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November 2012 ABe-Notes

ABE Indiana Blood Center Drives

Author: Carol Weaver
Event Date: August 27, 2015

Our next drive will be Thursday, August 27, in ABE 301  from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm. Please make your appointment if you are able to donate. If you donated at the July 2 drive, you are eligible for this drive as well.

You'll have someone's undying gratitude! Contact Carol Weaver  if you have problems making your appointment.


Alumni News for November

Joseph (Joe) Mallory (BS '07, MS '09) and his wife, Alissa, welcomed their son, Jeremiah, on July 2, 2012. Congratulations!

Faculty News - November 2012

Author: Dr. Bernie Engel
Each year we recognize an outstanding teacher in agriculture, an outstanding teacher in engineering, and an outstanding counselor. Those receiving these recognitions will compete for the outstanding teacher at the respective college level and the outstanding counselor will compete for the College of Agriculture outstanding counselor recognition.

ABE seniors are asked for their nominations for outstanding teacher and counselor each year.  The ABE student club leadership meets and uses this information to make recommendations for these recognitions. 

The ABE recipients this year are:

Outstanding Teacher (Engineering):  Nathan Mosier

Outstanding Teacher (Agriculture):  Dan Ess

Outstanding Counselor:  Dennis Buckmaster

Congratulations Drs. Buckmaster, Ess, and Mosier and good luck in the next round of competition!

Graduate Student Defenses for November

Laurent M. Ahiablame (PhD) "Development of methods for modeling and evaluation of low impact development practices at the watershed scale." Tuesday, October 30, 2012 1 pm ABE 301 (Chaubey, Engel)

Salah Issa (MS) "Evaluating Hybrid-Maize Model in Rainfed Conditions in Northwestern Indiana." Thursday, November 8, 2012 8:30 am Lilly 2-425 (Chaubey, Brouder)

Shivangi Kelkar (PhD) "Using x-ray imaging techniques to determine density of foods." Monday, November 12, 2012 2:00 pm NLSN 2187 (Okos)

Elizabeth Casey (PhD) "Application of Systems Biology Tools to Understand the Effect of Acetic Acid on Ethanol Production by Saccharomyces cerevisiae 424A(LNH-ST)." Monday, November 26, 2012 3:00 pm POTR 234 (Mosier)



Guyana Bioenergy Workshop

Author: Jiqin Ni and Klein Ileleji
Profuse apologies to Drs. Ni and Ileleji. This item was scheduled to run in the October ABe-Notes and was overlooked.

Drs. Ileleji and Ni traveled to Guyana in August to give lectures at a four-day workshop on bioenergy development. The workshop also included a one-day field trip to visit a wood processing plant, a biomethanisation plant, and two on-farm manure digester systems. The workshop concluded with a session of extension outreach at Purdue University and a discussion on the opportunities to build extension outreach in Guyana. Over 35 representatives from agriculture agencies, technical institutes, ministries, and private entrepreneurs attended the workshop in Georgetown, the capital of the South American Country.

This international extension was an integrated part of a program “Expanding Bioenergy Opportunities in Guyana” sponsored by the Guyana Ministry of Agriculture and the Inter-American Development Bank. Dr. Clairmont Clementson, a 2010 Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University, now leading the bioenergy program of the Guyana Ministry of Agriculture, coordinated the workshop.

Meeting with Minister of Agriculture (from left to right): Dr. Klein Ileleji; Minister of Agriculture Dr. Leslie Ramsammy; Dr. Jiqin Ni; and Dr. Clairmont Clementson

Field visit to an on-farm Chinese manure digester that was built in 1984.

On-site discussion with a sawmill operator on opportunities of converting wood processing wastes to bioenergy.

Field visit of the Biomethanisation Plant at a local distillery that processes wastewater from the distillery using anaerobic digestion technology.

Field visit of a plug-flow on-farm anaerobic digester that produces biogas energy for cooking from cattle manure.

Maha Fluid Power Laboratory News for November

Lab Visits

Maha was pleased to welcome many visitors to the lab in the past two months including:

  • Prof. Dr. H. Murrenhoff, Director of the Institute for Fluid Power Drives and Controls at RWTH Aachen, Germany on September 27th
  • Prof. Dr. Wang Qingfeng, Director of the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China on October 25th
  • The team greatly enjoyed sharing the lab set-up and research with these prestigious guests.

New Projects

Maha is proud to announce two projects with the Triumph Group, Inc., a “global leader in manufacturing aerospace components”. New PhD student Rene Chacon is leading the first project, with the aim to perform a full analysis of a Triumph axial piston pump using the Fluid Structure Thermal Interaction Gap Design model developed at Maha. Dr. Andrea Vacca’s team is working on the second project with the aim to analyze the performance of a Triumph gear pump and formulate design improvements.

Dr. Andrea Vacca’s team is also beginning a new project with the Korean company, DAEJIN Hydraulic Machinery Co., to investigate high pressure radial piston pumps. The project has the support of the Korean Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT).

Special Recognitions

Dr. Ivantysynova presented on Hydraulic Hybrids at the 2012 SAE ComVec (Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress) in Rosemont, IL October 2-3rd and served as an executive panel member for a Hybrid Vehicle discussion.

Additionally, the paper, A Novel Pressure-Feedback Based Adaptive Control Method to Damp Instabilities in Hydraulic Machines, by Davide Cristofori (PhD student) and Dr. Andrea Vacca was selected among the best papers of the SAE ComVec and included in the SAE International Journal of Commercial Vehicles. Davide presented the paper at the annual event. Congratulations to Davide and Dr. Vacca for their accomplishment.

Congratulations to Dr. Ivantysynova and Matteo Pelosi (PhD, 2012) for their recent publication in the ASME Journal of Tribology on Heat Transfer and Thermal Elastic Deformation Analysis on the Piston/Cylinder Interface of Axial Piston Machines.

Purdue iGEM team wins gold; advances to World Championship

The International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM) is the premiere undergraduate Synthetic Biology competition. Student teams are given a kit of biological parts at the beginning of the summer from the Registry of Standard Biological Parts. Working at their own schools over the summer, they use these parts and new parts of their own design to build biological systems and operate them in living cells. This project design and competition format is an exceptionally motivating and effective teaching method.

iGEM team with mayor of Noblesville, IN

Purdue's team (Chris Thompson, ABE; Amanda Shanley, ABE, BCHM; Sean Kearney, ABE; August Clevenger, BIOL; James Nolan, ABE; Mrudula Vemuri, ABE; Rachel Feltner, BME; Laan Yeung, West Lafayette High School; Gordon Showalter, ABE; Peter Mercado, BCHM; Namita Balachander; Arthi Anand; Christopher Soverns, PHYS; and Haefa Mansour, CHME) competed in the America's East Regional under the direction of Professor Jenna L. Rickus. In addition to bringing home a gold medal for their project "Synthetic Biology in the Community: Accessible Biotechnology for Water Treatment" (see abstract below), they were selected as one of 14 teams (out of 43) to advance to the World Championships at MIT November 2-4, 2012.

Synthetic Biology in the Community: Accessible Biotechnology for Water Treatment

Polluted water is the world’s largest health risk, killing over three million people a year. Our project focused on enhancing biofilms used in water treatment. We designed a system to accelerate the adhesion of bacteria to surfaces. On biofilm aggregation, expression of silica-binding peptides works to build silica matrices on the surface of cells. These matrices act as a mechanical filter for large particles and a barrier between the biofilm and fluid shear, decreasing dislodgment of organisms that could otherwise lead to fouling. We envision these improved biofilms being used in municipal water treatment to help recycle and filter home waste water streams, a concept we implemented in lab-scale membrane bioreactors. Bringing awareness of synthetic biology closer to our community, we initiated a community bio-lab and a Girl Scout biotechnology badge. Ultimately, we hope to take synthetic biology from benchtop to park bench.

For more information on the competition, visit the iGEM website.

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 (

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