Nebraska student wins National Ethanol Conference scholarship

By Renewable Fuels Association | January 23, 2013

The Renewable Fuels Association and the Renewable Fuels Foundation are excited to announce the recipient of a scholarship to attend the 18th Annual National Ethanol Conference: Driving Forward. This is the fourth consecutive year the scholarship has been available to students in higher education with a focus on renewable fuels and intending to pursue a career in the industry. The recipient will receive complimentary registration to the conference, providing him an invaluable experience and opportunity to connect with hundreds of ethanol leaders, policy makers and experts in the renewable fuels industry.

The recipient of this year’s National Ethanol Conference Scholarship is Wade Hunt. A resident of Sterling, Neb., Wade enrolled at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a chemical engineering student. He was later accepted by a variety of research internship programs, including the Undergraduate Creative Academic Research Experience , and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory program, where he worked on proof of concept research for an extractor system. There, he was able to perform analogous tests to degrade a common, large protein in aqueous solution. His senior project is to develop a packed bed reactor for the production of biodiesel. Wade is a firm supporter of renewable fuel resources and believes great strides need to be taken to further develop current and future processes to secure the world’s energy needs.

“The NEC presents an extraordinary opportunity to those eager to learn about the industry, and we are proud to present another commendable student the chance to join us this year,” said Mike Jerke, RFF chairman and general manager of Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company.  “Ethanol’s best will be on hand to showcase the bright future that lies ahead of the industry, and we hope Wade will leave even more encouraged by what our speakers have to offer.”

The NEC has been recognized as the preeminent conference for delivering accurate, timely information on marketing, legislative and regulatory issues facing the ethanol industry.  With numerous networking opportunities, more business meetings are conducted and contacts made at this conference than any other ethanol conference. This year’s program will highlight critical regulatory, marketing and policy issues facing the ethanol industry. Experts will speak to the current market situation, and address how we as an industry can continue to grow through innovation, new technologies and feedstocks, and by developing more diverse and global markets.

The RFF is dedicated to meeting the education, research and strategic planning needs of the U.S. fuel ethanol industry. The goal is to assure a growing healthy renewable fuels industry well into the future. The focus of the foundation is toward academia, industry and public policy makers as we address issues related to new users, new feedstocks and new technologies that will impact the future of ethanol. For more information, visit