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Waste to Advanced Resources Matter

NC State University, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, IBM, the Town of Cary, and Idaho National Laboratory, with strong support from the US Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), invite all stakeholders to join in a groundbreaking workshop to shape the future of waste management, drive sustainability, and explore opportunities for a net-zero bioeconomy.

This groundbreaking “Waste to Advanced Resources Matter” workshop will focus on the innovative solutions, challenges, and opportunities involved in carbon resource recovery from municipal solid waste (MSW) destined to landfills for ultimate conversion to biofuels, biopower, biochemicals, and bioproducts through a strong partnership with industries, municipalities, national laboratories, federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and universities

Specific focus includes decarbonization end-to-end solutions from collection, handling, characterization, sorting, preprocessing, and utilization, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML), cloud, and industry 4.0/smart manufacturing technologies.

Moreover, and of high significance to all stakeholders, workshop participants’ input will be used to inform priorities along the entire supply chain, in support of achieving renewable resources goals

Redirecting wastes such as municipal solid waste (MSW), including papers, plastics, food, and textiles, among others, away from landfills and converting these wastes into biofuels and bioproducts will not only improve the overall value proposition of product life cycle, but be a game changer by enabling a quantum shift from a linear economy to a more sustainable circular economy.


Thank you for your interest.

Registration is not currently open for this activity.

Targeted Outcomes

  • Stakeholders Engagement: Bring all stakeholders from municipalities to the industries together to inform and discuss sustainable waste management and conversion practices.
  • State-of-the-art Assessment: Evaluate cutting-edge technologies and research needs in waste collection, handling, characterization, sorting, preprocessing, and utilization, focusing on waste valorization and achieving net-zero emissions.
  • Sustainability Transition: Provide a comprehensive human, social, economic, and environmental perspective on transitioning from current waste practices of landfilling to valorization into bioenergy.
  • Framework for the Next 5-Years: Publish implementation framework for pilot demonstration of holistic waste to advanced resources innovative technologies, enabling the shift from a linear economy to a more sustainable circular economy.


The two-day workshop will consist of both presentations and focused sessions designed to facilitate discussion and solicit diverse perspectives from all participants.

Eminent Speakers

Alyson Wilson

Associate Vice Chancellor Office of Research and Innovation, NC State

Sujatha (Suj) Perepa

Distinguished Engineer & CTO – Data, AI & MLOps, Office of the IBM CIO.

Elizabeth Burrows

Technology Manager, US DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office

Bryan Staley

President & CEO at Environmental Research & Education Found

Anelia Milbrandt

Researcher, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Morton Barlaz

Distinguished Professor, CCEE Department, NC State University

Rachel Burton

Senior Project Engineer, ProcessWerx – CTO, Faster BioProcess

Jian Shi

Associate Professor, University of Kentucky

Stephanie Lansing

Professor, University of Maryland

Zheng Yao

Principal Research Scientist, Lehigh University.

Mark Hunter

Director, Product Technology and Innovation, Hoffmaster

Amber Hoover

Research Scientist, Idaho National Laboratory

Ashutosh Mittal

Researcher IV-Chemistry, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Veera Boddu

Senior Scientist, Office of Research and Development, USEPA

Reyhaneh Shenassa

Chief Engineer, U.S. DOE Bioenergy Technologies Office (DOE-BETO)

Danna Widmar

Assistant Town Manager, Town of Cary, State of North Carolina

Bradley Kelley

Senior Project Manager, Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc

Jennifer Robinson

Councilmember, Town of Cary, Global Government Strategic Advisor, SAS

Heather Cashwell

Apex Town

Ray Hoffman

Principal Engineer, HNA Engineering PLLC.

Maobing  Tu

Professor, University of Cincinnati

Ezra Bar-Ziv

Professor, Mechanical Engineering Department, MTU

John Yarbrough

Senior Staff Scientist, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Kanishka Tyagi

Director of Artificial Intelligence, UHV Technologies

Yebo Li

Chief Innovation and Science Officer, Quasar Energy Group

Anand Singh

Cloud Architect – AI/ML, IBM

Rachel Emerson

Scientist, Idaho National Laboratory

Matt Murdock

Founder and CEO of Raven SR

Zia Abdullah

Program Manager, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Anthony D. Nickens

Mat. & Mfg. Division Director, Idaho National Lab

Carlos Pignataro

Engineering Sustainability Office, Former Head, Cisco

T. Edwin Freeman

Technical Fellow, Sustainable Materials and Technologies, Mars

Brian Gilhuly

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, RePower South

John Robertson

Solid Waste Management Director, Wake County

Tim Saunders

Program Manager at Gas Technology Institute

Ashok Ghosh

Research and Development Manager, Westrock

Dieter Eckels

Director at Cascadia Consulting Group

Ken Flint

Circular Solutions Manager, Eastman

Sunkyu Park

Professor, University Faculty Scholar, NC State University

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Esther S. Parish

Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory 

Lokendra Pal

EJ Woody Rice Professor, University Faculty Scholar, NCSU

Lokendra Pal

EJ Woody Rice Professor, University Faculty Scholar, NCSU

More details Coming Soon…

To showcase your technologies, please contact us to reserve your spot!







Event Venue:

NC State University, Talley Student Union, 2610 Cates Avenue, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27695, USA

Hotel Options: 


Guests can self-park in Coliseum Pay Lot (Lower Level) at the NC State University campus for a daily rate of $15.


  • By Air: If you fly to Raleigh, you can travel to RDU. The distance from the airport to the NC State University campus is approximately 16 miles.
  • By Car: The Hotel at NC State University is located at 2451 Alumni Dr, Raleigh, NC 27606. 
  • Taxi Services, as well as rideshares such as Uber and Lyft operate in the Raleigh area.

Greater Raleigh is one of the fastest-growing cities in the USA and is part of the Research Triangle Park (RTP), the largest research park in the United States.


  • North Carolina State University
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Town of Cary
  • IBM
  • Idaho National Laboratory


This work is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Under the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Award Number DE-EE0009669.

Please email us at or Dr. Lokendra Pal at for questions or partnership opportunities.