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PhD student Hannah Woo named Scholar of the Week

Hannah WooHannah Woo, PhD student in civil and environmental engineering, works withUT/ORNL Governor’s Chair Terry Hazen. She received a B.S. in Molecular Environmental Biology with Honors from the University of California at Berkeley.

Woo worked as a technician at the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Berkeley from 2009 to 2012. She began her PhD studies in June of 2012 and was immediately accepted in the NSF SCALEIT IGERT program at UT. She obtained NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for her work on Lignin degrading bacteria from deep sea sediment (a potential new pathway for bioenergy and renewable products) in 2013.

Woo recently received the following accolades:

  • Second prize for her poster “Women in Stem Research Symposium”
  • Chancellor’s Professional Promise Award
  • First prize for her presentation “What Happens to Lignin in the Ocean? Evidence of Bacterial Lignin Degradation in Marine Microcosms” at the 2nd Annual Southeastern Biogeochemistry Symposium
  • A travel award from the Society for Applied Microbiology Presidents Grant Fund to attend the International Symposium in Microbial Ecology in Seoul, South Korea.
  • First Place Gold Winner in the Sigma Xi Graduate Research Competition.

Woo has also authored eight articles in high impact journals, five in the past year. She has given twenty presentations at local, national, and international meetings.