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New Faculty Join This Fall

Join us in welcoming three bright new faculty to the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. They all bring unique perspectives and new skillsets to the department. It’s exciting to consider how that new talent will combine with the existing strength in our department in academics, research, and extension.

Ashley Beck

Metabolic Engineering

Ashley graduated from Montana State University. Her research examines metabolic pathways through modeling with resource allocation-based analysis, implemented in a thermophilic cyanobacterial system, and (2) engineering synthetic Escherichia coli consortia to understand metabolic exchange and organic acid detoxification in the context of ecological theory.


Laura Merriman

Ecological Environmental Engineering

Laura MerrimenLaura rejoins us back in Raleigh after working for several years in industry as a water resources engineer for Amec Foster Wheeler in San Diego, California. She will work to foster opportunities to collaborate on academic coursework and the scholarship of teaching and learning. She possesses a true passion for undergraduate research that will significantly benefit both our Biological Engineering and Agricultural and Environmental Technology programs. She received her bachelor’s in biosystems and agricultural engineering from Oklahoma State University. She then earned her master’s and Ph.D. from NC State BAE.

Mahmoud Sharara

Animal Waste Management

Mahmoud joins us from the University of Wisconsin Madison where he worked as an extension associate. In BAE, he will be developing an extension, applied research, and teaching program in Animal Waste Management. His areas of interest include biomass characterization and pretreatment, biorenewable energy systems, waste management and conversion, technical-economic assessment of biomass/bio-waste systems, and life cycle assessment of agricultural and bio-energy systems. He received his bachelor’s in agricultural engineering from Alexandria University in Egypt. Following that he earned his master’s and Ph.D.from University of Arkansas.