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July 2016 ABe-Notes

July 2016 AgrAbility News

Indiana AgrAbility staffed an exhibit at the 2016 Indiana FFA Convention held at Purdue University.  The convention was attended by over 3,000 FFA members, officers, advisors, parents, and family.  The exhibit featured the Bridging Horizons Community Service Contest and other AgrAbiltiy services.  The contest challenges FFA chapters and other non-profit organizations to apply their knowledge and conduct a community service project for someone who has a disability.   The winners were announced and then presented with a certificate and cash awards.  The winners were:  Paoli FFA Chapter, 1st place; Carroll Fort Wayne FFA Chapter, 2nd place; Mitchell Gardens, 3rd place; and Jay County FFA, 4th place.

Steve Swain, the rural rehabilitation specialist for Indiana AgrAbiltiy, presented “Gardening Tools for People with Disabilities or People Who are Getting Older” as part of the Purdue All-You-Can-Learn Buffet.  There were 65 attendees who were Purdue retirees and alumni from across the United States.  The “buffet” is a week-long series of presentations from different departments in the College of Agriculture designed to keep them informed of the different programs occurring on campus.

July 2016 Alumni News

Jane Frankenberger spoke at the Annual Meeting of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water, held outdoors at German Park in Indianapolis on June 10, and met with seven ABE alumni who work in Engineering Services at IDNR. From left, Eric Moster, Joe Mallory, Danielle Randles, Chris Limiac, Nicole Solitro, Darrin Miller, Jane Frankenberger, Dustin Thurston.

July 2016 Faculty News

Bernie Engel traveled to Medellin Colombia in June to visit EAFIT University in Medellin to discuss opportunities for developing an Agricultural and Biological Engineering program at EAFIT University. EAFIT has committed to development of such a program and is formulating next steps.  Numerous opportunities are expected to emerge in Colombia in the future related to development of agricultural machines and bio-processing.  This would be the first such program in Colombia. The Purdue Agricultural and Biological Engineering program will be engaged to assist with development of the program going

Professors Meng Deng and Andrea Vacca have been selected for the 2016-2017 Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy. Dean Jay Akridge and Department Head Bernie Engel endorsed their nominations. Several companies have been launched, and several licenses and disclosures have been produced by this program. Congratulations to Drs. Deng and Vacca!

The ABE Department, Agronomy Department, and USDA-ARS National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory (NSERL) hosted two international symposia on May 23-27 here at Purdue. These were the 10th International Symposium on Agriculture & the Environment (AgroEnviron 2016), and the 7th International Symposium on Gully Erosion (7th ISGE). Approximately 150 participants from all over the world were in attendance for four days of workshops, oral/poster presentations, and a conservation field tour.  Chairman of the AgroEnviron 2016 Symposium was Dr. Dennis Flanagan (ABE and NSERL), while chairman of the 7th ISGE was Dr. Robert Wells (USDA-ARS Oxford, MS).  A USB drive containing all of the abstracts presented at the two meetings is available, and a printed proceedings is planned for later this year for AgroEnviron 2016.  For more information, contact Dr. Flanagan (

Dr. Chi-hua Huang (right) explains a laboratory experiment on wind erodibility to workshop participants from AgroEnviron 2016 and the 7th ISGE during a workshop at the National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory on the afternoon of May 23.

Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist for the USDA-NRCS in Indiana (center), welcomes participants to AgroEnviron 2016 during the Opening Ceremony on Tuesday, May 24, held in the Stewart Center.

Dennis Flanagan, AgroEnviron 2016 Chairman (right) assists Dr. Donald Gabriels (left) before his opening keynote address at the  Symposium Plenary session on May 24 in the Stewart Center.

Some of the Symposium participants during the field tour to the Mike Starkey farm north of Indianapolis on Wednesday, May 25. Here, Dr. Pierre-André Jacinthe, IUPUI (left center), is speaking to the group about a field water quality monitoring site.

Farmer Mike Starkey (right) explains no-till corn planting and seed placement into a field with a cover crop at his farm, during the Symposia field tour on Wednesday, May 25.


July 2016 Graduate Student News

AEES conference

On June 7th-9th, Dr Sara McMillan, Colin Bell, Ariana Montoya and Laura Ortiz de Zarate attended the 16th Annual Meeting of the American Ecological Engineering Society (AEES) hosted by the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. They presented their research in the following technical sessions: “Urban Watersheds”, “Measuring Impacts of Green Infrastructure” and 2 posters in the Poster Reception (“Comparison of denitrification rates between restored and conventional agricultural floodplains” and “Nutrients dynamics in riparian zones of agricultural watershed in North Carolina”). All of them also participated in different technical field trips, networking activities and a student design competition. You can see the video of the Purdue University/Auburn University team.


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