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Graduate Student Wins IFT Poster Competition Award

November 13, 2018  |  Chicago, IL

Pavitra Krishna KumarPavitra Krishna Kumar, a PhD student in the Food Engineering emphasis area of Biological Systems Engineering won second place at the 2018 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Graduate Student Poster Competition. Her presentation was entered in the Refrigerated and Frozen Foods Division.

Pavitra is advised by BSE faculty member Dr. Shyam Sablani.

Pavitra was also featured in the Refrigerated and Frozen Foods Division newsletter and gave an interview highlighting her work.

 

 

 

Winners holding awards

 

 

 

 

 

 

The full interview and award information can be found on the IFT Refrigeratied & Frozen Foods Division Website.

Graduate Student wins Award in Soil and Water Management and Conservation

November 4, 2018  |  Pullman, WA

Moneim Mohamed, a PhD student in the Land, Air, Water Resources and Environmental Engineering (LAWREE) emphasis area of Biological Systems Engineering  has won the 2018 Graduate Student Award in the Soil and Water Management and Conservation (SAWMAC) Division. Moneim is advised by BSE faculty member Dr. Troy Peters.

 

For more information, please visit the Soils Across Latitudes Site.

Agricultural robots combine future, farming practices

October 26, 2018  |  Pullman, WA  |  Daily Evergreen

Manoj Karkee and Suraj Amatya evaluate a fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicleIn a partnership with the University of Technology Sydney in Australia, WSU scientists are working to create agricultural robots to help local farmers and industries maintain and harvest crops efficiently.

The partnership started on Sept. 24, said Manoj Karkee, an assistant professor in the biological systems engineering department at WSU. Both universities will exchange students, which allows them to work in different labs and use different robotic systems. [Continue reading on the Daily Evergreen]

 

 

Story continues on the Daily Evergreen: Agricultural robots combine future, farming practices

Graduate Student Selected as Irrigation Foundation E3 Winner

October 15, 2018  |  Pullman, WA

Abdelmoneim Mohamed, a graduate student in the Land, Air, Water Resources & Environmental Engineering (LAWREE) emphasis area of Biological Systems Engineering has been selected as a Irrigation E3 winner by the Irrigation Foundation. Led by advisor, Dr. Troy Peters, Abdelmoneim will travel to the Irrigation Show and Education Conference which will take place December 3-7, 2018 in Long Beach, California.

More information can be found on the Irrigation Show and Education Conference’s Website.

 

WSU, Australian scientists partner to form Joint Center for Ag Robotics

October 1, 2018  |  Pullman, WA

By Scott Truscott, College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resources Sciences

 

Students with DroneTo speed robotic advancements that help farmers grow food with fewer resources, scientists at Washington State University and Australia’s University of Technology Sydney have partnered to form the new Joint Center for Agricultural Robotics.

The first collaboration of its kind for WSU’s Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems (CPAAS), the partnership joins WSU scientists’ expertise in innovative automation solutions for farms and orchards with pre-eminent research in robotics at the University of Technology Sydney’s (UTS) Centre for Autonomous Systems.

 

[Read more on the WSU Insider: WSU, Australian scientists partner to form Joint Center for Ag Robotics]

 

BSE Faculty Receive USDA-NIFA Funding to Study Water Use

September 24, 2018  |  Pullman, WA

 

rotating irrigation system in fieldBiological Systems Engineering Faculty Claudio Stockle, Troy Peters, and Lav Khot received USDA-NIFA Funding as part of the State of the Washington Water Research Center (WRC) project titled “Technology for trade: new tools and new rules for water use efficiency in agriculture and beyond.

 

 

Read more about the project on the WSU News Story: Research to help water flow more freely to farms, fish, people and the Washington Water Research Center: Technology for trade: new tools and new rules for water use efficiency in agriculture and beyond.

 

Research Corner: Dr. Manuel Garcia-Pérez

September 24, 2018  |  Pullman, WA

 

Dr. Manuel Garcia-PérezOur world’s dependency on fossil fuels is one of the biggest challenges facing society today. The planet’s fossil fuel reserves are declining and the side effects of extracting and using these fuels are damaging our environment. Thus, a top priority amongst researchers is finding a cleaner, sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. At Washington State University, one researcher is taking a unique approach to this global challenge. [Continue Reading on the WSU Research Page]

 

 

Read more on the WSU Research Page: Research Corner: Dr. Manuel Garcia-Pérez

BSE Faculty Receive 2018 WSDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Awards

September 21, 2018  |  Pullman, WA

 

Biological Systems Engineering Faculty Lav Khot and Manoj Karkee received Washington State Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Awards.

 

Lav Khot’s project titled “Alternative pest management technologies for tree fruit and wine grapes” was awarded $249,088.

Abstract: This WSU team, with agricultural engineering, viticulture, plant pathology and entomology expertise, will investigate use of horticultural oil thermotherapy (HOT) and ozonated water sprayer (OWS) applications for effective control of indicator pest and disease species in pear and wine grapes. Both are novel ways to transform commonly-accepted low-risk materials (oil, ozonated water) for improved pest and disease control with minimal chemical residue levels needed for export market. Our project aligns with environmental stewardship goals of using methodologies and products that have minimal off-target impacts and reduced chemical inputs. It bolsters available toolkit for organic pest management, while being equally viable in conventional and IPM-based programs .Our specific project objectives are:(1)to transform our existing laboratory-scale HOT sprayer into a field-appropriate prototype and optimization for pear psyllid, and grape mealybug and powdery mildew control;(2) to evaluate a commercially available OWS to control the above indicator pest and disease species; and (3) to engage local manufacturers to build and distribute these technologies as well as conduct extensive Extension to increase the rate of technology adoption. Objective 1 activities include:(i) HOT sprayer prototyping, (ii) evaluate its application accuracy within different canopy regions of trellised grape and large pear canopies, and (iii) assess control of indicator pest and disease species through field trials. Objective 2 activities include:(i) optimization of OWS, and (ii) bioassay-based mortality assessments with field evaluations. Objective 3 activities will focus on early engagement with growers and equipment manufacturers for meaningful outreach education of field optimized technologies.

 

Manoj Karkee’s project titled ” Precise Mechanical Solution for Vineyard Shoot Thinning” was awarded $195,232.

Abstract: This proposal is submitted by Washington State University. We propose to develop an automated solution for green shoot thinning in wine grapes. Currently, there is about 55,000 acres of wine grapes and about 900 licensed wineries in Washington with ~$5 billion economic impact to the state. Green shoot thinning, an operation to remove some of the shoots from vine cordons, is used to improve spacing and direction of shoot growth, which is essential to create healthy and productive canopies as it improves light penetration and air movement in the canopies. This operation is highly labor-intensive, costing growers >$265/acre/year. Machine thinning can reduce the cost to about ~$10/acre. However, currently available shoot thinners lack desired level of precision and speed, and require skilled operators. Our goal is to develop an automated system for precise positioning of thinning heads of a mechanical thinner. To achieve this goal, we will focus on developing; i) a machine vision system to estimate cordon/trunk location and shoot density; ii) a prototype, pneumatic shoot thinner capable of quickly adjusting thinning roller position for precise removal of target shoots; and iii) an integrated, automated thinning machine and evaluate it in the vineyard environment. By the end of the project, it is expected that our prototype and field validation study will provide sufficient data and information for companies to develop and commercialize the machine. Commercial adoption of this technology will reduce farm labor use and production cost, resulting in a substantial benefit to Washington wine grape industry.

 

Read More on the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Ag Briefs Page and the Specialty Crop Block Grant Awards Abstract Page.

 

 

Researchers collaborate with youth for science fair projects, encourage interest in STEM

September 7, 2018  |  Richland, WA  |  By Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities

Aftab Ahamed poses for a photo with his children, Afrah Aftab and Areeb Aftab, both from Hanford High School, who earned gold and silver at the Genius Olympiad International Science Fair RICHLAND, Wash. – High school students in the Tri-Cities have seen success not only at the state level in science fairs, but also at national and international competitions after collaborating with researchers at Washington State University Tri-Cities for their research projects.

The goal of the partnerships, the professors said, is not only to provide students with exposure to a variety of science and engineering projects that can stand to have large impacts, but additionally so that more students will receive exposure to hands-on opportunities in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. With this experience, the students can witness what is possible through those career paths, they said.

Continue Reading: Researchers collaborate with youth for science fair projects, encourage interest in STEM

 

 

WSU’s apple picking machine provides potential for future orchard operations

August 27, 2018  |  Tri-Cities, WA

 

Apple season is here; and did you know a person can pick about 30 apples per minute? But, WSU’s new machine can pick those apples in about a second.

The apple picking machine was created by students and faculty at Washington State University. It can be found in a garage while some improvements are made to it. The program is all headed by Dr. Manoj Karkee, an associate professor at WSU.

 

Read more about the project on NBC Right Now: WSU’s apple picking machine provides potential for future orchard operations