Outstanding Projects
Miles Silman, Biology, received $2.5 million from the United States Agency
for International Development (USAID) to build a research center in Peru.
Along with Michelle Klosterman and Luis Fernandez, he has created the
Centro de Innovación Científica Amazónica (CINCIA) which translates to
the Center for Amazonian Scientific Innovation. The project is also support-
ed by numerous partners including the Amazon Aid Foundation, Ecosphere
Capital Partners/Athelia Climate Change Fund, ESRI Global Inc., World
Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC).
The research aims to develop transformative solutions to promote sustaina-
ble use of tropical landscapes, combat environmental destruction and im-
prove human health in the Amazonian province of Madre de Dios (MDD) in
Peru. MDD is a region in the Peruvian Amazon the size of South Carolina
and covered by the most biodiverse and pristine tropical rainforests in the
Amazon Basin. Through collaborative research, innovative education pro-
grams and apprenticeships, CINCIA hopes to inspire and groom future local
scientists while also engaging with the local community to create needed
change and sustainability to turn the tide of destruction in the rainforest
Abdou Lachgar received an award from the United States Agency for Inter-
national Development (USAID) and the National Academy of Sciences for
Empowering Pakistani women through scientific research, technology develop-
ment, and entrepreneurship: Waste-to-energy technology development. Wake
Forest University developed and demonstrated the effectiveness of a new cat-
alyst based on hydrothermal carbon (HTC) that converts waste vegetable oil
and animal fats to advanced biofuels. This collaboration will commercialize
the technology to contribute to human and economic development in the
region around the University of Sindh. Pakistani and US researchers will de-
velop and test the technology’s application to sustainable energy and water
purification projects in Pakistan, while the economic development strategy
provides entrepreneurial opportunities and training for Pakistani women.
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