4 Minutes with…Sheeja George, Project Manager-Southeast Partnership for Advanced Renewables from Carinata, University of Florida

February 13, 2018 |

Tell us about your company and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy.

University of Florida-North Florida Research and Education Center has worked extensively with industrial oilseeds and now focusing on Brassica carinata for aviation fuels, coproducts and value added protein including animal feed. Through state and federal grants we aim to establish a sustainable supply chain around carinata.

Tell us about your role and what you are focused on in the next 12 months.

My role as project manager for the Southeast Partnership for Advanced Renewables from Carinata (SPARC)tasks me with integrating all the knowledge areas involved in this project including feedstock development, extension and outreach, fuel and coproduct development, markets and policy, research and development of new models etc. It is extremely challenging to make these knowledge areas interact and work symbiotically. It is exciting all the same and I would like to advance my career in bioenergy/bioeconomy related program management.

What do you feel are the most important milestones the industry must achieve in the next 5 years?   

Policy change, continue to generate good scientific data, dialog with the community

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the Advanced Bioeconomy, what would you change? 

support for feedstock production-the biggest driver of price

Of all the reasons that influenced you to join the Advanced Bioeconomy industry, what single reason stands out for you as still being compelling and important to you?   

clean is better!

Where are you from?


What was your subject focus (e.g. major) in university (undergraduate and/or graduate, and where did you attend? Why did you choose that school and that pathway?

Chemistry/Biochemistry. PhD in Plant Biochemistry from University of Pune, India

Who do you consider your mentors – could be personal, business, or just people you have read about and admire. What have you learned from them?  

Jim Marois, Steve Csonka

Both are people with vision and draw the big picture for you. rest are all just details (which is my strength). so i have looked up to people who can draw the big picture

its challenging to stick to your values in adversity but do it anyway!

What’s the biggest lesson you ever learned during a period of adversity?   

What hobbies do you pursue, away from your work in the industry?   

love to sing, bring people together over food

What books or articles (excluding The Digest) are on your reading list right now, or you just completed and really enjoyed?   

life cycle analysis article; Guns germs and steel; HBRs 10 must reads on leadership

What’s your favorite city or place to visit, for a holiday?  

Camino island, Destin, FL

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Category: Million Minds

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