Faces of Research - Meet Carson Meredith
Jul 21, 2021 — Atlanta, GA
Meet Carson Meredith, executive director of the Renewable Bioproducts Institute (RBI).
RBI is one of Georgia Tech's 10 interdisciplinary research institutes within the Georgia Tech Research enterprise.
What is your field of expertise and why did you choose it?
I am a chemical engineer with specialization in materials processing and design, particularly the surfaces and interfaces of materials. I am fascinated by the ways that surfaces and interfaces govern the properties of materials and how they interact with the world. Many of the problems facing the environment, sustainability, and renewable materials, which RBI is engaged in, involve surface chemistry and engineering of interfaces.
What makes RBI 's research unique?
We were gifted an endowment from industry that gives us unique capabilities in being able to support four year Ph.D. fellowships. We use this to build a research community that tackles interdisciplinary problems in use of biomass and bioprocessing to create sustainable products. We focus on early-stage research, which if successful, has strong promise to translate to real-world applications. In many cases, we can fund new ideas to allow faculty interdisciplinary teams to gather data they can then use to secure external funding.
What impact is RBI research having on the world?
Faculty working with RBI are working on the next generation of biorefining technology that will save energy and water compared to today's processes. One of the projects is focused on using novel membranes to replace evaporators. This project started at the Ph.D. fellowship level, then became a research consortium at RBI, and has now attracted numerous external funding awards. To support translation of this process to practice, a portable pilot membrane unit was built and installed at a Georgia paper mill. This project is led by professor Sankar Nair (ChBE) with collaboration from associate professor Meisha Shofner (MSE) and Scott Sinquefield (RBI Senior Research Engineer), as well as several RBI member companies.
What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not working on your research or teaching?
I enjoy walking my dogs (Spaniels), reading, woodworking, and fixing cars.