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K-State Today

February 12, 2024

Sharda honored with endowed recognition in engineering

Submitted by Grant Guggisberg

Ajay Sharda

Ajay Sharda, professor in the Carl and Melinda Helwig Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, has been appointed the Terry Beemer Foundation Chair for Engineering Innovation at Kansas State University.

The five-year appointment designates Sharda as a highly regarded K-State educator and researcher and carries flexible funding to cover needs such as research equipment and supplies, support of personnel involved in his research, professional travel and summer salary.

Sharda, also a Patrick Wilburn — Carl and Mary Ice keystone research scholar, received his bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering and a master's degree in farm power and machinery from Punjab Agricultural University in 1998 and 2001, respectively. He then attended Auburn University, earning his doctorate in biosystems engineering in 2011. He next worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems at Washington State University before coming to K-State as an assistant professor in 2013.

Sharda's research focuses on the development, analysis and experimental validation of control systems for agricultural machinery systems with a variety of emphases, including automation, sensor testing/development, mechatronic systems, computer vision, artificial intelligence, developing automated test setups for hardware-in-the-loop simulations, unmanned vehicles and thermal infrared imaging. He is also a member of the core administrative team of K-State's Institute for Digital Agriculture and Advanced Analytics, a people-centered interdisciplinary collective transforming learning, research and outreach around digital technologies and advanced analytical methods to enhance agricultural, environmental and socioeconomic decision-making.

The award is created through a gift from Terry Beemer to recruit and retain the highest quality faculty in the College of Engineering, with preference given to faculty involved in precision agriculture, innovative robotics research and artificial intelligence.