February 2020 ABeNotes

February 2020 ABE Gives Back

We kicked off the year with an amazing Versiti Blood Center of Indiana (fka Indiana Blood Center) drive, partnering with Biological Sciences and matching our previous best: 23 whole blood units and 3 double-reds, for a grand total of 29 units. That amount can save 87 lives or more. This represented a vast improvement over the November drive and matched the August 2019 drive. The year is off to a good start! Mark your calendars for March 25. Reservations can be made online or email Carol Weaver.

Doing the right thing almost never means doing the easy thing. For 13 years, Stan Harlow has done one of the hardest things, and his reward is knowing he is doing the right thing. The ultimate goal is what's best for the child. “The ideal goal is always to return the child to the family.” At least the part of the family that is willing to put in the hard work. Stan has served more than a dozen “ChINS” – Child in Need of Services -  as their CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocate. He is the voice of the child in court.

It began with the Stephen Ministry at his church. This faith-based training approach for those who serve as caregivers, added to his Kairos Ministry with incarcerated prisoners, makes it easy to see the progression to the desire to help some of their often-silent victims: their children. ChINS are disproportionately the children of offenders and addicts. A presenter at his church offered the opportunity to be trained to help some of our society’s most vulnerable citizens, and he immediately signed up!

When asked “why,” Stan was quick to answer that it was a way to “give back” to the community. After receiving several months of training, the CASA works exclusively with one case to its conclusion. At the point of dismissal, contact with the family and the children ends. That may be one of the hardest parts – the not knowing. “It’d be nice to know how it turned out, whether you made the right decisions.”

Tippecanoe CASA is an outreach of the Tippecanoe County Courts and there is always a need for help. Training is offered several times per year and you can get more information at Tippecanoe.in.gov/casa.

February 2020 ABE Social Event

About 40 ABE fam members attended the Purdue Women's Basketball game Sunday, February 9, for their Hammer Down Cancer game against Iowa. While we left Mackey Arena without a "W," it was a tremendously fun time and a great opportunity to be together outside the confines and stresses of the workplace. Unfortunately, Stan Harlow and his family were not present when the on-court photo was taken.

February 2020 agBOT News

The agBOT continues to take the world by storm as it travels the farm show circuit.

Dr. Roger Tormoehlen and Richard Fox escorted the champion agBOT to the Iowa Power Farming Show 2020, held January 28-30 in Des Moines. The IPFS is the third-largest indoor farm show in the United States and hosts nearly 700 exhibitors in 3 buildings covering 7 acres.

Those of you with a discerning eye will notice that TruAg, owned by Beth and Brian Vorst (ABE '93 and Outstanding Alum '11), were also represented at the show. TruAG manufactures Seed Tenders, Anhydrous Toolpars, and Strip-Till Toolbars and Row Units. Their Cascade, Iowa, dealer, Z&J Farms, manned Booth 3206 in the Wells Fargo Arena for the machinery show.

Nice to see both former and current student efforts recognized at the national level.

February 2020 AgrAbility News

Dr. Shawn Ehlers has begun publication of a new web resource, Indiana Prepared, better known as "IN-PREP", to keep the citizens of Indiana informed on threatening circumstances, as well as plans of action and resources. See the IN-PREP website for more information, as well as preparation strategies.

Steve Swain, Indiana AgrAbility rural rehabilitation specialist, staffed an exhibit at the 2020 Illiana Vegetable Growers Symposium at Tebow’s Restaurant in Schererville, Indiana. The exhibit included AgrAbility publications, INPREPared information, Indiana AgVet applications, and more AgrAbility publications. Each exhibitor was given an opportunity to give an overview of their programs and services to the attendees. There were several individuals who showed interest or knew of someone who would be interested in one of the programs, especially the Indiana AgVet program.

The 2020 Fort Wayne Farm Show was held in the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on January 14-16, 2020.  AgrAbility was one of 1,100 exhibitors covering three exhibit halls in the facility. The AgrAbility display included AgrAbility publications, the Life Essentials tractor and lift, INPREPared materials, and Indiana AgVet applications and information.  Staff at the display related they talked to more people this year than in years past including past clients and AT product venders.

Dr. Robin Adams, Purdue professor of engineering education, invited Steve Swain, Indiana AgrAbility rural rehabilitation specialist, to participate as a diverse subject matter expert for an engagement session with engineering students.  The theme of the engagement session was “safety.”  The students were to interact with the subject matter experts concerning possible capstone projects and any safety questions or concerns related to the project.  Mr. Swain’s group of five students were considering a type of exoskeleton for individuals with mobility impairments.  Discussion was lively and everyone came away with a different prospective on life and living with a disability and possible safety concerns with different assistive technology.

February 2020 Alumni News

Nan Hammel (ABE '10) has finally received her departure date! She is headed for El Paso on the 16th of this month for additional training and flies to the Dominican Republic the next week. Watch for more news from Nan's Casas por Cristo adventure.

Sushant Mehan (PhD '18) participated in the asaBE INSPIRED One-Minute Video Challenge. While not taking one of the top three places, the judges commended all of the entries "for the effort, the storytelling, and the creativity. 'This was so much fun to judge!" was the constant refrain. All of the entrants were given $100 in "ASABE Bucks" with the exception of the two highest numbers of YouTube Likes/Views, who were each awarded $150 "ASABE Bucks": Divya Handa/Harman Singh Sangha, and Sushant Mehan! Thanks for representing us so well, Sushant! You can watch his video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUHMA5dJuro

February 2020 BIRS News

ABE's Biotechnology Innovation and Regulatory Science professional program has been named the Best Public University program by Intelligent.com for 2020! You can read more about the program in our annual newsletter, and Dr. Kari Clase will always be happy to chat about it! Congratulations to the students and staff as well!

February 2020 Faculty News

Dharmendra Saraswat, Associate Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University, had a busy trip to India recently. He went to the Southern Indian city of Coimbatore to participate in a workshop organized by the Indo-U.S. Science & Technology Fund (IUSSTF). He spoke about the use of the Soil & Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) for simulating impacts of land-use changes on water quality and quantity issues. The talk preceded a panel discussion where Dr. Saraswat answered questions from the participants and provided perspectives on application of the tools under Indian conditions. Next, he went to Western Indian city of Pune and delivered a keynote address on the topic “Tech in Agriculture-Future of Farming” at the 54th Annual Convention of the Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers. His last stop was in New Delhi where he delivered a seminar before the faculty and research scholars at the Center for Rural Development and Technology (CRDT), Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi. The visit was aimed to strengthen collaboration with engineers, scientists, and faculty members from different research organizations in India.

February 2020 Student News

Sarah Daly has been named one of the ASABE New Faces of Engineering. Way to represent, Sarah!

Congratulations to Liz Wachs! Her work with Professor Shweta Singh on Indiana's shifting urban energy demand in 2050 and 2080 was published in Climatic Change: more air conditioning in northern Indiana cities, increasing importance of Indianapolis as energy consumer 

Congratulations to Solomon Lab PhD Candidate Ethan Hillman, on his win in the Purdue Interdisciplinary Life Sciences 5 minute thesis competition

Congratulations to Rachel Scarlett! Rachel has been chosen as a Bilsland Dissertation Fellow. Way to go, Rachel!

Dr. Bob's Annual Spring Welcome-Back Party for Upperclassmen

Undergraduate students from Dr. Bob's fall classes traditionally look forward to a spring welcome-back party featuring home-grilled food, pool, music, and great conversation. This year was no exception. Students from ASM 22200 and 34500 ate their way through a couple dozen burgers, a half-dozen grilled sausages, a giant bowl of Dr. Bob's special tossed salad, and uncounted 2-liter bottles of pop and bags of chips. A great time was had by all, but it should be noted that an eight-ball scratch ruined Dr. Bob's winning streak at pool.

The ABE Ambassadors have been busy. On February 3, they staffed a table at the Engineering Your Major (EYM) Fair. Want to join their ranks? Talk to Dan Taylor or Nate Engelberth.



Nicole Macaluso Millns (AE '06, burgundy sweater in photo) returned to campus Monday, February 10, to share insights into the life of a senior water resources engineer with Dr. McMillan's ABE 59100 students. Nicole is with the Wildlands Engineering Raleigh, NC, office. Wildlands Engineering is a full-service ecological restoration firm, specializing in stream and wetland restoration, water quality management, and watershed planning. Nicole has 13 years of experience in natural channel design and ecological restoration, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling and analysis, stormwater management, and erosion and sediment control. Ms. Millns has designed over 80,000 LF of stream restoration and enhancement, and over 90 acres of wetland restoration. She is a technical leader in stream restoration and is responsible for site analysis and design development of stream projects, oversight of construction plan preparation, earthwork estimation, project management, and conducting internal technical trainings and mentorship within the company. She also serves as the lead hydraulic modeler for the Raleigh office as an ASFPM Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM).

February 2020 Student Soybean Innovation Competition News

Mark your calendars: Student Soybean Innovation Competition Awards Ceremony - Tuesday, March 24th - Purdue Memorial Union North Ballroom. Doors open at 5:00 pm - watch for reservation link to be provided soon!

Contact Us

Send your thoughts on what you’d like to see in this e-newsletter to Purdue ABE at cmweaver@purdue.edu.