The Georgia Institute of Technology has selected Carson Meredith as the new executive director of the Renewable Bioproducts Institute (RBI). Meredith is a professor and James Harris Faculty Fellow in Georgia Tech’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE).
Meredith, who earned his undergraduate degree at Georgia Tech (B.S., chemical engineering), has been on the ChBE faculty since 2000. He also served as the school’s associate chair for graduate studies between 2012-2019.
“Carson and his research team have pioneered the use of sustainable technologies for a variety of important applications,” said Raheem Beyah, Georgia Tech’s Vice President for Interdisciplinary Research. “We are pleased that he will be leading our Renewable Bioproducts Institute as it develops new products, processes and technologies for industries that include paper and packaging, biochemicals and fuels, and bio-composites and nanocellulose.”
Meredith’s lab researches the surfaces and interfaces of advanced materials, emphasizing renewable components, sustainable processing, and bioinspired designs in adhesives, composites, foams, and coatings, among other things. Borrowing their ideas from nature, Meredith and his team are addressing the needs of human societies through food security, renewables, and energy efficiency, utilizing natural materials.
“We’ve focused on using cellulose nanomaterials to make alternatives to conventional plastic for all kinds of things, including high performance food packaging that prevents spoilage, and we’re looking at ways in which we can replace some plastics used in paints and coatings,” said Meredith, who has been an RBI investigator for 10 years.
“Society is demanding alternatives to plastics that accumulate in the environment, and I’m excited that RBI is positioned to offer solutions,” he added. “There’s a tremendous amount of energy coming from industry to develop new bioproducts.”
After earning his undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech, Meredith earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and served as a postdoctoral researcher at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) before returning to Georgia Tech as a faculty member.
RBI, comprised of 50 faculty researchers from six colleges and research centers across Georgia Tech, began as the Institute of Paper Chemistry in 1929 in Wisconsin. Moving to Georgia Tech 60 years later as the Institute for Paper Science and Technology, it was renamed the Renewable Bioproducts Institute in 2014, buoyed by a $43.6 million gift from the Institute of Paper Chemistry Foundation (IPCF), which supports the institute’s expanded aim of research to unlock the potential of biomass material for a wide range of products.
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