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October 2018 ABeNotes

2018 October ABE Gives Back

ABE gives back to our community in a variety of different ways. Connie McMindes' father served on the Lafayette Police Department for 23 years (until 1983) and had the first K9 officer in the city in 1963. Officer Everette Cooper and Sultan were quite the team. Connie's son, Devlin, continues that legacy with his pawsome new partner, Edi, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois. Beginning as a drug-detecting dog, he has added skills to his repertoire and has assisted in manhunts as well. Devlin was so intent on bringing a K9 to the Seymour PD, he went door-to-door to different businesses in Seymour to raise the nearly $15,000 needed to add a second dog to the department. More information is available in the Seymour Tribune article. Thank you, Devlin, for your service - and Edi for yours as well!

The ABE Department will be hosting our next Indiana Blood Center Bloodmobile drive on Monday, November 12.  Come roll up your sleeve! We need to fill all of the appointment slots to match (or exceed?!) our donations from last year.

Our Food Finders Food Bank warehouse shifts to support United Way have ended for 2018. Friday, October 5, during the 1-3 shift, we sorted 2,192 pounds (approximately 1,827 meals). Due to the timing of Fall Break, there were only 5 of us (and only 1 from ABE), so that is a rather remarkable statistic. If your group, club, posse, or tribe would like to schedule a shift together during 2019, please contact Carol Weaver and she will help you with the process.

2018 October AgrAbility News

The National AgrAbility Project’s assistive technology specialist, Steve Swain, exhibited as a guest of Ohio AgrAbility at the 2018 Ohio Farm Science Review near London, Ohio.  The NAP exhibit included an AgrAbility popup display and AgrAbility publications.  The publications included NAP brochures, AgrAbility Harvest newsletters, 25-Years, 25 Stories, the AgrAbility Impact publication, Arthritis and Agriculture, SRAP contacts, and the Gaining Ground and Seedstock reprints.  Other exhibitors in the Ohio AgrAbility tent included Life Essentials, Pwr EZ Systems, McCabe Outdoor Mobility, and K&M Manufacturing.

Steve Swain, Indiana AgrAbility rural rehabilitation specialist, was a guest lecturer for the Assistive Technology Practice graduate level class for Dr. Brad Duerstock.  The presentation was entitled Practical AT User Assessments.  The presentation examined the AT assessment process from identifying clients thru the assessment process to re-examination of the outcomes.  Examples of AT for the farm and garden were shown and examples of the potential of secondary injuries seen on the farm.

Chuck Baldwin of the National AgrAbility Project joined Abi Jensen and others from AgrAbility of Wisconsin to staff an AgrAbility booth at the World Dairy Expo (WDE) October 2-6, in Madison, Wisconsin. Chuck was there for Thursday’s and Friday’s activities. The AgrAbility staff had many opportunities to renew contacts with previous and current AgrAbility clients, and to share the vision and goals of AgrAbility with interested Expo attendees and potential future clients. It is AgrAbility’s vision to enhance quality of life for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with disabilities.

The WDE provides an opportunity to see almost 2,500 head of cattle from across the USA and Canada as they compete in seven breed shows. There are also contests and activities for 4-H, FFA, a youth showmanship contest, a youth fitting contest, and one of the largest contests of its type: the World Dairy Expo Product Championship Contest that evaluates and ranks all types of dairy products. In addition, there is the World Forage Analysis Superbowl that brings the best from across North America to compete in this part of dairy nutrition quality. These are only a part of the events that take place at the WDE.

To give an idea of the size of this Expo, on Wednesday, Oct. 3, the day’s attendance was 12, 665, with the international attendance for the first two days being 1,570 from 84 countries. For further information on the World Dairy Expo, see their website at:

2018 October Faculty News

Margaret Gitau, Associate Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University gave an invited seminar at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay), on October 3, 2018. Prof. Gitau talked about one of the greatest challenges in our world today, this being the impairment of water quality by pollutants from agricultural, rural/urbanizing, and urban lands. She discussed her perspectives, current research, and future directions, and also highlighted opportunities for integrated, multidisciplinary research to develop sustainable solutions to current water quality problems.

Professor Richard Stroshine officially retired August 31, and the department hosted a celebration on Friday, September 28, at the ADM Agricultural Innovation Center in his honor. In addition to his wife, Alice, and his son, Tim, many of the China Agricultural University students attended, along with many other colleagues of Dr. Stroshine. Thank you for the faithful years of service and for being a DifferenceMaker!




Professor Emeritus Gary Krutz will be signing his book "Dream Happy, Be Great" at Stacked Pickle from 11-2 on October 27. Drop by and  see him!







2018 October Alumni News

Allison (Ustynoski) Cox (BE '12) and her husband Clint Cox (BA English '04) welcomed home their daughter, Hazel  (8 lbs, 9 oz. 20 inches long) on June 14, 2018. Allison is still with Chicago Vegan Foods with one of our 2009 outstanding alums, Ryan Howard.




Paul Brayton (AE '18) and Samantha Kowalski (BE '18) are featured in the ASABE Resource Magazine, September/October 2018 (pages 22 and 23, respectively). Thanks for representing us so well!

2018 October Grad Student News

Danielle Winter, a new graduate student working with Dr. Sara McMillan, was featured in the ASABE Resource magazine, September/October 2018 issue. Check her out on page 8!

2018 Homecoming - Beginning the Year of Giant Leaps

Author: Dan Taylor
Event Date: September 22, 2018

We had perfect weather for homecoming.  Nate Engelberth, Laurie Snyder, Bernie Engel, Dan Ess and Dan Taylor, with help from ABE Ambassador Nathan Leroy, all had fun talking to alums, current and prospective students.





2018 October Maha Fluid Power Laboratory News

Maha Graduates

On August 23rd, Matteo Pellegri successfully defended his PhD thesis on the simulation and virtual prototyping of gerotors--- over the course of his time as a research assistant at the Maha Fluid Power Research Center, Pellegri developed and experimentally validated a novel multi-domain gerotor model able to capture the leakage and flow pulsations associated with these units. He also developed an algorithm capable of designing the components of these machines such as to increase the unit’s overall volumetric efficiency.

Also on August 23rd, Abhimanyu Baruah held his master’s degree defense, presenting his work towards noise reduction in positive displacement machines (hydraulic pumps/motors) known as axial piston machines of swash plate type. To this end, Baruah has developed a novel software tool by the name of MiNoS, which is aimed at designing the valve plates of these machines such as to minimize noise. By setting up a parametrization scheme for the design of the relief grooves in these valve plates, Baruah was able to push the process of valve plate optimization to a new level, allowing not only for more advanced designs, but also for a broader perspective on the design trends governing the performance of these valve plates.

On behalf of the Maha Fluid Power Research Center, congratulations go out to Baruah and Dr. Pellegri on the degrees they have earned--- and on their valuable contributions to fluid power technology.

Maha Awards

The Maha Fluid Power Research Center is honored to announce that at the 2018 ASME/Bath Symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control, Dr. Divya Thiagarajan was presented with the best paper award. Her exceptional work in modeling key lubricating interfaces in external gear machines gives novel insight into the inner workings of this popular positive displacement machine, allowing industry to work towards units more efficient and more robust than those on the market today. The award-winning paper, entitled “Modeling of the Lateral Lubricating Interfaces in External Gear Machines Considering the Effects of Cavitation,” was written during her time as research assistant and PhD candidate at Maha. Thiagarajan is now a Senior Engineer at Gamma Technology, where she pursues new challenges and opportunities in modeling machine components. Congratulations Dr. Thiagarajan!

2018 Student Soybean Innovation Competition registration is open!

WANT TO WIN $5,000, $10,000 or $20,000?  Perhaps earn a provisional patent in YOUR name?  Get a PAID internship?  Start your own STUDENT START-UP?  You can do all that and more!  Compete in the Student Soybean Innovation Competition.  Team Registration is OPEN at - - want to compete but don't have a team?  Register as an individual at -  and we will help you find a team.   All degree areas are welcomed and encouraged!

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