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Position Announcement: Research Assistantship in Agricultural Economics

Position Announcement:  Research Assistantship in Agricultural Economics

We seek an undergraduate or graduate student to work on a new project on the introduction of alternative technologies to ammonia production with Prof. Gal Hochman, Department of Agriculture, Food, and Resource Economics, in collaboration with Prof. Alan Goldman, Department of Chemistry and Prof. Frank Felder, the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. The likelihood and scale of direct nitrogen reduction technologies depends on the cost of the new method relative to that of current practices or future alternatives. To this end, we developed a model that compares the techno-economics, sustainability, and energy use of direct nitrogen reduction to other alternatives and to the current route to synthetic fertilizers. The next step of this project includes the adding of renewable energy sources, intermittency, and the possibility of decentralizing the production of synthetic fertilizer production.  We will use numerical model, combined with real data to quantify the impacts of the various technologies and assess their economic impact – both in terms of efficiency and distribution. We also plan on better understanding barriers to the adoption of this technology.

The candidate will work closely with Prof. Hochman to: develop the numerical model and perform statistical analysis on the work Prof. Goldman and his team are doing. Salary will be hourly and commensurate with the skill and educational level of the candidate. The project will run for three years and pays $8,000 per year. The project plan is to have the model running within year one and the analysis completed by the end of the third year.

Job Requirements:  Excellent programming abilities, interest in the topic, and excellent communication skills in English.  A strong background in economics would be beneficial, but not a requirement. 

For consideration, please send a Resume, Personal Statement (1-2 pages), and an unofficial transcripts to Prof. Gal Hochman (gal.hochman@rutgers.edu). Review of applications will start immediately and continue until the position is filled.

SEBS Green Team Interns Help Develop Sustainable Solutions

Five Rutgers students participated in the Green Teams summer internship program of the PSEG Institute of Sustainability Studies at Montclair State University.  Among the five Rutgers students were two SEBS undergraduates,  Denia Cai Shi, Department of Plant Biology, and Dustin Wang, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics.

The ten-week interdisciplinary paid internship program hired 45 students drawn from 10 universities. Building on the success of last year’s inaugural Green Team initiative, teams of five students were placed with a sponsoring corporate or municipal partner to help these leading regional and global businesses and organizations to develop sustainable solutions to challenges ranging from achieving zero waste to improving energy efficiency.

Denia Cai Shi worked with Earth Friendly Products to improve safety and reduce costs of waste disposal while  Dustin Wang worked with Princeton University and the Municipality of Princeton to develop waste management solutions.  Read more.

Michael Muller receives a 2017 Champion of Energy Efficiency in Industry Award

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has distinguished Professor Michael Muller as one of the 5 recipients of the 2017 Champion of Energy Efficiency in Industry Awards for a lifetime of leadership in developing training programs for students in industrial energy efficiency. Professor Muller has established the Center for Advanced Energy Systems and has been a central figure in the US Department of Energy Industrial Assessment Center program.

Professor Birnie Receives $500,000 NSF Grant to Support Innovative Technologies at Rutgers

Professor Dunbar Birnie, department of Materials Science and Engineering and Rutgers Energy Institute member, recently received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support Rutgers' inventions and innovation for the next five years.  He will work in collaboration with the Rutgers Office of Research Commercialization, the Rutgers Business School and the Rutgers Entrepreneurship Coalition to nuture Rutgers’ inventions through an NSF I-Corps “Site”. 

The Rutgers' I-Corp Site will provide mentoring and resources for faculty and student inventors to enhance commercialization prospects for their ideas.

Cutting the Cost of Ethanol, Other Biofuels and Gasoline

Researchers at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Michigan State University devise way to reduce the amount of enzymes needed to convert biomass into biofuels.
Biofuels like the ethanol in U.S. gasoline could get cheaper thanks to experts at Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Michigan State University.

They’ve demonstrated how to design and genetically engineer enzyme surfaces so they bind less to corn stalks and other cellulosic biomass, reducing enzyme costs in biofuels production, according to a study published this month on the cover of the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.

“The bottom line is we can cut down the cost of converting biomass into biofuels,” said Shishir P. S. Chundawat, senior author of the study and an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.