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K-State Today

August 6, 2018

Biological and agricultural engineering garners awards at international society meeting

By Mary Rankin

The biological and agricultural engineering department at Kansas State University was well represented with award winners at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, or ASABE, July 29- Aug. 1, in Detroit. 

Kelsey McDonough, a doctoral candidate in the department of biological and agricultural engineering, was the recipient of the Pharos of Alexandria Global Learning Award, which goes to active ASABE student members who excel and demonstrate leadership through their school activities and involvement in society events. McDonough will graduate with her doctoral degree in December 2018 with plans to pursue a career in research and academia. Her dissertation research examines spatiotemporal trends of water resources and ecosystem services within the central U.S.

Berkley White, senior in senior in biological systems engineering, placed second in the 2018 ASABE K.K. Barnes Undergraduate Paper Competition for her paper and oral presentation, "Biorefining Microalgae: Protein Recovery from Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii." She was advised by Lisa Wilken, associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering, and Chelsea Dixon, doctoral student. The project was funded by the 2017-2018 Raj and Diana Nathan Undergraduate Research Award through the College of Engineering.

Dalton Owen won third place in the 2018 ASABE-AABFEIO Graduate Student Research Paper Competition, M.S. category, for his paper, "Developing a Data Acquisition System to Quantify Necessary In-Field Tractor Performance Characteristics." Owen and was advised by Ajay Sharda, assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering, who also co-authored the paper.

The "Stable Hand" design team — Anna Kucera and Stacy Rottinghaus, May 2018 graduates; and Nick Soyosa and Nathan Hansen, seniors, all in biological systems engineering — took third place in the Open Format Gunlogson Environmental Design Student Competition at the ASABE meeting. Entries had to focus on environmentally and biologically related themes, and were scored on a composite of written and oral presentations. The students were advised by Ed Brokesh, instructor in the biological and agricultural engineering department.

The video series, "Soil Moisture-Sensor Demonstration," co-authored by Jonathan Aguilar, assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering, and a colleague from Oklahoma State University, received a Blue Ribbon Award at the annual meeting.