ABE PhD Student Receives Travel Award with Plans To Serve in Uganda

Agricultural and Biological Engineering Ph.D. student Raminder Kaur has been selected as one of nine recipients from the University of Florida to be awarded the Trellis Fund grant. Kaur was awarded a travel grant that she will use to travel to Uganda to train farmers in processing a variety of speciality crops in a program called the Ndibwami Integrated Rescue Project.


The Ndibwami Integrated Rescue Project aims to train farmers in how process crops such as pineapple, tomatoes and passion fruit. Along with Kaur, Ranjeet Singh Randhawa, who is pursuing a doctoral degree in Horticultural Sciences and a master’s degree in Agribusiness from the UF Department Food and Resource Economics, will also be working on this project.

For more details, please see the UC Davis blog by clicking here.



An Giang University Visits ABE to Begin Collaboration

The University of Florida and An Giang University signed a memorandum of understanding on January 16, 2018, that outlines future collaborations between the two institutions.

Dr. Vo Van Thang, the Rector of An Giang University, along with a group of colleagues, travelled to Florida to sign this memorandum of understanding and visit the University of Florida’s Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, which will facilitate the upcoming collaborations. Plans to collaborate include country visits, faculty and student exchanges, short courses and study abroad opportunities.

(From left to right) Dr. Vo Van Thang, the Rector of An Giang University and  Dr. Allen Wysocki, Associate Dean of the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

The Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering has an established connection with An Giang University through ABE alumnus Dr. Tanh Nquyen. Nquyen graduated from the Agricultural and Biological Engineering department in 2014 with his Ph.D. His research, titled “Combining hydrologic modeling and economic factors to optimize water management for a Vietnamese wetland system,” focused on seeking scenarios meeting parallel optimization criteria including hydrologic optimization and economic optimization.

Nguyen is currently the Dean of College of Engineering, Technology, and Environment at An Giang University as well as the AGU coordinator for UF-AGU collaboration development. Nguyen said current collaborative projects that are ready for UF students to join include modeling water flow and sediment transport using Telemac 2D and 3D, evapotranspiration for vegetation and aquaponics.

Dr. Vo Van Thang, the Rector of An Giang University, signs a memorandum of understanding with Dr. Allen Wysocki, Associate Dean of the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

An Giang University is located in Vietnam and was established on the basis of An Giang College of Education as a public training institute in the universities of Vietnam. An Giang University’s mission focuses on “training human resources (multi-level and multidisciplinary) in order to meet the learning needs in An Giang province and the Mekong Delta; conducting research and applying technology to meet local socio-economic development requirements in the process of industrialization, modernization and international integration.” The university is making continuous efforts to become a prestigious institute for training, researching and applying technology with a high-quality teaching staff and modern facilities in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.


ABE Professor elected to Irrigation Association Board of Directors

Michael Dukes
Michael Dukes, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Professor

Dr. Michael Dukes, professor and irrigation specialist at the University of Florida, has been elected to the Irrigation Association Board of Directors, which establishes the association’s strategic direction, policies and programs.

The board monitors current and evolving industry trends, determines strategic priorities, defines public policy positions and acts as stewards of IA’s financial resources. Directors are elected each fall by regular members of the association and represent the diversity of member types and market segments. The Irrigation Association is a leading membership organization for irrigation companies and professionals.

According to a news release from the Irrigation Association, Dukes’ first exposure to the irrigation industry was in his uncle’s irrigated cornfield. He has almost exclusively worked in irrigation research and education throughout his career and has been active with the Irrigation Association since 2001.  Serving in the  Smart Water Application Technologies group of the IA, he developed the rain sensor test protocol used to test a variety of commercially available products.

Michael Dukes.  Photo taken 02/11/16.

In addition, Dukes has been a member of the Irrigation Show Technical Program Committee since 2006 and has served as vice chair and chair of that committee. He has won many awards and honors for his work, including the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Fellow in 2017 and the Irrigation Foundation Excellence in Education Award in 2014.

ABE at UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center 100th Anniversary

John K. Schueller, ABE affiliate professor, (right) receives a plaque as an invited speaker at the Citrus Research and Education Center’s 100th Anniversary celebration during Distinguished CREC Alumni Forum from Michael Rogers (left), director of UF CREC

ABE Affiliate Professor John K. Schueller was an invited speaker at the Distinguished CREC Alumni Forum as a part of the celebrations of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center’s 100th anniversary. It is UF’s first and biggest research and education center outside of Gainesville. Prof. Schueller’s presentation included descriptions of the cooperative research he has conducted with former ABE faculty Jodie Whitney, Bill Miller, Masoud Salyani, and Reza Ehsani at the CREC.

From left to right:  Jodie Whitney, Masoud Salyani, Bill Miller, Larry Parsons

Former UF ABE faculty members Jodie Whitney, Masoud Salyani, and Bill Miller were also in attendance at the CREC anniversary celebration. All three are enjoying retirement and recently celebrated Jodie’s 80th birthday. They are shown at the center with fellow CREC retiree, Larry Parsons.

To learn more about the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center, watch this video presented by UF/IFAS.


Asseng named to AgMIP global leadership panel


Senthold Asseng, Professor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering


Congratulations to Dr. Senthold Asseng for being named to the  global leadership panel for the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Program (AgMIP)! Dr. Asseng is known for his work using computer models to predict crop yields, has worked as co-leader of the AgMIP wheat team and has also lead American-based and internationally organized research projects.

AgMIP is an effort by agricultural scientists from around the world to improve the state of agricultural simulation and to understand climate impacts on the agricultural sector at global and regional scales.

“AgMIP scientists recognize that many of the climate change and global food security issues are beyond individual scientists and institutions to be solved,” Asseng said. “By creating collaborative research teams, AgMIP addresses research questions which require multi-disciplinary expertise including agricultural scientists, social scientists, modelers of crops, climate, agricultural economics, crop physiologists, field experimentalists, crop and animal breeders, nutritionists, biostatisticians and software engineers.”

For more information on Dr. Asseng’s appointment and AgMIP, visit UF/IFAS Blogs.

ABE Grad Student Wins UF 3MT

Thiago receives 1st place award at UF 3MT competition

Congratulations to ABE graduate student Thiago Borba Onofre who won the UF Graduate School’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition! His thesis presentation is titled A Wireless Sensor Network for a Strawberry Disease Warning System. Thiago’s advisor is Dr. Clyde Fraisse, who specializes in the development of climate risk mitigation tools for agricultural and natural resources managers. Thiago advances to the regional competition at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) on February 22-25, 2018 held in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to compete again. Great job, Thiago!



2017 Water Institute Fellows

Congratulations to David Kaplan (left) and Sanjay Shukla (right) – this year’s Water Institute’s Faculty Fellow Award recipients. To learn more visit http://waterinstitute.ufl.edu/people/spotlight/index_detail.asp?ID=84