Faculty and Graduate Students from Biological Systems Engineering attended the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) 2018 Annual Meeting. The event took place July 29, 2018 – August 01, 2018 in Detroit Michigan.
BSE Faculty included Lav Khot, Troy Peters, Juming Tang, Manoj Karkee, Sindhuja Sankaran, and Qin Zhang.
WSU alumnus Dr. Norman Scott was also in attendance.
In addition, BSE Master’s student Kapil Khanal (advised by BSE faculty member Dr. Manoj Karkee) won the first place Boyd-Scott Graduate Research Award for his research titled “Red Raspberry Bundling and Taping Mechanism.”
More information on the Boyd-Scott Graduate Research Award can be found on the ASABE Webiste
Chongyuan Zhang, a Graduate Assistant in Sindhuja Sankaran’s group received the 2018 Ann Chittenden Holland Master’s Thesis Award for Graduate Student Excellence at the 2018 WSU Graduate Student Evening of Excellence.
Congratulations to Chongyuan and Dr. Sankaran for this accomplishment!
Three local experts discussed how local governments use drones for science and public safety, as well as issues recreational users should keep in mind when operating on the Palouse on Tuesday. [ read full article at the dailyevergreen.com ]
Seven research teams at Washington State University will enhance the competitiveness of Northwest crops by fighting devastating diseases and advancing sustainable agriculture, thanks to more than $1.5 million in Specialty Crop Block Grant funds from the Washington State and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture.
To support Washington’s $3 billion apple and pear industry, its $734 million potato industry, and other important crops like fresh strawberries, cut peonies and cider apples, WSU crop scientists, engineers, plant pathologists, economists and other specialists will join forces.
Enhanced nutrients for sustainable farming
Specialty crop farmers commonly use manure to fertilize their soils. But manure can be bulky, costly to transport, and may also bring pathogens, weed seeds and a poor balance of nutrients for some crops.
Pius Ndegwa, associate professor in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering, and WSU researchers will investigate the economic, agronomic and food safety benefits of concentrating manure and compost. Pelleting and blending manure with other products, such as canola or fish meals, could concentrate nutrients, kill pathogens and weed seeds, and make transport easier.
New tech to stop potato storage losses
Washington is a major potato producer, yet storage losses after harvest can ruin up to 6 percent of the annual crop.
Researchers Sindhuja Sankaran and Lav Khot, both in the WSU Department of Biological Systems Engineering, partnering with Brenda Schroeder of the University of Idaho Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Nematology, will research new ion mobile spectrometry and nanofiber chemical sensor technologies to detect storage diseases like pythium and soft rot at early stages. Growers will be able to better manage bulk storage and reduce losses through early processing. The technology could also be adapted for other specialty crops, like onions.
Old-school areas of plant biology are getting tech upgrades that herald more detailed, faster data collection.
January 25, 2017 |by Heidi Ledford, Nature – International Weekly Journal of Science
At Washington State University in Pullman, biological engineer Sindhuja Sankaran’s lab is preparing to deploy drones carrying lidar, the laser equivalent of radar. The system will scan agricultural fields to gather data on plant height and the density of leaves and branches. Sankaran also uses sensors to measure the volatile chemicals that plants give off, particularly when they are under attack from insects or disease. She hopes eventually to mount the sensors on robots.
Wednesday, November 9th, the inaugural SciTech Northwest event was held in Seattle. This was the region’s first science and technology expo highlighting the latest innovations and collaborations in cyber/data analytics, clean energy, and biotechnology from three premier Washington research institutions. Twenty one groups and five speakers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Washington, and Washington State University showcased their cutting-edge technologies. The featured speaker was Matt McIlwain, Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group.
Xconomy – Washington Scientists Forge Ahead Amid Uncertainty
GeekWire – Tech investor Matt McIlwain: Seattle with shape the future with a ‘three-layer cake’ of innovation
Growing wine grapes with less water: The study Khot is involved in is an effort to reduce the amount of irrigation water used to grow wine grapes by applying water directly to the roots of a vine in the ground, instead of dripping water on the ground near the trunk. The project is led by WSU professors Pete Jacoby and Sindhuja Sankaran, both affiliate faculty members of CPAAS. » More ...
Feb 2015 | WSU News, by Seth Truscott, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences
PULLMAN, Wash. – Wheat breeders at Washington State University are sizing up experimental crops from a new perspective: cameras that see far better than the human eye.
Scientists deploy tractor- and cart-mounted multi-spectral cameras to see how new wheat varieties handle challenges like drought, heat and disease. Results will help breeders and growers choose the best varieties.
“For thousands of years, people have been looking at plants in a field and saying, ‘that one grows well,’” said WSU spring wheat breeder Mike Pumphrey. But there’s a lot our eyes can’t see that a new generation of cameras can.
A slight breeze comes from the north, but it’s not enough to stir the sun-faded windsock above the tarmac near Mann Lake in Lewiston, Idaho. The sudden and unexpected gusts of wind, however, do. It’s a brisk 48 degrees, but of more concern is the smeared cloud taking up the southwestern horizon, out of place among its more defined, cumulus neighbors mottling the blue canvas above.
“We have about ten minutes,” says Chris Chaney, who earned a doctorate in mechanical engineering from WSU this year. “We’re going to have to time this right. This is probably one of the most dangerous flights we’ve done.”