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January 2013 ABe-Notes

Welcome back! Our Holiday Luncheon was a good opportunity for grad students, faculty, and staff to fellowship and share a meal. If you would be willing to share the recipe for your dish, please send that to me in time for the February ABe-Notes (February 8).

ABET Certification

Author: Sally Weaver (Frye)
Every seven years, our degrees are re-certified by ABET. As stated on their website ( "Simply put, accreditation is value. Reaching into our public, private, and professional lives, accreditation is proof that a collegiate program has met certain standards necessary to produce graduates who are ready to enter their professions. Students who graduate from accredited programs have access to enhanced opportunities in employment; licensure, registration and certification; graduate education and global mobility."

The ABET certification reports for both of our degrees (AE and BE) are well underway and we are moving forward with technology which will make things easier once it is familiar. All of the sections are on SharePoint, a Microsoft web-based program, for sharing and working on documents collaboratively. We know all of those working on sections are eager to get back to writing so ABE can proudly obtain its certification again for this cycle.

Sally Weaver (Frye) is the contact for questions, help, etc., and she can be found in ABE 201 or reached via email at Happy writing! We'll use these notes to let you know how we're doing so we can celebrate our progress.

Available for a Limited Time - in VERY Limited Quantities!

Author: Carol Sikler

After our orders last year for "ABE #!" apparel, we were left with a number of pieces that were shipped in error. These are the only items we have available - we are not placing an additional order. All sales are first-come, first-served and payment is due when you pick it up! Since we have had little response, I am slashing prices:

Sweatshirts ($28): Now $10

Brown - Large (1) and Medium (2)

Black - Small (1)

Tee shirts, crew neck ($10): Now $5

Gray - Small (1), Medium (2), Large (1)

Black - Small (1)

Tee shirts, v-neck ($15): Now $7

Gray - Small (3), Medium (1), Large (1)

Black - Medium (1)

Also, remember that you can order embroidered items at any time from Tad Shulties at Freckles Graphics (

Dr. Bernard Engel Accepted for the APLU national Food Systems Leadership Institute

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) has developed a program, with funding provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, that is dedicated to advancing and strengthening food systems by preparing a set of new leaders with the skills and knowledge necessary to invent and reinvent the food systems of the future.

Dr. Engel was accepted for the Fall 2012 Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI), an executive leadership development program for academia, industry, and government. The FSLI enhances personal and professional development by emphasizing leadership competencies, skills for organizational change, and a broad, interdisciplinary perspective of food systems. The FSLI experience prepares scholars for upper-level leadership roles in food system programs, and to assume broader leadership responsibilities within their organizations.

During the FSLI program, scholars work with expert instructors, leadership development coaches, and an upper-level mentor to increase their leadership abilities. They meet with university leaders, political leaders, industry leaders, and others who have advanced to the highest levels of leadership. Leadership theory is combined with practical experience, often in the context of food systems and higher education.

The FSLI is a two-year program. Year one includes intensive executive education-style residential learning sessions at three university locations. Scholars perform assessments to increase their self-awareness of their leadership style, and the results are used to develop and implement a personal development plan, prepared with the assistance of a professional coach. Interactive distance learning is used between residential sessions. During year two participants work, applying what they have learned, to develop and carry out an individual leadership project.

Additional information is available at

Grain Rescue Classes

Author: Steve Wettschurack
We are proud of our Grain Rescue efforts here in the department. The first year-end report was recently submitted to OSHA and, since June 5, 2010, 53 classes have been conducted with a total of 1,649 students trained as of December 1, 2012. With more classes already scheduled, including a February 21-24 event in Joplin, Missouri, we are delighted at the impact this program is having on grain bin safety.

The Midwest Rural Agricultural Safety and Health conference (MRASH), was held in Cedar Rapids, IA, November 14-16, 2012. MRASH "provides updated information on agricultural and rural safety and health and strengthens collaborative efforts among researchers, practitioners, agricultural producers and medical professionals. MRASH connects researchers, practitioners and producers to form a cooperative network to disseminate knowledge, implement interventions, and create social and behavioral change." This year's participants were delighted with the inclusion of the grain rescue training:

  • "It is always a pleasure to work with folks who have the health and safety of the agricultural community in their hearts and motive."
  • "I would like to thank you on behalf of our (Illinois) agriculture confined space/grain safety program subcommittee that was involved in planning this major focus area of the conference. Your support was tremendous in allowing us to work with you in putting this program together that we all agreed was needed...our committee appreciated your willingness to extend the MRASH conference by an additional half-day over the normal 2-day program in order to accommodate the program topics.."
  • "I think this was the best MRASH conference so far! ...what made this more special than others was the strong focus on grain safety, top expertise from several states and institutions...all very interesting, informative, and fun!"
  • "As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I have so many things for which to be thankful! As MRASH coordinator, I'm thankful that we had a successful conference and for the opportunity to work with such capable and knowledgeable planning committees. As a farmer, I'm thankful to have so many of you in this profession committed and passionate about keeping us safe and healthy - often in spite of ourselves...You're the best!"

Many media outlets covered the event, including National Public Radio, Wallace's Farmer, Successful Farmer, and the University of Illinois College of Public Health Communications Office.

Press release from Loup City, Nebraska event:

This specialized system will be used to help free an individual if they happen to become entrapped or engulfed in flowing grains such as corn, soy beans, etc. Such a situation may occur in grain bins, grain trailers, and/or any other type of storage or grain-handling equipment. 

Recently members of the Winside Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department took part in a day-long training program in Loup City, Nebraska. This class, which was taught by Purdue University Instructor Stephen Wettschurack, demonstrated the latest techniques being used to rescue a victim caught in flowing grain. Members that attended this class will now be able to bring these valuable skills back to Winside to train other Fire & Rescue personnel.

Winside Fire Chief Don Skokan advised that "this system is one of those pieces of equipment that we hope we will never be called upon to use. However - it is comforting to know that it is at our disposal if the need ever arises not only in the Winside area but for other communities surrounding Winside."

The Winside Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department would like to thank Successful Farming Magazine, Purdue University and all of the folks from the Loup City, Nebraska, area that made this all come together. This goes to show that we all have one common goal and that is to help anyone in their time of need and to keep everyone safe. On 12/01/12 ten fire departments attended with 43 in the class, look forward to returning next year. Class sponsored by NE Corn Growers and Pioneer Seeds.

Maha Fluid Power Lab

Author: Natalie Spencer

Coming + Going

Maha welcomes Lizhi Shang (former summer 2012 intern at the lab) to the pump modeling group. Lizhi is a new graduate research assistant working toward his PhD.

New Projects

Harsco Rail provided the Maha team with a new project on energy saving actuation. The lab is looking forward to this opportunity for research and collaboration!

Contact Us

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