Elham H. (Ellie) Fini, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, co-founder of Bio-Adhesive Alliance Inc., senior sustainability scientist at Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and associate professor of Arizona State University, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
Fini has served as a program director at the National Science Foundation and as president of the American Association of Civil Engineers (Northern branch in North Carolina). She has been Fulbright scholar at Aalborg University of Denmark and research affiliate at MIT’s Center for Materials Science and Engineering. She is currently serving as an invention ambassador for American Association for Advancement of Sciences and as the associate editor of ASCE’s Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering. She is also the inventor and co-founder of a startup company and has published more than 100 journal papers, one book and one book chapter.
She has actively fostered the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within her campus and science community. To disseminate research and promote innovation in the professional community, she has delivered several invited talks, television interviews and keynote speeches and served on discussion forums and panels promoting invention and innovation in academia. She also organized “ICU” (invention culture by you) with the support of the AAAS-Lemelson Ambassador program focusing on innovation ecosystem.
Fini has delivered numerous talks in national and international forums and conferences as well as a talk at the Kavli Frontiers of Science at the National Academy of Science. Her research was also featured in Women’s History Month by Science 360 News as well as by WIRED Magazine, Scientific American, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Venturewell, and more recently by CNBC, Science Nation and NSF.
Her achievements were recognized via multiple awards, including the NSF CAREER award, the 2017 BEYA STEM Innovation award, and by nomination for the 2017 BioNight Entrepreneurial Excellence Award. One of her recently patented inventions is a unique process to break down pig manure and convert it into an asphalt-binding adhesive. The innovative bio-adhesive can be used as either a full or partial substitute to standard petroleum-based adhesives.
Fini received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 2008.