Professor Darla Goeres of Montana State University Named Professor of the Year by ASTM International

Darla Goeres, research professor in the Center for Biofilm Engineering in the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering at Montana State University, recently received the Professor of the Year Award from ASTM International – formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials. ASTM International is the primary organization that develops technical standards for a wide range of materials and other goods.

“I feel very honored to receive this award,” Dr. Goeres said. “It’s a wonderful recognition of all the work Montana State University has done to make biofilm research more relevant and accessible to industry and, in turn, to people’s lives.”

Goeres and her team worked on the development and licensing of specialized benchtop reactors used to consistently grow biofilm for testing, as well as ASTM International standards spelling out how the testing should be conducted. That work culminated in 2017, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — which governs the registration of antimicrobial products — formally adopted the ASTM standards. That has allowed companies to test products against biofilm and make biofilm-specific claims on their labels, similar to the “kills 99.9 percent of bacteria” typically seen on cleaning products.

“This isn’t the flashiest field of science, but it’s important because it has opened the door for new products while giving consumers confidence in what they’re buying,” Professor Goeres said.

Dr. Goeres holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and master’s and doctoral degrees in environmental engineering, all from Montana State University.

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