News Release

Webb named Fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

Grant and Award Announcement

DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Erin Webb


Erin Webb has been elected a Fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

view more 

Credit: Genevieve Martin

Erin Webb, lead for the Bioresources Science and Engineering group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been elected a Fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, or ASABE — the society’s highest honor. The election recognizes Webb’s significant contributions to sustainable and reliable use of agricultural and forest resources in the expanding bioeconomy.

Election as Fellow recognizes ASABE members of unusual professional distinction with outstanding and extraordinary qualifications and experience in, or related to, the field of agricultural, food or biological systems engineering, as well as service to the society. Webb will be inducted with ASABE’s 2024 Fellow class at a special ceremony during the society’s annual meeting in California in late July.

Webb is also ORNL’s laboratory relationship manager to the Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office. She co-leads the new Circular Bioeconomy Systems Initiative at the University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute, and is a Joint Professor in the UT Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science Department. In her many roles, Webb provides strategic guidance to multidisciplinary teams dedicated to advancing bioenergy and bioeconomy research, while managing sponsor relationships and driving key research initiatives forward.

“Erin’s recognition as a leader and innovator in agricultural engineering is well deserved,” said Eric Pierce, director of the Environmental Sciences Division at ORNL. “Her core technical research and passion for renewable energy and thriving rural communities are integral to ORNL’s science mission in support of a strong bioeconomy.”

Under Webb’s leadership, multiple projects have developed sophisticated models, simulating biomass operations and evaluating the impacts of equipment design, crop yield and operational parameters on costs and inputs for diverse feedstocks. Her leadership of biomass supply chain and logistics research for DOE has resulted in important understandings of the economics for supplying forest and herbaceous biomass to the emerging second-generation biofuels industry — vital to industrial and policy decision makers. More recently, her work on understanding sources and magnitude of feedstock variability greatly reduced the risk for engineering of handling and conversion processes.

As lead of the Circular Bioeconomy Systems project, Webb is drawing on scientific expertise at ORNL and UT to develop materials from sustainable carbon sources, pioneering the shift toward low-energy and low-carbon-intensity circular agriculture, with potential applications in automotive manufacturing and other sectors.

Webb has authored or coauthored 68 publications. She holds a doctorate in agricultural and biological engineering from the University of Florida, a master’s degree in biosystems engineering from the University of Kentucky, and a bachelor’s of science in agricultural engineering from UT. In addition to her professional activities, Webb and her family manage a 94-acre farm in Union County, Tennessee.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the DOE’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. The Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.