June 2018 ABeNotes

June 2018 ABE Gives Back

May 23 saw our most-recent ABE Indiana Blood Center bloodmobile completely booked up an entire week in advance! We ended up collecting 29 units. Next opportunity: Friday, August 24, 2018

Carol Weaver worked one of the drop-off locations for the National Letter Carriers' Association Stamp Out Hunger food drive on May 12. 45,445 pounds of food were collected in Tippecanoe County and all of that food stays in Tippecanoe County. She and Dr. Malithi Wickramathilaka (!) worked a meat-sorting shift Friday, May 25th and the crew was very short-handed. If you have time this summer, please visit Food Finders and volunteer (or contact Carol and she will hook you up). Our next scheduled department-wide session is Friday, July 6 from 1-3. Let Carol know if you can help!


June 2018 AgrAbility News

Indiana AgrAbility conducted a county fairgrounds accessibility assessment for the Franklin County 4-H Association. Steve Swain, Indiana AgrAbility rural rehabilitation specialist conducted the assessment with the assistance of Franklin County Purdue Extension Educator and County Extension Director, Angie Riffle. The assessment examined parking and pathways, fairgrounds offices, exhibit areas, livestock show arena, and entertainment areas. A report will be submitted to the association providing a picture of the state of present fairgrounds and priorities to complying with ADA Guidelines in the future.

Steve Swain, the Indiana AgrAbility rural rehabilitation specialist, conducts accessibility assessments of farms, homes, and business for Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services. He has attended a series of meetings of the VR Home Modifications Workgroup. As a member of the workgroup, he has been a part of the process of reviewing VR policies and procedures to providing home modification services. 

Dr. Shawn Ehlers, ATP, and Steve Swain, ATP, conducted a webinar for RESNA as members of the National AgrAbility Project.  The webinar is titled: “New and Improved Methods of Accessing Large Off-Road Machinery.”  The webinar will be archived by RESNA and will be offered as a method of earning CEUs for accreditation for the ATP certification.  It will also be offered in the future as a National AgrAbility webinar.

June 2018 Alumni News

Jennifer (Allen) (ASM 2007) and Adam Edwards (ASM 2005) welcomed Isaac Carl Edwards on April 16, 2018. Weighing in at 8 pounds, 13 ounces and 21 inches in length, he joins big brothers Asher (4) and Jacob (3) - and looks like a combination of the two. Congratulations on the new addition!

2018 ASABE 1/4-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition

Author: Dr. John Lumkes

I think for the first time ever (which isn’t always a good thing), we brought to the competition a broken tractor and returned from the competition with a working tractor. Our final tech inspection station wasn’t passed until Saturday night, but then we had 5 very solid pulls on Sunday, with improvement overall between pulls by tuning the electronic controllers. Our overall place is unknown (not high), yet the team has provided a great foundation for next year.

Many thanks to the great staff in ABE (especially Pam and Scott for meeting all our last minute ‘emergency’ requests), and Dr. Engel for his great support. Photos and videos of the competition are available.

Disc golf, anyone?

Anyone interested in some disc golf? Dennis Buckmaster is an excellent trainer, Nate Engelberth Is an excellent golfer, Dan Taylor is a fantastic “trash talker” (in a fun way), and Rusty is fun to be around- this is his first year...Drop one of us an email and we'll fill you in on the details!








June 2018 Faculty News

The Purdue Ag-celerator Fund has invested a total of $100,000 in two plant science startups for the spring round of investments. The recipients are JUA Technologies International LLC, a startup building multipurpose crop dehydrators founded by Professor Klein Ileleji and his wife, Reiko Ileleji, and ZeaVaxx LLC, a startup developing a plant-derived nanoparticle that can improve animal vaccines. Congratulations!

American Society for Agricultural and Biological Engineers:

Professor Dharmendra Saraswat is part of the team that will receive an ASABE Standard Development award for EP621: Guidelines for Calibrating, Validating, and Evaluating Hydrologic and Water Quality Models. The award will be presented during the Monday morning session of the 2018 ASABE Annual International Meeting in Detroit, Michigan (July 29 - August 1). Congratulations to Dr. Saraswat as well as his colleagues!

Professors Kingsly Ambrose and Klein Ileleji will receive a 2018 Educational Aids Blue Ribbon for extension publication entitled, “Grain Drying, Handling, and Storage Handbook (MWPS-13)”, authored by D. Maier, S. McNeill, K. Hellevang, K. Ambrose, K. Ileleji, C. Jones, M. Purschwitz, K. Walker, J. Moore, and L. Wetterauer.

Professors Richard Stroshine and Klein Ileleji will receive a 2018 ASABE Superior Paper Award for paper entitled, “Differences in Kernel Shape, Size, and Density between Healthy Kernels and Mold Discolored Kernels and their Relationship to Reduction in Aflatoxin Levels in a Sample of Shelled Corn” published in an ASABE journal. Authors are Hu Shi, Richard Stroshine and Klein Ileleji.

June 2018 Graduate Student News

Sushant Mehan is featured in the Graduate Ag Research Spotlight!

June 2018 Maha Fluid Power Laboratory News

Author: Meike Ernst, Photos by Susan Gauger

Just as the month of May was puttering to a peaceful finish, a bustling swarm of curious undergrads invaded the Maha Fluid Power Research Center. As part of the CCEFP (Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power) “Research Experience for Undergraduates” program, these students had been invited to experience Maha; they were first treated to a fluid power lecture given by PhD student Andrew Robinson, then to three available interactive lab sessions split over a span of two days. The available sessions included the opportunities to experiment with a water hydraulics circuit; to learn how to identify, construct and debug different types of hydraulic circuits; and, in the third lab session, a chance to disassemble an axial piston machine and operate a wheel loader with a displacement-controlled steer-by-wire system. Finally, the undergrad visitors were able to meet with members of the Maha team over a series of dinners and a bowling event arranged by CCEFP in order to socialize and discuss research as well as the graduate school experience. While brief, the two-day tour of the largest fluid power research center in the northern US is always a great opportunity to get insight not only into the world of hydraulics, but also into the world of PhD studies and what it means to be a research assistant. Thanks to all who made it possible!

2018 Study Abroad

Author: Prof. Abigail Engelberth

Dr. Abby Engelberth recently returned from an exciting two-week study abroad trip to Germany.  She lead a group of 20 students to various sites around Germany to explore the range of products that employ the use microbes somewhere in the process.  The students learned about: the use of yeast and bacteria in the production of food products including beer, wine, bread, and pickled/fermented food products;  employment of microbes to treat wastes from both animals and humans to recover higher value gases; and cultivation of specialty microbial products for the biotech and biopharma industry. The students visited industries in and around Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Berlin.  Coleen Riley, our biological engineering lab manager, helped to chaperone the trip. Pictures include the entire group at the Weihenstephan Brewery (left), a subset of students that visited the Kehlsteinhaus (below, right), and the BE students in front of the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin (below, left).entire group at the Weihenstephan Brewery

students that visited the Kehlsteinhaus BE students in front of the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin


Undergraduate Molecular Agriculture Summer Institute (MASI) 2018

We are excited to host this year’s Undergrad MASI program with facilitated Science Communication Workshops led by Dr. Mark Tucker (Professor, Agricultural Communications) along with team-building and leadership development sessions to create a cohesive cohort of undergrad students.  Our students will be spending a majority of their 40-hours a week for our 10-week program in the lab and/or field performing their research.  If you have any questions about this year’s Undergrad MASI program, please contact Mary Helen Halsema

Included in the 2018 cohort are two ABE students (and their faculty mentors): Janice Chan (Kevin Solomon) and Jake Qiu (Mohit Verma). Congratulations!

Contact Us

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