Sam Brake, agricultural programs specialist with the NCDA&CS Bioenergy Research Initiative, is one of five recipients of the 2015 Mobile CARE awards presented by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.
The N.C. Mobile Clean Air Renewable Energy awards recognize outstanding individuals and organizations for work aimed at reducing transportation-related emissions. Organized by the NCCETC and sponsored by the state Department of Transportation, Mobile CARE brings together three state agencies with overlapping interests in air quality and energy to recognize the achievements of people and organizations that are making a difference in North Carolina. Honorees can be individuals, organizations, or technology or fuel providers.
Individuals may be honored for expanding “the use and understanding of best driving practices, alternative fuels and advanced transportation technologies as these relate to air quality and energy diversity,” according to Mobile CARE.
Brake was honored for his history of work in the areas of biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol. “Through his presentations and travels across the state and through the Bioenergy Research Initiative in Oxford, Sam Brake seeks to promote and make people in the state aware of such bioenergy crops as switchgrass and its potential for renewable energy and fuel,” Mobile CARE’s announcement noted.
“Sam is an enthusiastic supporter of research on bioenergy feedstocks, and this award is well-deserved,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.
The Bioenergy Research Initiative is a program of the NCDA&CS Research Stations Division and is located at the Oxford Research Station. It supports the research and development of forestry and agriculture-based feedstocks for bioenergy production, agribusiness development and cooperative research for biofuels production.
Brake joined the program in 2014 after working with the Biofuels Center of North Carolina and the N.C. Soybean Producers Association. Before devoting his attention to renewable fuels and bioenergy crop production, he spent 27 years developing and managing Open Grounds Farm in Carteret County.
In addition to Brake, other award winners were Skip Kirkwood with Durham County Emergency Medical Services, Alliance Autogas of Asheville, City of Charlotte Solid Waste Services and the Charlotte Fire Department.