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June 2012 ABe-Notes

ABE Global Design Team Students Around the World

Author: Anne Dare
ABE students were busy all around the world during the month of May ABE students participating in the Global Engineering Program's Global Design Teams make an impact in Cameroon, Palestine, India, and Colombia

Chester Magiera, photo courtesy of Patrick Ransdell, Junior, MELucas Dull (Senior, ABE), Brian Fleming (Senior, ABE), David Wilson (Junior, ABE), and Chester Magiera (Senior, ASM, pictured at left) accompanied Dr. Klein Ileleji and several other engineering students to Cameroon to build and test their next generation of the Basic Utility Vehicle for application in transporting individuals in rural Cameroon.  This vehicle was designed under the advisement of Dr. John Lumkes.  Other students on this trip installed a hydropower turbine they had designed and fabricated prior to traveling.   

Seniors Kaileigh Calhoun (pictured, right), Sara McMullen, and Michael Sheehan Kaleigh Calhoun, Senior, photo courtesy of Anne Ddare, PhD students, ABEaccompanied Anne Dare (PhD Student) and two other graduate students to the Palestinian West Bank to share research findings, experience the challenges of water and wastewater issues in the West Bank, and explore opportunities for future collaborations.  This project was under the advisement of Dr. Chad Jafvert (CE).


Harini Kadambi, photo courtesy of Erin Kennedy, Master's students, CESenior Harini Kadambi (pictured, left) and two graduate students from CE and ENE traveled to India to to carry out research related to irrigation water quality.

This project was under the advisement of Dr. Venkatesh Merwade (CE).


Senior Erin Chichlowski will travel to Colombia in June to implement the next phase of a project in drinking water filtration with Dr. Chad Jafvert (CE) and two other students from ESE and EEE.

More information about all of these projects can be found at


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ABE Undergraduate Blog: HannahJoy Pheasant

Author: HannahJoy Pheasant
HannahJoy is spending her summer in Eldoret, Kenya, as an intern with the Family Preservation Initiative's extension program. HannahJoy will be a senior in ABE this fall and has agreed to share her experiences with us.


On May 25th, a Purdue team composed of four students and one faculty member boarded a flight to Eldoret, Kenya. This team met another team of Purdue professors on the ground, and, together, began working on developing the existing agricultural infrastructure in the country.

HannahJoy Pheasant, an incoming senior in the college of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, is revamping existing agriculture training materials given to Family Preservation Initiative’s (FPI) extension agents. These agents are sent to farming cooperatives to train the members in agriculture and business practices. HannahJoy will be joined mid-June by Caitlin Grady, a Ph.D. student in the Ecological Sciences and Engineering program. John Lomurut is a master’s student of soil science under Dr. Darrell Schulze and is helping the professor better define the current GIS soil maps in the greater Eldoret area this summer. Marcia Croft, a Ph.D. horticulture student with Dr. Steve Weller, is working to expand African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs) sales in the local market.  Focusing on a few key species -- spider plant, amaranth, and nightshade – her summer will be spent in the market research phase of the project. In this phase, she will be identifying market chain strengths and weaknesses in providing a variety of consumers with these nutritious vegetables.

Dr. Schulze’s team hit the ground running. Arriving at the IU House at 8:30 pm, the group was given a whirlwind tour of the grounds and each member’s respective room by Purdue’s pharmacy team leader and faculty member, Sonak Pastakia. We were then joined by Pamela Obura, Associate Director of Agricultural Programs of FPI. Over a late dinner, Pam, Darrell, and the Purdue student group chatted about the project and what each intern’s part would look like.

On Monday, after the students’ roles were further defined, the Purdue agricultural group trekked to Chepkoilel University, an extension school of Moi University in Eldoret, to learn more about the school and to speak with Dr. Wilson Ng’etich and other Chepkoilel faculty about the AIV project. After, we traveled to a field and cooperative farm to learn more about FPI’s work with the local elements of the AIV market.

Tuesday had the group driving three hours one way to an agricultural research building called Alupe, in Busima. The building was an extension of KARI (Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute), based in Kakamega, Kenya.

Since then, the Purdue team has been hard at work, expounding on the individual parts of the project and collectively working to make the whole project successful. It has also been hard at play, visiting local markets in the Eldoret area and learning more about the cultural characteristics that make Eldoret the city that it is.

Faculty News for June

Event Date: July 30, 2012
One retired and two current professors in the ABE Department will be honored at the Annual International Meeting of the American Society for Agricultural & Biological Engineers next month.

Dr. Don Jones (retired), Dr. William Field, and Dr. Dennis Buckmaster will receive  a 2012 Educational Aids Blue Ribbon Award, along with their co-authors (Ronald Lemenager, Tom Glanville, Larry Horstman, Keith Johnson, Judy Loven, Glenn Selk, Terry Stewart, Ralph Williams, Kathy Walker, and Jack Moore), for "Cow-Calf Production in the US Corn Belt." This publication is recognized in the Publications - Comprehensive category.

This competition "encourages agricultural engineers in industry and public service (not limited to ASABE members) to strive for excellence in extension activities through the interchange of ideas on successful methods and techniques. It also promotes excellence in educational aids, which represent agricultural engineering and through the exchange of ideas and individual recognition, contributes to overall improvementin the use of educational aids."


Graduate Defenses for June

Hector Chang (MS) "Conformational Changes of an Antimicrobial Peptide Cecropin P1 on Silica Surface: Molecular Dynamics and Circular Dichroism Studies." June 1, 2012, 2:30 pm ABE 301 (Narsimhan)

Dhananjay A. Pai (PhD) "Mechanistic methods in modeling the compact properties of viscoelastic pharmaceutical and food powders." June 6, 2012, 2:30 pm ABE 301 (Okos)


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