May 2020 ABeNotes - Isolation Edition Vol. II

ABE Ambassadors


May 2020 Alumni News

Yulin Lu (MS '06) and his wife, Bei, along with Maxi and Marco (not to mention Gabi, their black lab) welcomed Harriet Madison on Friday, April 17th. 

May 2020 Faculty News

Professor Dharmendra Saraswat was awarded a Shah Lab Travel Grant Award for "An Intelligent Early Warning System for Crop Diseases in Rice Cropping System in India. He will working in partnership with Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), National Rice Research Institute (NRRI), and Odisha Department of Agriculture and Farmer's Welfare (ODAFW). Congratulations!

Professor Bob Stwalley has been selected to receive the 2020 Excellence in Teaching Materials and Methods Award of the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Division of ASEE.  As the 2020 recipient of this award, the BAE division has requested that he give a keynote talk on an engineering education related topic to kick-off the June 23, 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm, June 23rd session sponsored by the division. You represent us well, Dr Bob!

May 2020 Good News

Emily Lintott and her mother have been doing their part in a big way.

Emily, a 4th-year BE student and ABE Ambassador (see that section above), went back to Ann Arbor when the semester shifted to remote learning so that she could finish the semester and still be with her family. Because Southeast Michigan is a virus epicenter, they have readily and diligently obeyed the stay-at-home and making the most of their time by making and donating almost 1,200 masks to friends, neighbors, essential workers, food pantries, and health clinics.

Making the masks in two sizes, as well as adjusting kits for getting just the right fit, has kept them busy, but has also given them a grand platform to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. We are proud of Emily and the example she and her family are setting!



Professor Abby Engelberth took the opportunity to recognize some of her undergrads in ABE 304: The final experiment for the  ABE 304: Bioprocess Engineering Laboratory course was a bit different this term.  Students were given a choice for designing and conducting their final experiment - they could either use a virtual simulation to explore different operating parameters for penicillin production, or they could play in the kitchen with reverse spherification (i.e. popping boba).  The students had to submit their hypothesis and design and were given feedback to proceed.  Each student had to submit a final video for evaluation of their experiment by their peers and the instructor.  The videos were fantastic and inspired Dr. Engelberth to give some awards of her own.  Check out the awards here:

May 2020 National AgrAbility Project News

To support agricultural workers and the professionals who work with them during this pandemic, the National AgrAbility Project has assembled a concise listing of resources related to COVID-19 at Categories include general resources, disability-related resources, and agriculture-related resources.

This has been a strange time of working remotely with travel restrictions.  Not being able to meet with clients face-to-face to help develop a relationship is difficult.  A phone call is not the same.  Calls have been to Vocational Rehab (VR) and pre-VR clients and continuing AgrAbility clients concerning their access to services.  VR has put a hold on starting new farm accessibility cases till the governor lifts the restrictions thus a time of finalizing cases.

Indiana AgrAbility rural rehabilitation specialist Steve Swain took part in a Joining Community Forces Indiana Zoom meeting.  This meeting was an update on over 30 community and military service organizations across Indiana who provide a multitude of services to military veterans.  This was a larger-than-normal meeting due to the restrictions for meeting face-to-face.

Steve Swain, Indiana rural rehabilitation specialist and Purdue Extension specialist, has participated in the weekly Ag and Natural Resources COVID-19 Response Zoom calls.  These calls are for educators in Indiana to share what is occurring in their areas and to hear what agencies such as the Indiana State Board of Animal Health have been experiencing or anticipating.  This includes the responses to the closing of the packing plants.

Webinars and e-mail traffic has increased and have presented the opportunity to expand our knowledge and learn from others how to manage and work in this “new normal.”


May 2020 Student News

Grad Student News

Margaret Hegwood wrote a piece for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs: Next Generation, "COVID-19 and the protein industry: Is it time to promote the adoption of "alt-meat"?" Way to represent, Margaret!

Rachel Scarlett, an ABE Ph.D. candidate, has been awarded a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for the 2020-2021 academic year. The Ford Foundation awarded around 36 of these fellowships through a national competition based on academic excellence, plans for a career in higher education, and a commitment to diversity in their teaching.

Scarlett, who works with Prof. Sara McMillan, does interdisciplinary research using ecology and sociology to study water resources. Using urban stormwater as a case study, she investigates how stream ecosystems react to stormwater management and how local, often marginalized communities are engaged in the water management process. The working title of her dissertation is Rhythms of Urban Rivers: A Socio-ecological Investigation of Stormwater.

For Scarlett, learning that she had received the Fellowship, was a “great surprise” at a difficult time in which several family members were battling COVID-19. “It brought me and my family great joy.”

The Fellowship will allow Scarlett to spend this coming year focusing on writing her dissertationto tune out all distractions and tune into my dissertation.” The award, administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, provides $28,000 and access to The Conference of Ford Fellows and networking with current and former Fellows. Scarlett also holds a George Washington Carver Fellowship from The Graduate School at Purdue.

After graduating, Scarlett wants to have a career in academia, training graduate students to use interdisciplinary research to bring new perspectives to solving environmental problems. In her work, Scarlett wants to channel civil right leader Ella Baker’s belief in cultivating and amplifying marginalized voices “often silenced” in environmental research and management. (Article courtesy of Joanne Lax, Graduate Technical Communications & Professional Development Specialist)

Undergrad Student News

Kevin Fitzgerald (BE '20) has been awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Next year he will begin his PhD in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern. He hopes to do research involving metabolic engineering, building on his work in the Solomon Lab at Purdue ABE. Congratulations, Kevin!

Ratchaphak Tantisanghirun and his Student Soybean Innovation Competition team won the People's Choice award for their project, Team 60 Soylution, a soy-based 3D-printing filament. Good job!

Publications 2020 - May

Y Zhang, JV Krogmeier, A Ault, D Buckmaster. 2020. APT3: Automated Product Traceability Trees Generated from GPS Tracks. Transactions of the ASABE.

A Raturi, D Buckmaster. 2020. Growing Plants, Raising Animals, and Feeding Communities through Connected Agriculture: An IoT Challenge. IEEE Internet of Things Magazine 2 (4), 38-43.

Naagarajan Narayanan, Chunhui Jiang, Chao Wang, Gözde Uzunalli, Nicole Whittern, Da Chen, Owen G Jones, Shihuan Kuang, Meng Deng. 2020. Harnessing Fiber Diameter-Dependent Effects of Myoblasts Toward Biomimetic Scaffold-Based Skeletal Muscle Regeneration. Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology 8, 203.

Val Z Schull, Bassel Daher, Margaret W Gitau, Sushant Mehan, Dennis C Flanagan. 2020. Analyzing FEW nexus modeling tools for water resources decision-making and management applications. Food and Bioproducts Processing 119, 108-124.

Mohamed Aboelnour, Margaret W Gitau, Bernard A Engel.  2020. A Comparison of Streamflow and Baseflow Responses to Land-Use Change and the Variation in Climate Parameters Using SWAT. Water 12 (1), 191.

V Dimitra Pyrialakou, Christos Gkartzonikas, J Drew Gatlin, Konstantina Gkritza. 2020. Perceptions of safety on a shared road: Driving, cycling, or walking near an autonomous vehicle. Journal of Safety Research 72, 249-258.

Liangju Wang, Yunhong Duan, Libo Zhang, Jialei Wang, Yikai Li, Jian Jin. 2020. LeafScope: A Portable High-Resolution Multispectral Imager for In Vivo Imaging Soybean Leaf. Sensors 20 (8), 2194.

Liangju Wang, Jian Jin, Zhihang Song, Jialei Wang, Libo Zhang, Tanzeel U Rehman, Dongdong Ma, Neal R Carpenter, Mitchell R Tuinstra. 2020. LeafSpec: An accurate and portable hyperspectral corn leaf imager. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 169, 105209.

Molly K Welsh, Philippe G Vidon, Sara K McMillan. 2020. Stream and floodplain restoration impacts riparian zone hydrology of agricultural streams.Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 192 (2), 85.

P. V. Femeena. I Chaubey, A. Aubeneau, S. K. McMillan, P. D. Wagner, N. Fohrer. 2020. Developing an improved user interface for a physically-based stream solute transport model. Environmental Modelling & Software. 129: 104715 https://doilorg/10.1016/j.envsoft.2020.104715.

Pablo Vega-Vásquez, Nathan S Mosier, Joseph Irudayaraj. 2020. Nanoscale Drug Delivery Systems: From Medicine to Agriculture. Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology 8.

Yue Wang, Binglong Niu, Ji-Qin Ni, Wentao Xue, Zhiping Zhu, Xinrong Li, Guoyuan Zou. 2020. New insights into concentrations, sources and transformations of NH3, NOx, SO2 and PM at a commercial manure-belt layer house. Environmental Pollution, 114355.

Xinjie Tong, Lingying Zhao, Albert J Heber, Ji-Qin Ni. 2020. Mechanistic modelling of ammonia emission from laying hen manure at laboratory scale. Biosystems Engineering 192, 24-41.

Fnu Rituraj, Andrea Vacca. 2020. An Investigation of Tooth Tip Leakages in Gerotor Pumps: Modeling and Experimental Validation. Journal of Verification, Validation and Uncertainty Quantification 5 (1).

Matteo Pellegri, Venkata Harish Babu Manne, Andrea Vacca. 2020. A simulation model of Gerotor pumps considering fluid–structure interaction effects: Formulation and validation. Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 140, 106720.

Michael Roggenburg, Helber A Esquivel-Puentes, Andrea Vacca, Humberto Bocanegra Evans, Jose M Garcia-Bravo, David M Warsinger, Monika Ivantysynova, Luciano Castillo. 2020. Techno-economic analysis of a hydraulic transmission for floating offshore wind turbines. Renewable Energy 153, 1194-1204.

P Welikhe, SM Brouder, JJ Volenec, M Gitau, RF Turco. 2020. Development of phosphorus sorption capacity‐based environmental indices for tile‐drained systems. Journal of Environmental Quality 49 (2), 378-391.


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