Guest Lecture: Circular [Bio] Economy: Turning Waste to Wealth with Dr. Guneet Kaur

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019
10:00am - 11:00am
The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence, Room 313 
The Department of Civil Engineering is pleased to welcome visiting professor, Dr. Guneet Kaur from Hong Kong Baptist University. She will be hosting a lecture titled, Circular [Bio] Economy: Turning Waste to Wealth in a waste-based biorefinery approach. 
No RSVP - all are welcome!
The concept of circular economy was launched in 2010 and is quickly gaining momentum as people prioritize sustainability, material and energy efficiency, reduced waste generation and greenhouse gases emissions. 
Design and adoption of circular economy approaches which account for sourcing, production, consumption, disposal and reuse or recycling of resources is needed to fulfil the criteria of sustainable development. 
To this end, the biorefinery concept has been envisaged to drive the transition from the current linear economy (extract-process-consumption disposal) to a closed loop economy wherein the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in internal cycles for as long as practically possible. 
Bio-based sourcing of high value-added products from non-food and/or waste feedstocks has attracted a great deal of attention in the biorefinery production model. While fulfilling the criterion of renewability of products, this aspect importantly depends on development of robust production schemes, increased market opportunities, and policies and regulations from government and private institutions. 
In this talk, Dr. Kaur will use case studies of a food waste and textile waste-based biorefinery to present these aspects of a closed-loop waste-based biorefinery model for production of valuable products including biosurfactant, sugar feedstock and recycled fibre. 
Dr. Guneet Kaur is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), Hong Kong, and specializes in bioprocess engineering, molecular microbiology, mathematical modelling and process optimization and in-situ product recovery (ISPR).  
She received her PhD from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D) in Biochemical Engineering (2013). Thereafter, she did her postdoctoral research at University of Westminster, London (UK) and City University of Hong Kong before joining HKBU as assistant professor under HKBU Talent 100 programme.
She is the recipient of several awards and fellowships including:
  • the ICMR Doctoral Fellowship; Government of India (2008)
  • FRQNT Postdoctoral Merit Fellowship, Canada (2014)
  • Top Cited Article Award, Elsevier (2014)
  • Best Poster Award, Elsevier (2018)
  • Gold Medal, 46th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, Switzerland (2018).
She is the author of over 20 publications in high impact factor journals with a high citation record of both h- and i-index of 11 and has 2 patents (US, China) pending for her work on small interfering RNA as therapeutics. 
Her current research projects focus on food waste biorefinery, anaerobic digestion and resource recovery from waste streams.  

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