Two ABE Faculty Selected to ISFS Fellows Program

Congratulations to Drs. Senthold Asseng and Greg Kiker on their selection as part of 2017 inaugural class of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems’ (ISFS) Fellows Program! This fellowship provides up to $9000 towards development of a working group and a $3000 salary supplement for two years. As an ISFS Fellow, they will have a unique opportunity to build and lead a collaborative team over two years to address significant issues in sustainability of food systems and decision-making.

Congratulations Senthold and Greg!

For more information about their proposed work or about the ISFS, visit http://isfs.institute.ifas.ufl.edu/ 

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Ziynet Boz Wins Outstanding Service Award at IFT 17

At the IFT 17 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada this June, Ziynet Boz brought home two awards!

As a member of the leadership team of the Food Packaging Division, Ziynet received the outstanding service award.

Ziynet also won First Place in the Packaging Division Poster Competition for her poster titled  “Modified Atmosphere Packaging Using Pressurized Permeable Gas Components.”

Great job Ziynet!!

 

Three Haitian students welcomed to graduate studies at UF ABE

By: Victoria Price

This fall, three Haitian students will begin studying their Master’s in Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Floyid Nicolas, Rédjino Mompremier, and Josué St Fort will begin their graduate studies as part of the MS Graduate Program with the Feed the Future Haiti Appui à la Recherche et au Développement Agricole project (AREA). Our department welcomes 3 of the 15 AREA MS graduate students at UF in addition to another 2 enrolled at Louisiana State University.

All three incoming ABE students are eager to begin their graduate program with the ABE department’s distinguished faculty. In his graduate program, Nicolas hopes to pursue research on geographic information systems (GIS) and hydrology for his thesis under major professor, Kati White Migliaccio. Mompremier will be working under major professor Young Gu Her and plans to focus on irrigation scheduling based on soil moisture modeling to improve agricultural production and water use efficiency. Looking at food security and working under major professor Clyde Fraisse, St. Fort intends to begin researching climatology and hopes to create a digital tool through biological modeling to help track Haitian crops.

 

Haiti students
Floyid Nicolas (left), Josue St Fort ( middle) and Rédjino Mompremier (right) will start their graduate program in ABE department this fall.

During their graduate programs, the students will work with public and private sectors in Haiti to promote agricultural modernization, and provide research-based information and recommendations for farmers to improve food security. To provide guidance and support to their graduate research, each Haitian graduate student will have a research professional from Haiti on their graduate committees along with other faculty members from ABE department and within UF/IFAS.

The Feed the Future Haïti Appui à la Recherche et au Développement Agricole (AREA) is a five-year funded project made possible by the American people through USAID as part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative to reduce global hunger. The AREA Project is led by the University of Florida International Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS Global) with consortium implementers Louisiana State University and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Get to know the ABE SURF ’17 students!

 

SURF (summer undergraduate research fellowship) is hosted by the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at UF and provides an opportunity for potential PhD students to participate in a 10 week research experience with a premier faculty adviser and a senior Ph.D. student mentor.

This summer, ABE has been hosting two undergraduate SURF students: Kendrick Hardaway (University of Arkansas) and Samantha Winther (Marquette University). Both are being mentored in ABE by our graduate students Ratna Suthar and Tori Morgan, respectively. Comments from an interview are shared below and offer some insight into the SURF students’ summer experiences.

How did you find out about the SURF program?

Samantha and Kendrick: Applied through a program called ENGINE at my home institution and UF reached out and invited me to Fall Preview when I was able to visit my departments of interest, meet potential faculty and interact with the PhD student mentors.

How did you choose your faculty mentor and what is your research project?

Samantha: Since my background is in Biomedical Engineering, my interests aligned more with Dr. McLamore’s research on biosensors. I’m working on optimizing the parameters of chitosin-based nanosensors for lysteria.

Kendrick: My honors thesis work at UArk BAE is on biosolids as a soil amendment for crops, so I am familiar with the applications of biochar as a water purifier, carbon sequesterer and soil amendment. In Dr. Gao’s lab I get to work on characterizing types of hydrochar and their pollutant adsorption capacity.

How will SURF enable your future goals?

Samantha: SURF was my first research experience and it allowed me to see that I want to stay on the research side whether it’s in academia or industry.

I definitely hope to earn a PhD; my two main areas of interest are biomedical engineering like drug therapy and public health like accessible medical technology.

The connections that I made at UF talking to current students and faculty in other departments about the graduate application process made my experience here valuable.

Kendrick: SURF allowed me to connect with other faculty at UF that would enable me to pursue future studies in sustainable systems. Talking to these researchers gave me a broader view of systems in general, like how we grow food and what happens to byproducts.

My goal is to get a PhD and go into consulting to bridge the gap between the technologies we have and the policies made for the optimal use of these technologies. Eventually I’d like to work internationally, maybe even on economic/social affairs and humanitarian efforts.

Both of you want to do a PhD, how do you think this program has educated you about the graduate student life?

Kendrick: My PhD mentor and lab mentor gave me a good idea of what graduate life was like. I was able to see their daily life first hand and they allowed me to ask questions.

Samantha: Immersion. In the lab, I sit between two grad students and I get to see their daily life – and the traveling they do for research and conferences.

Most memorable time in the Gainesville?

Kendrick: Connecting with fellow SURF students from other states, exploring Gainesville, eating ice pops from the Hyppo, and getting to explore the local salsa scene.

The weekend trips with the SURF cohort and mentors to Rainbow Springs, Lake Wauburg and Kennedy Space Center.

Samantha: I saw the ocean for the first time when our cohort took a trip to St Augustine!

Any thoughts on our ABE department at UF?

Kendrick: Overall the department is very laid back and has a very family-like atmosphere.

What would you say to other students thinking about SURF?

Samantha: Just do it! It’s 10 weeks. It’s a great experience that’s very valuable even if it’s not your exact area of work. Take the opportunity to experience a different university than your undergrad.

Kendrick: I’ve been privileged to spend summers in other countries studying abroad, and coaching basketball but SURF was one of the best summer decisions I’ve made because of the great experience and adventure. UF was already on my short list of grad schools, so when I got this offer, it made total sense to accept it.

Kendrick Hardaway’s Research Video

 

UF Robotics Places 4th at ASABE AIM 17

The UF ABE robotics team celebrates 4th place in the ASABE AIM 2017 Robotics Competition – this is great progress from last year’s 8th place.

The competition consisted of 13 robotics teams at this year’s ASABE Annual International Meeting in Spokane, Washington.

image001.png
(left to right) Shirin, Tyler, Akram, Eduardo, and Hao

Again this year, the team was mentored by ABE PhD student Hao Gan and faculty Dr. Wonsuk Lee.

Other team members include graduate students Akram Gholami and Shirin Ghatresamani and undergraduate students Eduardo Carrascal and Tyler Poon (Mechanical Engineering).

This year’s competition task was to simulate raspberry farm pruning. With it’s stealthy but aggressive skill, the team robot was affectionately named the “Snapping Turtle.”

Congratulations to the UF ABE Robotics Team!

2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting

2017 ASABE web banner_REV.inddUF ABE faculty and students had a tremendous presence and participation at the ASABE Annual International Meeting held in Spokane, Washington, July 16-19th. Among the many presentations, moderated sessions and posters were three faculty and  students who were recognized with society awards. The UF ABE Robotics team also competed in the Robotics Competition.

Congratulations to the following:

Mike Dukes2017 Fellow of ASABE (for professional distinction, with outstanding and extraordinary qualifications and experience in, or related to, the field of agricultural, food, or biological systems engineering)

Kati MigliaccioG.B. Gunlogson Countryside Engineering Award (for superior research and extension programs fostering water conservation by irrigators in the eastern US)

Joe SaguesBoyd-Scott Graduate Research Award (recognition for excellence in the conduct and presentation of research to build the knowledge base needed by engineers who design equipment, facilities, and processes for the sustainable operation of a biological system)

UF ABE Robotics Team– Hao Gan, Akram Gholami, Azadeh Azar, Alizedah Azar- 4th Place

 

 

 

Success at the Florida Section ASABE Annual Conference and Trade Show

Great things happen every year at the annual FASABE Conference and Trade Show. This year’s conference was no exception and took place in Jupiter, FL from June 21-24, 2017.

Not only do participants have the opportunity to interact with vendors, network with peers, participate in informational general and technical sessions and earn professional development hours but many awards and recognitions are given as well.

This year, the following ABE faculty and students were recognized. Congratulations to the following:

Eban Bean, Ph.D.Outstanding Young Extension Worker Award 2017

Jim Leary,- recognized for 25 years of active membership

Richard Scholtz– recognized for Outstanding Service and Dedication- Chair of the Florida Section of ASABE 2017

Carlynn ChappelOutstanding Student Award 2017

Karl Max Wallace–  first place grad student presentation competition

Hao Gansecond place grad student presentation competition