Steve Taylor, professor and head of the Department of Biosystems Engineering and director of the Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts at Auburn University, will receive the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ 2015 James R. and Karen A. Gilley Academic Leadership Award during the organization’s annual international meeting July 26-29 in New Orleans. The award recognizes his outstanding academic leadership and exemplary service to the professional society.
Taylor was named department head in 2003, and in the years since, student enrollment in the department has more than tripled, with the expansion of the unit’s biosystems and forest engineering majors and the development of an ecological engineering major, master’s and doctoral programs in biosystems engineering and an accelerated B.S. and M.S. program.
In the past 12 years, biosystems engineering also has strengthened its research and extension programs in the areas of biobased products and biofuels, water resources and ecological engineering, automation and precision agriculture and engineering for the poultry industry. And, with National Science Foundation funding that Taylor and a faculty team secured, the department’s antiquated lab building underwent a $6 million renovation and is now the Biological Engineering Research Laboratory.
Since his 2006 appointment as head of the Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts, Taylor has collaborated with faculty groups, other universities and industry partners to bring in more than $35 million in extramural dollars for research on biofuels, renewable electric power and other biobased products.
He has been a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers for 26 years and was named a fellow in 2013.