AgriLife biofuels researcher receives Vice Chancellor’s Award and Faculty Fellow designation

Writer: Robert Burns, 903-312-3199, rd-burns@tamu.edu

COLLEGE STATION – Dr. Sergio Capareda has received a Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence for his role in international involvement.

The Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence recognizes the commitment and outstanding contributions of faculty and staff across Texas A&M AgriLife. The award was presented Jan. 14 at the AgriLife Center on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station.

Capareda was chosen, according the award documentation, because of his work as a teacher in the U.S. and abroad relating to biofuels and alternative energy sources.

Capareda has also been named a 2016 Faculty Fellow by Texas A&M AgriLife Research. AgriLife Research established the Faculty Fellow Program in 1998 to acknowledge and reward exceptional research faculty within the agency.

In a nomination letter for the Vice Chancellor’s Award, Dr. Stephen Searcy, head of the Texas A&M department of biological and agricultural engineering, wrote: “Through his collaboration with five universities — Mariano Marcos State University, the University of the Philippines at Los Baños, Xavier University, the University of the Philippines at Diliman and Central Philippines University — he has assisted with the upgrading of the biofuels and alternative energy research facilities and introduced various efficient and cost-effective non-conventional energy conversion processes.

“His contributions are far-reaching — the village-level ethanol production technology he has introduced to small farmers and entrepreneurs in the Philippines has resulted in livelihood projects such as hand sanitizers from alcohol derived from sweet sorghum. The synergy he has developed through these bioenergy programs resulted in producing commercially available byproducts.”

In 2011 and 2014, Capareda received “Balik Returning Scientist” awards by the government of the Philippines, according to the documentation.

“The Balik scientist program was established to encourage overseas Filipino scientists to return to the Philippines to share their expertise to accelerate and enhance the scientific, agro-industrial and economic development of the country,” according to Searcy. “Dr. Capareda has met these objectives with great success by sharing his renewable energy expertise.”

Much of the same work also contributed to Capareda being named an AgriLife Research Faculty Fellow. In addition, the Faculty Fellow documentation cited that his “work has found many applications around the world, and he has numerous patents for his mobile gasification and pyrolysis technologies. One technology has been licensed by at least three companies.”

Capareda’s lab provides third-party analysis for many biofuels and commercial biofuels plants, according to the Faculty Fellow documentation. Also, he has authored 42 peer-reviewed research articles in the past five years; his textbook on biomass energy conversion has been adopted by at least 14 faculty members in seven countries.

Capareda earned his bachelor’s in agricultural engineering from the University of the Philippines in 1982 and his master’s in agricultural engineering from the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand, in 1985. He received his doctorate in agricultural engineering from Texas A&M in 1990.

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