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2017 August ABeNotes

2017 August Alumni News

Cody (BS '07, MS '08 ) and Stephanie McKinley welcome Brynn Elizabeth, born August 7, 2017, at 4:36 pm. She weighed in at 7 lbs, 6 oz, and is 19 3/4" long. Congrats to Mom and Dad and Brynn is a perfect name for a Future Boilermaker!

ABE Bowling Team

Are you interested in bowling in the fall? The ABE department has a bowling team on the Purdue Bowling League. We are looking for new team members. We bowl every Monday evening from 6:30 – 9:15 during the 15 weeks while Purdue classes are in session.  Both men and women are welcome. You do not have to be very good or have even bowled before. We use a handicap to help even out the score. You and your spouse or friend can join, as long as one of you is associated with Purdue. It is fun, gives you a break from your studies, and gives an opportunity to associate with other people from Purdue.

If interested, contact Stan Harlow ( or come by ABE 112 if you have questions.

Indiana Water Resources Association (IWRA) 38th Annual Water-Resources Symposium

The IWRA held their 38th annual symposium at the Turkey Run Inn June 28-30, 2017.

The top five (of 20 total) Award Winners:

  • Adam Alford
  • Jingqui Chen & Garrett Pignotti (tie)
  • Meng-Yang Lin & Maria Laura Ortiz de Zarate (tie)


2017 August Maha Fluid Power Laboratory News

Author: Meike Ernst

Maha Defenses

On July 13, Srinath Tankasala defended his Master’s thesis on variable displacement gear pump design. The current gear pumps on the market are fixed-displacement machines, Tankasala explained, but for applications where the required flow rate varies, this mandates letting excess flow drain out of the line via a relief valve. In order to avoid the waste of energy associated with that approach, Dr. Vacca’s research team has developed a design for a variable displacement gear pump. The initial design concept was conceived by Ram Sudarsan Devendran, and is now carried forward by Tanksala’s design improvements, which have been implemented in a functional prototype.

Also on July 13th, Yash Shah defended his Master’s thesis, presenting the work he did in creating an advanced cavitation model for use in the simulation of hydraulic systems. Cavitation, the collapse of bubbles that develop when the fluid pressure drops below its vapor pressure, can cause severe component damage and even component failure and of course it affects the performance of a hydraulic system. The model developed by Shah will help in accurately simulating the effects of cavitation, so that designs in which cavitation is a problem can be identified and improved.

Finally, on August 4th, Matteo Pellegri successfully defended his preliminary Ph.D. defense on the development of a gerotor fluid structure interaction simulation model. In his model, Pellegri employs a numerical approach that yields more accurate results than a lumped parameter model would, while simultaneously being faster than a full CFD model of the entire unit. Through this efficient simulation tool, gerotors designs can be tested without spending on multiple prototypes.

Congratulations to all three students on their successful defenses!

Maha New Faces

The Maha Fluid Research Center would like to welcome back Mateus Bertolin, who is joining Dr. Ivantysynova’s research team as an intern, and Venkata Harish Babu Manne, who is joining Dr. Vacca’s research team as a Ph.D. candidate.

Prison Ministry

Author: Stan Harlow

Would you like to go to prison?  It is probably not on the list of a thousand things to do in your life. However, I have been in several Indiana prisons over one hundred times in the past ten years.

I am a member of a group of fellow Christians called the Kairos Prison Ministry ( and ).

I started out of curiosity as to how the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) goes about correcting the behavior of people sent to prison. There are over 25 prisons run by the Indiana DOC  and nearly 2% of the US population will be incarcerated sometime in their life. I currently serve in the Indiana State Prison at Michigan City and the Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility.

Please contact Stan Harlow ( if you, too, are curious.

Purdue ABE shines at ASABE Annual International Meeting

Professor Indrajeet Chaubey was inducted into the ASABE Fellows at the meeting in Spokane, Washington. Many others were recognized as well:

Superior Paper: Al Heber, "Odor and Odorous Chemical Emissions from Animal Buildings: Part 3, Chemical Emissions," Transactions of the ASABE 58(5): 1333-1347

Blue Ribbon for Comprehensive Publication: Natalie Carroll, "Soil and Water Science"

Ethics Video Challenge winner: Femeena Pandara Valappil

Educational Aids Blue Ribbon Awards:

  • Kingsly Ambrose, "Training on Prevention of Grain Dust Explosions"
  • Dharmendra Saraswat, "SWAT Tools"
  • Amber Wolfe, William Field, Paul Jones, Stephen Swain, Jon Smith, Dawn Minns, "Arthritis and Gardening: A Guide for Home Gardeners and Small-Scale Producers"
  • Slifford Racz, Paul Jones, William Field, Dawn Minns, Website:
  • Garett Pignotti, NRES Oral Presentation

Thank you for making us look good!

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