Two CALS graduate students win WARF Discovery Challenge awards

April 6, 2016. (Photo © Andy Manis)
2016 Discovery Challenge winners. From left: Michael Vaughn, Robert Stankey, Andrew Merluzzi, Mahmoud Sharara. Photo courtesy of WARF.

Robert Stankey, a graduate student in bacteriology, and Mahmoud Sharara, a graduate student in biological systems engineering, won awards for their projects at the 2016 WARF Discovery Challenge on April 6.

Stankey’s project focuses on engineering bacteria to accept plant material as a food source and ultimately produce high value bioproducts including fuels. Sharara’s project aims to balance the economic costs with the environmental impacts of supplying biomass to cellulosic ethanol facilities.

Discovery Challenge is a research competition open to UW–Madison graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from all departments and fields of study. The spring symposium attracted more than 90 presenters this year. The Discovery Challenge will continue in the fall with the research award competition, in which all participants of the spring symposium are eligible to compete.

Read more about the Discovery Challenge and the winners in this WARF release.