Dr. Kevin B. Hicks was elected as an American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow on the basis of his dedication to science and having served as Chair of the Carbohydrate Division of the ACS. Kevin received a BS in chemistry (1974), MS in agricultural chemistry (1976) and PhD in biochemistry (1979) all from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
Kevin worked at the USDA’s Eastern Regional Research Center for 33 years before retiring in 2014. At the time of his retirement he was Research Leader for the Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research Unit. Kevin led a team of 35 scientists and engineers conducting research to develop sustainable biofuels and co-products from agricultural commodities, energy crops, crop residues and agricultural byproducts. He is the author of approximately 230 peer-reviewed and technical publications and 10 patents as well as numerous presentations to national and international audiences.
Kevin has won many major awards for his work, including a 2010 Superior Technology Transfer Award from Agricultural Research Service (ARS)/USDA for helping to develop a new advanced biofuel, winter barley ethanol, which led to the construction of a 65 million gallon per year winter barley ethanol production facility in Hopewell, VA, and also a 2007 Fuel Ethanol Industrial Leadership Award from Bryan & Bryan Inc. Other awards include the Scientist of the Year for ARS North Atlantic Area (NAA) (2008), USDA Outstanding Technology Transfer Award (1999), Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer for Corn Fiber (Amazing) Oil Technology (1998), Certificate of Commendation from The Sugar Association, Inc. (1996), Horace S. Isbell Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry from the ACS (1989), and the Arthur S. Fleming Scientific Research Award (1985).
Kevin has served as Chair of the Carbohydrate Division of the ACS. He has also been involved in other professional associations including American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS), and Ethanol Producers and Consumers (EPAC). He was inducted into the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, the oldest agricultural society in the United States, founded in 1785. Kevin has served on the Editorial Board for Carbohydrate Research and the Publications Committee for IFT (Food Technology and Journal of Food Science).
On the ACS website for the 2014 list of ACS Fellows Kevin’s contribution to the science profession was stated as: “Recognized for leading successful collaborative R&D activities with corporate, academic, and government partners, resulting in the commercial production of functional foods, feeds, and biochemicals and biofuels from renewable (non-fossil) agricultural feedstocks.” A comment about contribution to the ACS community is “Chaired and helped lead the Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry to organizational and programming excellence in the 1980s and 1990s. Organized seven ACS symposia, raised corporate funding, and organized award banquets in notable locations.”
The above is a snapshot of why Kevin was chosen as one of the 2014 ACS Fellows.