tommy Williams, Dr. Nessler, A&M AgriLife Vice Chancellor Dr. Mark Hussey, College of Graduate Studies Dean Dr. Barry Lambert and Provost Dr. Karen Murray gather following Wednesday’s press conference announcing the Chancellor’s Research Initiative at Tarleton.

Kan previously served as assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Bioscience and Bioengineering at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He earned his doctorate in chemical and environmental engineering from the University of California at Riverside and conducted postdoctoral research for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He serves as editor of the Open Journal of Water Pollution and Treatment.

“Dr. Kan’s arrival brings our original vision for the Southwest Dairy Center to fruition,” said Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio. “We are creating a leading research center for animal waste management and bioenergy recovery that will help develop sustainable food production practices and improve quality of life for Texans and others.”

In addition to leading a team of researchers, Kan will help leverage additional federal, industrial and foundation funding to continue Tarleton and Texas A&M AgriLife’s focus on improving the use of natural resources and reducing environmental concerns associated with water and air quality.

“I am honored to join Tarleton State University and Texas A&M AgriLife in research that is sure to improve the sustainability of agricultural industries and protect our vulnerable environment,” Kan said.

The funds follow a grant awarded to Texas A&M AgriLife Research in 2014 by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to kick start technologies that use animal waste from Tarleton’s dairy center to generate heat and electrical power.

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