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K-State Today

August 15, 2011



Biological and agricultural engineering department faculty and students honored at international meeting

By Joe Harner

The department of biological and agricultural engineering received a variety of honors at the recent American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers annual international meeting in Louisville, Ky.

The robotics and fountain wars student design teams placed first in competitions held during the meetings.

Members of the robotics team include: Spencer Kepley, master's student in biological and agricultural engineering, Chanute; Xu "Kevin" Wang, doctoral student in biological and agricultural engineering, China; Joe Dvorak, doctoral student in biological and agricultural engineering, Manhattan; Dan Bigham, master's student in biological and agricultural engineering, Meriden; Ryan Goetsch, master's student in interior architecture, Overland Park; Audrey George, senior in interior architecture, Salina; and Brent Ware, master's student in biological and agricultural engineering, Shawnee Mission. Naiqian Zhang, professor of biological and agricultural engineering, advised the team. The robotics competition included a written report, oral presentation and technical performance in a defined task.

Members of the fountain wars team include: Jessica Barnett, junior in biological systems engineering, Belleville; Lorinda Bejot, senior in biological systems engineering, Dodge City; Kelly Borgen, master's student in biological and agricultural engineering, Ensign; Breanna Stout, senior in biological systems engineering, Garden City; Erin Mason, team president and junior in junior in biological systems engineering, Greenfield, Mo.; Levi Sutton, senior in biological systems engineering, Manhattan; Ginger Pugh, senior in biological systems engineering, Mayetta; and Brent Ware, master's student in biological and agricultural engineering, Shawnee Mission. Phil Barnes, associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering, and Mahbub Alam, emeritus professor of biological and agricultural engineering, advised the team. The competition included a written report, oral presentation and technical performance in a defined task. Iowa State University placed second in the competition; the University of Tennessee placed third.  

The quarter-scale tractor team was recogniezed for their first place finish at competition held in June in Peooria, Ill.

The biological systems engineering club was awarded a first place trophy as the outstanding student engineering branch by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. The agricultural technology management club received first place in the student mechanization branch.

Allie Archer, master's student in biological and agricultural engineering, McPherson, was the first recipient of the Pharos of Alexandria Global Learning Award, which recognized her academic achievements, research contributions and work experiences abroad. This award recognizes a student who has increased their understanding of other culture’s needs in the quest to find sustainable solutions for improving the quality of life worldwide. Archer was mentored and nominated by Stacy Hutchinson, associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering.

Zhang received the distinction of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers fellow during the recent international conference for his outstanding and dedicated performance in educating engineering professionals and developing new sensors and control applications for agricultural and biological systems.

Karnnalin Theerarattananoon, doctoral student in biological and agricultural engineering, Xiaorong Wu research assistant professor in biological and agricultural engineering, and Donghai Wang, professor of biological and agricultural engineering, received a superior paper award. Other K-State co-authors were: Ron Madl, administrator for grain sciences and industry, Jonathan Propheter, 2009 master's graduate in agronomy, and Scott Staggenborg, professor of agronomy.

Norm Klocke, professor with the Southwest extension office, Loyd Stone, professor of agronomy, and Steve Briggeman received the society's blue ribbon for outstanding educational materials in the electronic and web-based delivery category.

Also, faculty and graduate students presented numerous technical papers.