Be the Creed: Lauren Beckingham

I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.

Capturing carbon is one of engineering’s grand challenges.

In Lauren Beckingham’s mind, it might just be the grandest.

“CO2 is a greenhouse gas and a major contributor to global warming,” said Beckingham, assistant professor of civil engineering. “And since atmospheric emissions of CO2 continue to increase, means of reducing those emissions is really critical.”

In other words, if we can’t find a practical way to capture carbon, engineering’s other grand challenges become moot.

Enter Beckingham, the principal investigator for an interdisciplinary team of researchers that have positioned Auburn University as a leader in carbon dioxide utilization and storage research.

“We are looking at a myriad of ways that CO2 can be utilized for purposes such as producing green fuels, chemicals and materials or enhancing energy production,” she said.

Beckingham recently received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early CAREER Development award for her work in environmental engineering.

Her childhood friends would be proud.

“When I was really little, I started a Save The Earth club for the neighborhood kids,” the Princeton graduate said, smiling. “When I went to college, the environmental engineering classes were the most challenging, but also really inspirational. I could do something using science and math that would have a positive change not only for my life, but for other people.”