CHEE professor Kim Ogden has made headlines recently for being named head of the UA’s new Sustainable Bioeconomy for Arid Regions Center and 2019 president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
The new UA center, which will research the efficient growth of plants and algae to use as biofuels, is funded by a five-year grant of up to $15 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Research will focus on guar, a legume that can be used to recover gas and oil in fracking operations, and guayule, a flowering shrub that produces organic resins and natural rubber. Both plants grow well in the Southwest, and researchers hope their work will serve as an example of how to produce biofuels in dry climates.
Ogden was first elected to the AIChE board of directors in 2014. Her appointment to AIChE makes her the first UA faculty member, and only the fifth woman, to be elected president of the organization.