July 2015 ABe-Notes

July 2015 Breaking New Ground News

Author: Steve Swain

Blue Yonder Organic Farm conducted a week long training for veterans interested in farming called Operation Groundwork.  Steve Swain, AgrAbility rural rehabilitation specialist, and Cindy Chastain, AgrAbility veteran outreach coordinator, presented to 11 veterans on the first morning information about AgrAbility, veteran resources, and vocational rehabilitation services.  They then participated in a veteran farm tour at an AgrAbility client farm on Wednesday afternoon and shared examples of AT and answered many questions from veterans.

Steve Swain, rural rehabilitation specialist with Indiana AgrAbility, presented along with Wade Wingler, director of the Indiana technology project INDATA, an Assistive Technology 101 session in Mitchell, Indiana at the Southern Indiana Center for Independent Living (SICIL).  Mr. Swain presented on AgrAbility and AT for the home lawn and garden to the farm and home accessibility.  Mr. Wingler presented INDATA and their services along with AT for the home such as robots, augmented communication, and other home automation.

Indiana AgrAbility, Indiana FFA, and Dupont Pioneer sponsor a Bridging Horizons Community Service Contest.  The contest challenges non-profit groups including FFA chapters, 4-H clubs, junior leader groups, and extension groups to conduct work projects in their communities that enhance independence and promote success for people with disabilities.  There were seven entries this year of which six were FFA chapters and the seventh a girl scout troop.  Each entry was recognized and presented a certificate and a cash award at the 2015 Indiana FFA Convention. Each entry received $100 and the top project received an additional $500, second $250, and third $100.  The winners were:

  •           1st North Miami FFA Chapter
  •           2nd Carroll Fort Wayne FFA Chapter
  •           3rd Frontier FFA Chapter

  Honorable Mentions:

  •           Jay County FFA Chapter
  •           Seymour FFA Chapter
  •           Purdue University Collegiate FFA
  •           Mitchell, Indiana Girl Scout Troop 60558

North Miami FFA 1st Place Entry

Indiana AgrAbility also participated in the FFA Showcase at the 2015 Indiana FFA Convention with a display showing the entries to the Bridging Horizons Community Service Contest.  The showcase gave FFA convention attendees an opportunity to learn about the services offered by Indiana AgrAbility and ideas for projects for next year.


July 2015 Maha Fluid Power Research Center News

The Maha Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicle

It is a very proud moment for the Maha Fluid Power Research Center, which has successfully developed the world’s first on-highway hydraulic hybrid SUV. This was achieved by replacing the original automatic transmission of a 1999 Range Rover 4.0 SE with a novel blended hydraulic hybrid transmission, invented by the researchers at the Maha Fluid Power Research Center. The blended hybrid transmission involves the use of a hydraulic pump and motors to transmit power from the engine to the wheels and includes a hydraulic accumulator for recovery of brake energy. This allows for better engine management and improvement in fuel economy. Along with this, the other key benefits offered by this novel hybrid vehicle are environmentally friendly construction, minimal thermal management, nearly zero maintenance of accumulators over their lifetime, and presents an alternative to the electric hybrid we see today. The hydraulic hybrid vehicle has the potential to become a prodigious solution to the present problems related to fuel economy.

Congratulations to the Maha Team on this achievement!

Maha Graduates

On June 18, Ram Sudarsan Devendran successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation entitled “An Innovative Working Concept for Variable Delivery Flow External Gear Machine.” His work focuses on a novel design concept for a variable displacement gear machine. Congratulations Ram!

MESA Outreach to Migrant Farm Workers

MESA is seeking donations to assist in our violence prevention outreach efforts with Migrant Farm Worker families.  Migrant farm workers are among the poorest families in the United States. These workers and their families travel each year to Indiana to help plant and harvest crops to bring food to our tables.  Many of these families arrive with no money and only one change of clothes.   

While we are always excited to receive items that are new, we also accept gently used items that are in clean, working condition.  Due to space limitations with our move to AGAD, we are not able to accept drop-off donations of furniture.  However if you contact us directly, we can make arrangements to pick up larger items needed by families.  We cannot accept donations that are in need of repair. 

  • Clothing-All sizes: men, women and children
  • Household items: small appliances, dishes, sheets, bedding
  • Hygiene products: shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, lotion, toothpaste
  • Babies:  clothes, diapers, equipment, toys
  • School supplies
  • First aid
  • Canned Food
  • Toys, books and stuffed animals
  • Conference bags
  • FANS

If you have a question about a donation, please feel free to contact us.  Also if you are located off campus, please contact us to make arrangements for donation pick-up.

WE appreciate your support on behalf of Indiana Migrant Farm Workers and their families!



Kimber J. Nicoletti, MSW
Multicultural Efforts to end Sexual Assault (MESA)
Purdue University
615 W. State Street
AGAD Rm 219
West Lafayette, IN 47907
765-496-3492 Office

For your convenience, there will be a box set up outside of ABE 201 until October 15 where you can drop off items that you no longer need. Thank you for helping with this important outreach.

2015 Redbud Report

Author: Richard Stroshine
Dr. Stroshine has faithfully kept up with the budding of the Redbud trees. With the addition of two new trees between us and the Drug Discovery Facility, we hope it is a tradition that continues for many more years!

This year the red bud tree at the east end of the building bloomed on April 22nd.  There are two new red bud trees at the west end of the building and I checked them also. There was about 2 days difference between the two trees.  The tree further east bloomed on April 22nd while the one further west bloomed on April 20th.  I suspect the tree further west was getting more sunlight.

Here is a table showing the years when the tree on the east end of the building bloomed on various dates:

Date (Years in which "the tree" bloomed on this date)

March 23 (2012)

April 12 (2010)
April 14 (2000)
April 15 (1991)
April 18 (2001,, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007)
April 19 (1998, 2003, 2006)
April 20 (2013, 2014)
April 22 (1999, 2015)
April 23 (1990, 2009, 2011)
April 24 (1995, 2008)
April 25 (1994)
April 30 (1992, 1993)

May 2 (1996)
May 3 (1997)

Melba Samuels, 1934 - 2015

The ABE family lost a member last month. Many of you will remember Melba, as she served as the "first face" of the department for many years.


Contact Us

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