Skip navigation

December 2016 ABeNotes

December 2016 AgrAbility News

The National AgrAbility Project partnered with several ag health and safety groups including the AgriSafe Network, Ohio State Grain Safety, Penn State safety program, for an exhibit at the National FFA Convention.  Each organization presented their program thru interactive activities which engaged the FFA members and visitors via a scavenger hunt with a safety t-shirt as their reward.  The AgrAbility display included AgrAbility brochures, AgrAbility Harvest newsletters, Gaining Ground reprints, Seedstock reprints, and a John Deere tractor with a Life Essentials lift.

Indiana AgrAbility partners Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services and the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana presented a 2-day Brain Injury and Resource Facilitation conference.  Indiana AgrAbility was one of the sponsors and rural rehabilitation specialist Steve Swain attended as a participant.  The conference presented the basics of brain function, injury symptoms, and research which has been conducted and the positive outcomes of the research. 

Indiana AgrAbility exhibited at the annual Purdue Extension Professional Development Conference on campus in West Lafayette.  The exhibit presented AgrAbility services and publications including services for veterans.

Indiana AgrAbility rural rehabilitation specialist Steve Swain presented AgrAbility and rural assistive technology to the North Montgomery High School Ag Mechanization class.  North Montgomery FFA is one of the top FFA chapters in Indiana.  The Bridging Horizons Community Service Contest was emphasized along with farm and farm equipment modifications and the process of determining need.  North Montgomery FFA was a contest winner in the past.

Indiana AgrAbility is a partner with Purdue Extension on a Beginning Farmer grant with the AgrAbility focus is veteran beginning farmers.   One of the components of the grant is that Indiana AgrAbility presents AgrAbility services, the veteran culture and available services to at least 20 Ag and Natural Resource extension educators per year over the 3-year grant cycle.  This training was conducted as part of the annual ANR retreat at Turkey Run State Park.  Educators were provided AgrAbility publications, available services, and shown a video from the Farmer Veteran Coalition and previewed the soon-to-be released AgrAbility veteran video.


December 2016 Alumni News

Clay (AE 2010) and Tiffany Mothershead got an early Christmas miracle on Sunday, December 4, in the form of McKenna Kay Mothershead! She was born just before noon and is 8 lbs, 4 oz and 19.5" long. And Clay wants you to know he says "Hello!"

December 2016 Maha Fluid Power Research Center News

Riccardo Bianchi was selected to receive the 2016 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Excellence in Oral Presentation Award from the Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress (ComVEC). Riccardo's presentation titled "Active Vibration Damping for Construction Machines Based on Frequency Identification" was selected by those in attendance at the ComVEC held on October 4-6, 2016, in Rosemont, IL. Congratulations, Riccardo!

Advances in Tribological Interface Design for Axial Piston Units

Axial piston machines of swashplate type are highly efficient positive displacement machines that can serve as pumps or motors in the hydraulic circuits of farming and construction equipment.― The Maha Fluid Power Research Center is researching the physical effects influencing the performance and energy dissipation in pumps and motors. The ultimate goal is to create comprehensive models that allow for the analysis of current designs and can be used in the virtual prototyping of new machines. On December 5th and 6th, Maha Ph.D. students Daniel Mizell, Lizhi Shang and Ashley Wondergem presented, as part of their respective preliminary defenses, the advancements they have made in investigating the most critical tribological interfaces of piston pumps and motors through advanced fluid structure thermal interaction modeling. Shang is investigating advanced scaling methods for these critical tribological interfaces of axial piston machines, while Wondergem’s research focuses on micro-surface shaping of the piston-cylinder interface. Finally, Mizell has developed a high-definition model for the piston-cylinder interface that can be used to better study the load carrying ability of the fluid film in very small areas of the film with extreme low film thickness. Congratulations to these three on their successful preliminary defenses and the valuable steps they have taken toward a better understanding of the complex nature of the physical effects taking place in those critical tribological interfaces of axial piston machines.

December 2016 ABE Staff News

Nathan (Nate) Engelberth was recognized as one of three finalists for the College of Engineering’s Leah H. Jamison Leadership Award at the College of Engineering Staff Awards Banquet on December 2nd, 2016. Nate was nominated by Dan Taylor, and criteria for consideration for this award include:

  • Demonstrates initiative, innovation, and provides leadership within the department/school.
  • Encourages and motivates by example, the development of other staff members and serves as a mentor/resource person.
  • Promotes a welcoming and positive environment for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

Way to represent, Nate! You are our top pick.

December 2016 Undergraduate News

Congratulations to Will Field, Zane Gottschalk, Brady Need, Jacob Taylor, Katie Carnahan, and Kolt Kinsler for receiving their American Degrees at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis last month.

Contact Us

Send your thoughts on what you’d like to see in this e-newsletter to Purdue ABE at