Meet Dr. April Lovelady

April Lovelady, Attaway, Denise, Ensley, Carlen  |  7/30/2014 8:00:55 PM

Dr. April Lovelady

Photo By: John Wozniak

ST. GABRIEL – Dr. April Lovelady is a post-doctoral researcher working on the Sustainable Bioproducts Initiative (SUBI) at the LSU AgCenter Audubon Sugar Institute.

Lovelady started working at the LSU AgCenter in January 2014. She is a member of the team involved with conversion tasks associated with the project. Her duties include:

  • Developing methods to separate and concentrate butanol produced during fermentation.
  • Using software from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to optimize biomass processing procedures.
  • Scaling up fermentation and solvent recovery processes for biofuel production.
  • Supervising undergraduate engineering students as they perform lab tasks.

Her long-term goals include cultivating an understanding of the socioeconomic impacts of biofuel production through research, education, service, outreach and extension activities.

Lovelady comes to the LSU AgCenter after having earned a doctoral degree in engineering from Texas A&M University. Her area of concentration was biofuel production processes. Her graduate studies included: pyrolyzing (batch pyrolysis and fluidized bed pyrolysis) various biomass feedstocks and analyzing the pyrolysis co-products, characterizing bio-oil from pyrolyzed biomass (algae, sorghum and “miscane”), researching traditional and regenerative catalytic methods for bio-oil conversion, using DOE analysis to design and optimize biofuel production process, and operating and maintaining analytical equipment.

In addition to earning a doctoral degree, Lovelady also earned a master’s degree in engineering with a concentration in instrumentation and controls and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Texas A&M University.

Her work experience includes stints as an adjunct assistant professor at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas, and a systems engineer at B/E/Aerospace in Lenexa, Kan., as well as a control systems engineer and a project manager at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

She has received numerous awards, including the State of Texas Service Award in 2012. She also was a member of the Leadership Development for Success and Change (LDSC) steering committee, an Alfred P. Sloan Scholar and a USDA National Needs Fellow in 2010. She served as a MUST Mentor for the NASA Internship Program and was a Kennedy Graduate Fellowship recipient in 2007. In 2005, Lovelady won the NASA Silver Quality Dollar Award for Continual Improvement.

Publications she has written include Characterization of Miscane Feedstock and Its Pryolysis CoProducts, written for the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Joint Meeting in Bonita Springs, Fla.; Bio-oil Characterization and Optimization, for the Hispanics in Agricultural and the Environment Research Symposium in Kingsville, Texas; Environmental Control System For Low Pressure Environments, written for the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ National Conference in Minneapolis, Minn., and Hypobaric Testing of Environmental Sensors, written for the National Society of Black Engineers’ Space Special Interest Group Meeting in Houston, Texas. She also has given several presentations at various functions around the United States.

Lovelady’s service, outreach and volunteer activities include working at: AgMagic in Baton Rouge, AgMagic on the River in Violet, Louisiana, “Librarypalooza” in Metairie, Louisiana, and Southern University’s Center for Energy and Environmental Studies Summer Day Camp (Camp CEES), and taking part in Career Day at Latexo Elementary School in Latexo, Texas.

For more information about what Lovelady and her co-workers do in relation to biofuels, visit the LSU AgCenter SUBI website.

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