Recognizing the need for more energy options and the opportunity for Auburn University to be a leader in that effort, former AU President Ed Richardson created the AU Alternative Energy Initiative in 2006 and committed $3 million toward the alternative energy effort for fiscal year 2007 to support the expansion of research, outreach, and education efforts in alternative energy.
To kick off this effort, an Alternative Fuels Conference was held in Auburn in October 2006. Proceedings from that conference are available.
The scope of that original initiative has now grown into AU Bioenergy and Bioproducts Center, which was established in January 2007 as part of the new Auburn University Natural Resources Management & Development Institute.
The Center, like the Alternative Energy Initiative before it, is a multidisciplinary effort involving faculty from across the AU campus, as well as policymakers, other educational institutions, and industry groups throughout the state and region.
Steve Taylor, head and professor of the AU Department of Biosystems Engineering, is serving as director of the Center and is working with a 12-member interdisciplinary committee that is guiding the Center's development.