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Washington State University

Outstanding NRES Student Presentations Delivered

The NRES Student Oral and Poster competition at this year’s AIM in New Orleans saw a total of 114 student oral presentations in NRES sponsored sessions, approximately 45% of all potential NRES oral presentations in non-invited NRES sessions. The following are recognized for their Outstanding Oral Presentations:

  • Timothy Grant, University of Tennessee, “Effect of Polymer-coated Urea on Cotton Yield and Nitrogen Uptake under Various Irrigation Regimes and in Varying Soil Water-holding Conditions”
  • Ana Martin-Ryals, University of Illinois, “Utilizing AnMBR Technology and Bioaugmentation to Improve Energy Recovery from Wastewater”
  • Amanda Montgomery, Purdue University, “The Effects of Different Biofuel Crops and Fertilizer Rates on Subsurface Water Quality and Yield on Marginal Land”
  • Carlington Wallace, Purdue University, “Quantifying the Effects of Future Climate Conditions on Runoff, Sediment and Chemical Losses for Different Watershed Sizes”
  • Iftikhar Zeb, Washington State University, “Recycling AD Effluent as Dilution Water for AD Process: Effects of TAN and Salinity”

Phenotyping in the field goes high-tech

Good Fruit Grower | Nov 25, 2015

WSU researcher is using thermal infrared cameras and other sensor technologies to study fruit traits.

Researchers have made strides in the study of fruit genomics in recent years, but less ground has been gained in the field of phenomics, the measurement of plant and fruit traits.

Genotyping and phenotyping go hand in hand; one must know if a specific fruit trait is present, and in what form, in order to tie the trait to a specific gene.


Biowaste-to-jet fuel

Discovery advances biowaste-to-jet fuel research

By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

Dr. Bin Yng
Dr. Bin Yang

RICHLAND, Wash. – Researchers at Washington State University Tri-Cities have figured out a way to successfully convert a common wood byproduct into hydrocarbon molecules that could be used as jet fuel. [read full article]

Treated with care: Analyzing a new pre-treatment process for biofuel production

By Jon Evans,, Dec 14, 2015

Next-generation biofuels: The biofuel industry is placing great store in the next-generation of biofuels produced from general plant biomass such as straw and wood rather than from food crops such as corn and wheat. The big remaining stumbling block is that although the technology exists for converting plant biomass into biofuels,… [read full article]

Breakthrough WSU invention to turn forests into jet fuel

By Steve Wilhelm, Seattle Techflash, Dec 1, 2015

Just as world leaders are struggling to throttle back climate change at the Paris summit, researchers at Washington State University are honing a new method to turn wood fibers into jet fuel for Boeing (NYSE: BA) jets.

The research, led by Associate Professor Bin Yang, has progressed far enough that it is featured on the cover of the December issue of Green Chemistry, a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry based in the United Kingdom.

[read full article]

Graduate Seminar Awards

Fifteen graduate students presented their research work as a part of BSysE 598 Graduate Seminar course. Four Best Presentation Awards were presented by Dr. Claudio Stöckle on December 10, 2015.

First Place: Shuxiang Liu

Second Place: Ellen Bornhorst

Third Place: Jungang Wang

Fourth Place: Ali Abghari

Fourth Place: Mohammad Amini

The students received recognition certificates and cash award.

Research for specialty crops boosted by $1.7 million

by Sylvia Kantor, CAHNRS News

PULLMAN, Wash. – More than $1.7 million was awarded to Washington State University for specialty crop research including berries, potatoes, grapes, tree fruit, onions, carrots and Christmas trees, the Washington State Department of Agriculture announced today.

WSU received grants for 10 of the 24 projects funded through the 2015 U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. The total award for the state was $4.1 million. [read full article]

One of the 10 projects funded is within the Department of Biological Systems Engineering:

  • Developing Value-Added Products from Washington Grown Red Raspberries; Shyam Sablani, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Pullman;  $91,878

Research to be presented at 2015 AIChE Annual Meeting

Research work by graduate student, Mohammadali Azadfar, under his advisor, Dr. Shulin Chen, has been accepted as one of the top seven topics of lignin-based materials for an oral presentation at prestige AIChE national conference, November 813, 2015 in Salt Lake city.

Research Title: “Investigation of Nanostructural Characteristics of Lignin-ABA Block Copolymer Aggregates Leading to Use of Micelles As Nanoreactors for Lignin Conversion

Doctoral student travels from China to study biofuels pretreatment technology

September 14, 2015 | Tri-Cities Business News, by Maegan Murray

Libing ZhangAs scientists and engineers work to create more efficient biofuels, there is one step of the process that remains expensive and, in some circumstances, inefficient for large-scale production.

One of the most significant challenges of cellulosic bio-refining has been and continues to be the development of effective and low-cost pretreatment technology, which is one of the first steps in the biofuels production process.

WSU Tri-Cities doctoral student Libing Zhang traveled from her homeland of southeast China to attend WSU for her doctoral program because of the research WSU is conducting in this field.

[read full article]

Student Awards

Congratulations Students!

Innu Chaudhary, advised by Dr. Shulin Chen, and Muhammad Azeem Khan, advised by Dr. Claudio Stockle were awarded scholarships at the 2015 CAHNRS Fall Festival.

The following students received an award from the GPSA’s Travel and Registration Grant Program for the summer 2015:

  • Shuxiang Liu
  • Carlos Zuniga
  • Seyedehsanaz Jarolmasjed

Seligman APV Travel Bursary Recipient, Ellen Bornhorst, Reports from Quebec

August 15, 2015  |  SCI – Where Science Meets Business

Ellen BornhorstEllen Bornhorst was awarded a Seligman APV Travel Bursary in 2015. She reports on her participation in the 12th International Congress on Engineering and Food (ICEF12), which took place between 14 – 18 June in Québec, Canada. She tells us how ICEF12 was a great platform for her to strengthen and broaden her professional network and how the event facilitated her long term career goals in academia.

‘I had a great experience attending the 12th International Congress on Engineering and Food (ICEF12) in Québec City, Canada. I was honored to have been awarded a Seligman APV Travel Grant during the closing ceremony. This travel grant facilitated my attendance to the conference and gave me the unique opportunity to share…

[read full article]

WSU tests unmanned helicopter to dry cherries

August 12, 2015 | by Jeffrey Dennison, WSU Tri-Cities

photo courtesy of WSU
photo courtesy of WSU

PROSSER, Wash. — Washington State University and a private company are testing an unmanned helicopter to blow rainwater off cherries on trees.

The 11-foot-long, 141-pound Yamaha RMAX aircraft has been used in to spray rice crops in Japan since 1997. Some 2,500 operate there now. WSU has begun tests to determine its feasibility as a safer, less expensive replacement of manned helicopters to dry cherries. [full article]