Lucas Clayton, NCERC visiting research fellow.

EDWARDSVILLE – The National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (NCERC at SIUE) recently welcomed Lucas Clayton as its newest visiting research fellow. Funded by the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, the nine-month fellowship program is intended to provide training and hands-on experience to prepare the next generation of engineers and scientists for work in mid- to high-skill jobs in the bioeconomy.

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“I’m excited to welcome Lucas Clayton as our newest visiting research fellow,” said NCERC Executive Director John Caupert. “His background in chemical engineering will contribute greatly to our grant-funded and contractual research projects in the NCERC Fermentation Suite and Pilot Plant. NCERC benefits from mentoring recent college graduates who have specialized areas of study in biology, chemistry, and engineering and we extend a special thank you to the Illinois Corn Marketing Board for providing the funding necessary to conduct the fellowship program.”

Clayton graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in chemical engineering in 2022. His role at NCERC will include working directly with NCERC’s research and operations staff to support pilot- and demonstration-scale projects.

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“As NCERC’s newest visiting research fellow, I’ve enjoyed getting to learn about NCERC’s capabilities while putting the knowledge I learned through my degree program to use,” said Clayton. “I’m grateful for this opportunity and look forward to becoming a valuable member of NCERC’s dynamic team. The research we do here has a positive impact on so many and I’m glad that I get to be a part of it as a recent college graduate.”

In their roles, the visiting research fellows serve under the guidance of two supervisors who provide them with the technical expertise they need to thrive in their research environments and the leadership skills they need to ramp up the trajectory of their careers. This joint supervisory model ensures the connection of theory to practice and builds upon the Fellow’s academic degree through applied, hands-on learning in an industrial setting. Upon completion of the fellowship program, graduates will be qualified to work in industries across the bioeconomy, including biofuels, pharmaceuticals, and bioprocessing. To learn more about NCERC’s fellowship program, visit

The NCERC at SIUE is a nationally recognized research center dedicated to the development and commercialization of biotechnologies. Their unique research laboratories house bench- to demonstration-scale bioreactors and pretreatment and downstream processing equipment, making it the perfect partner to companies in the biotechnology industry. Through their contractual research services, NCERC has played an instrumental role in commercializing more than eighty products that are now used in the commercial marketplace. In addition to its research and development services, NCERC leverages its experienced staff and unique facility to provide a variety of workforce training and education initiatives to train the next generation of bioeconomy professionals. For more information, contact Jackie Hayes at [email protected], or visit

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high-quality education that powerfully transforms the lives of all individuals who seek something greater. A premier metropolitan university, SIUE is creating social and economic mobility for individuals while also powering the workforce of the future. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of more than 12,500.

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