CLEMSON, South Carolina – Clemson University Ph.D. candidate Shakira Hobbs of Baltimore, Maryland, has been named an Environmental Research & Education Foundation Scholar.
The Environmental Research & Education Foundation Scholarship recognizes students who demonstrate excellence in solid waste management research and education. Scholarship recipients are selected based on credentials and potential contributions to the solid waste industry.
Hobbs graduated from Western High School in Baltimore, received a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and technology from the University of Maryland and earned her Master of Science in engineering at Arizona State University.
Hobbs has conducted novel interdisciplinary research on the capture and reuse of energy and resources from food waste and bioplastic (plant-based plastics), sustainability assessment and international development.
Community engagement has been a centerpiece of her academic career. She has engaged a plethora of undergraduate students through research by teaching the use of gas chromatography and laboratory procedures for assessing waste-to-energy potential and mentored students to pursue higher education in STEM fields. She also led a team of female engineers from across the country in a project designed to educate community members on sustainable practices and ways to convert food waste to energy in Sittee River, Belize.
“The EREF Scholarship will give me the freedom to pursue sustainable solid waste management research while developing and improving waste to energy systems that will lead to feasible and innovative solutions,” Hobbs said.
Her experience as a minority student in engineering has also shaped her future aspirations.
“I want to pay my experiences in engineering forward to the next generation,” Hobbs said. “My goal is to become a tenured professor that inspires diversity in engineering so that I can recruit and mentor underrepresented students to engineering so that both engineering students and professors reflect the diversity our nation’s population.”