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Lav Khot and CAHNRS highlighted during NIFA’s National Washington Day – May 10,2023

USDA | NIFA May 11, 2023

photo of Lav Khot To celebrate National Washington Day on May 10, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is highlighting the innovative NIFA-funded research conducted by Lav Khot, CAHNRS and Washington State University (WSU).

NIFA’s support allows CAHNRS to bring new ideas to light that improve our food supply, protect our environment and natural resources, and keep Washington agriculture competitive. More than 73% of CAHNRS extramural funding is from federal sources, the most important of which is USDA-NIFA. This support enables an incredible range of practical discovery and education.

Lav Khot, as WSU’s AgWeatherNet director, is in charge of the network’s nearly 400 solar-powered weather stations located across Washington state. This helps Northwest agricultural producers to navigate complex and uncertain climate and economic environments.

NIFA underwrites work by WSU economists serving farmers and ranchers through the Western Extension Risk Management Education Center, which helps producers manage the evolving risks, such as drought, market, wildfire, regulatory and labor challenges, that they face across the diverse western region.

For more information on NIFA’s State of Success, National Washington Day, please visit the USDA / NIFA website.

Graduate School Announces Rongge Zou as a Winner of Albrecht Scholarship

WSU Insider

The graduate school announces that Rongge Zou is a winner of The Richard R. and Constance M. Albrecht Scholarship.

This award is for all active doctoral graduate students in good standing who have successfully passed their preliminary examination.

The winners had peer-reviewed publications/shows/recital. They also have successful grant proposals/awards while showing service to the institution, profession, and community.

Each awardee was given $1500.

Birgitte Ahring receives Anjan Bose Outstanding Researcher Award

May 2, 2023 |WSU Insider

Dr. Ahring with studentBirgitte Ahring receives the Voiland College of Engineering’s Anjan Bose Outstanding Researcher Award.

Ahring, professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering and with the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory at the WSU Tri-Cities campus, is a prolific researcher and a global leader in biomass conversion research for producing biofuels and high-value bioproducts.

With WSU since 2008, she has published more than 500 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Overall, she has been cited 33,702 times in her career and has an h-index of 93. Her research is mission-driven and is focused on solving bottlenecks for bringing new and better technologies for biofuels and bio-products to the market, including pathways to produce sustainable biofuels in the aviation industry from lignin, fungi, and other forms of biomass.

She has been recognized around the world for her breakthroughs, including recently being named “Washingtonian of the Day” by Governor Jay Inslee.

WSU Insider

Jonathan Male appointed as new head of Office for National Laboratory Partnerships

Mar 8, 2023 | WSU Insider

Photo of Jonathan Male
Washington State University’s Office of Research has appointed Jonathan Male as the assistant vice chancellor for research and director of the systemwide Office for National Laboratory Partnerships. He assumed the new role on Feb. 27.

Male will develop and support systemwide programs in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories, other federally funded research and development centers, and similar major national and international research centers, publicly or privately funded. He will also oversee the development of strategic partnership areas between Washington State University and the partnering institution, including energy innovation, national security, and earth and biological systems.

To continue reading this article go to: WSU Insider, Mar 8, 2023.

Three Minute Thesis – Austin Gluth wins the Tri-Cities 3MT Competition (3/8/2023)


Logo for 3 minute thesis




On behalf of Dr. Garcia-Perez, we would like to congratulate Austin Gluth for winning the Tri-Cities 3MT Competition that took place yesterday! The competition had 7 participants and four of them were our BSE graduate students:

– Austin Gluth (advisor Dr. Bin Yang)
– Renan Stefanini Lopes (advisor: Dr. Birgitte Ahring)
– Budi Harahap (advisor: Dr. Birgitte Ahring)
– Rongge Zou (advisor: Dr. Hanwu Lei)


Thank you, ALL, for representing our BSE department!

Congratulations, Austin, and good luck at the CAHNRS and University level competitions!


Three Minute Thesis – Jake Schrader (PhD) and Kesevan Veloo (MS) win the BSE Competition

Logo for 3 minute thesis





Photo of Kesevan Veloo - Winner of MS category
Kesevan Veloo – Winner of MS category
Photo of Kesevan Veloo - Winner of MS category
Jake Schrader – Winner of PhD category

On behalf of Dr. Manuel Garcia-Perez, we want to thank Kesevan, Jake, Austin, Samrat, Renan and Milton for participating in BSE’s 3MT Thesis Competition! Also, a big thanks to our faculty judges and the audience!

Kesevan Veloo moves on to the CAHNRS competition in the MS category.

The winners in the PhD category moving on to the CAHNRS competition are Jake Schrader, Austin Gluth and Samrat Dahal.


Congratulations to All!!!


The following awards will be deposited into each student’s account.

Name                              Advisor Rank Award
Kesevan Veloo   Dr. Sindhuja Sankaran #1 MS   $200
Jake Schrader     Dr. Lav Khot #1 PhD $200
Austin Gluth       Dr. Bin Yang #2 PhD $150
Samrat Dahal     Dr. Joan Wu #3 PhD $100



Shulin Chen named National Academy of Inventors senior member

February, 2023 | WSU Insider

Photo of Shulin ChenBiological Systems Engineering professor Shulin Chen has been honored as a  senior member of the National Academy of Inventors. He will be inducted formally at the Academy’s annual meeting in June in Washington, D.C.

Chen has produced biochemicals from organic waste using microbial “cell factories,” yeasts that synthesize target biochemicals using metabolic pathways. His team also developed a method for extracting high-value products from potato peels, a waste by-product of potato processing. His method turns phytochemical and nutrient-rich waste into a revenue stream. Chen holds ten U.S. patents for his innovations.

Chen’s research focuses on making industrial processes more sustainable. His projects include development of bioconversion processes and systems for the production of biofuel, bioenergy, and bioproducts. Using anaerobic digestion systems, his research team has invented a process to convert manure and other dairy-industry waste to bioenergy which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. His team’s systems also recover nutrients from wastewater, alleviating concerns about surface and groundwater

AgAID Digital AgAthOn 2023 – Hackathon

February 2, 2023 | WSU Insider

Photo of AgAID Digital AgAthOn 2023Almost 200 students from around the U.S. had the chance to work on two challenges for the agricultural industry as part of the NSF/USDA-NIFA-funded AgAID Institute’s Digital Agathon. The event was held on the Washington State University Pullman campus as well as in Corvallis, Oregon and Merced, California.

A huge thanks goes to  Drs. Kirti Rajagopalan and Sandhuja Sankaran for their role in this event (organizing, logistics, training, mentoring, and judging). Congratulations to all our BSE students across the campuses who participated and stayed competitive in this event.

A special congratulations to: Bhupinderjeet Singh and his team on winning the second prize for the water challenge competition!

And to Srikanth Gorthi and his team for winning the fourth prize in the labor challenge!

History book chronicles 130-year evolution of agricultural engineering at WSU

November  29, 2022  |  WSU Insider

Old photo of LJ Smith HallAs Washington agriculture changed over the last century, so too did teaching and research in agricultural engineering at Washington State University.

That evolution is chronicled in detail in a recently published, 218-page history, “Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering at Washington State University: More than 100 Years Committed to Building a Better and More Sustainable Agriculture.”

Written by current and retired faculty and present staff from the Department of Biological Systems Engineering, the book reaches from the university’s 1892 origins to the present, highlighting the forces that shaped the department as well as its growing team and changing faces.

To continue reading, please go to WSU Insider…