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Introducing Kandis Leslie Gilliard-AbdulAziz: Transitioning from Drug-Detection to Eco-Entrepreneurship in Engineering School

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BREAKTHROUGH RESEARCH LEADS TO INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR WASTE MANAGEMENT IN LOS ANGELES

Los Angeles residents may not realize the impact of their daily consumption habits on the environment, with products like corn, citrus, and bottled water contributing to a trail of waste in the city. However, one researcher is reframing waste as a potential resource for creating valuable products that benefit society.

Kandis Leslie Gilliard-AbdulAziz, the Gabilan Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at USC, leads the Sustainable Catalysis and Materials Laboratory. This lab focuses on transforming waste materials into innovative products through sustainable catalysis for chemical production. Gilliard-AbdulAziz’s work has recently earned her recognition as a 2024 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Chemistry.

The lab’s efforts involve breaking down agricultural and plastic waste to create new, valuable products such as water filters and biochar. They are also exploring opportunities to use catalysis for carbon capture and transformation of greenhouse gases into renewable energy sources.

Gilliard-AbdulAziz’s journey from refinery chemist to forensic chemist to entrepreneur has shaped her approach to sustainability. Her experiences have instilled in her a commitment to ensuring that her research has direct benefits for society. She emphasizes the importance of developing economically viable and sustainable processes to tackle environmental challenges.

At USC, Gilliard-AbdulAziz is excited about the research opportunities and collaborations available at the university. She is dedicated to advancing environmental sustainability through innovative solutions that address the climate crisis. By rethinking waste as a valuable resource, she hopes to contribute to a circular carbon economy and mitigate the effects of global warming.

As consumers, we play a crucial role in supporting sustainability efforts by making conscious choices in our daily lives. Gilliard-AbdulAziz’s work reminds us that every product we use has the potential to be repurposed and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Published on February 26th, 2024, this research highlights the importance of rethinking waste management and embracing innovative solutions for a more sustainable future.

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