Dr. Viji Sitther Receives Innovation Award

Dr. Sitther BEYA STEM Award

The Clear Communication Group’s US Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine and the Council of Engineering Deans of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities have selected Dr. Viji Sitther, Associate Professor of Biology, to receive the Innovations Award at the 2019 BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference! The BEYA STEM Awards are among the most competitive awards in science, engineering and technology management.

The award recognizes Dr. Sitther’s innovative research in renewable biofuels. Dr. Sitther has discovered and patented an innovative technology by which gold nanoparticles when added to photosynthetic microorganisms such as cyanobacteria can increase both the growth rate and the photosynthetic efficiency of the microorganism without affecting the biodiesel property. The nanoparticles act as artificial light harvesting complexes that enhance light capture/scatter reducing the amount required for bioreactors, and augment production capacity without increasing cultivation costs. This novel method to enhance photosynthetic efficacy of cyanobacteria has been developed to increase not only biomass but also oil (lipid) production.

Congratulations, Dr. Sitther!