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BAE Pack Brings Home Record-Breaking Number of ASABE Awards

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) held its Annual International Meeting (AIM) in Omaha, Nebraska from July 8 – 13, 2023.

The forum was developed, as ASABE explains, as a way to expand awareness of current industry trends, acknowledge design and technological innovations, and provide opportunities for professional development with a primary focus on the economic, political and societal impacts facing the industry.

This year, Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE) was represented by more than 80 faculty, staff and students attending the meeting. From research presentations to a “shark tank” style bioprocessing startup competition, BAE attendees were at the forefront of conference activities. 

Several BAE faculty, staff and students received notable recognition for their work and contributions to agricultural and biological engineering. 

Philip Morris Professor Mike Boyette received the Sukup Global Food Security Award, which recognizes the enhancement of food security through innovative engineering in the production and distribution of food products. And Charles W. Suggs Distinguished Professor & Extension Specialist Gary Roberson was named an ASABE Fellow, the society’s highest honor, defined as a member of exceptional professional distinction, with outstanding and extraordinary qualifications and experience in agricultural and biological engineering. 

Alumnus Joseph Hanks received the Roger R. & Laura M. Yoerger Preprofessional Engineer of the Year Award, which recognizes an undergraduate student who excelled scholastically and has been recognized as a leader, demonstrated through their activities at a local and international level. 

Undergraduate researcher Rosie Maloney received the Pharos of Alexandria Global Learning Award, which recognizes an upper-class undergraduate who demonstrates an interest in engineering problems and global outreach. 

Doctoral candidate Layla El-Khoury received the Robert E. Stewart Engineering Humanities Award which seeks to honor contributions made to the profession through the humanities. El-Khoury choreographed a dance titled “Force of Flows” that correlates with her master’s thesis and doctoral research to educate others on the basics of streambank erosion and its impact on North Carolina communities. 

Alumna Shelby Orton was nominated by her peers and received a Student Honor Award that acknowledges her academic achievements and contributions to ASABE and NC State University’s student chapter. 

Doctoral candidates Lillian Lower and Julia Cunniffe, Professor Jay Cheng and Assistant Professor Joe Sagues received a Superior Paper Award for their project “Coupling Circularity with Carbon Negativity in Food and Agriculture Systems.” Assistant Professor Daniela Jones received an Educational Aid Blue Ribbon Award for her video project “Data-Driven Decisions for Food and Energy.” And Assistant Professor Mahmoud Sharara and Communications Specialist Laura Riddle received an Educational Aid Blue Ribbon Award for their video project “Innovation in Swine Manure Management.”

BAE undergraduate and graduate students received a record-breaking number of awards in the following competitions: 

  • Ethics Video Challenge – First place was awarded to M.S. graduate student Naomi Pitts for her project “Ethical Dilemmas in Engineering – The Impacts of Stakeholders” and second place was awarded to doctoral graduate Nitesh Kasera and undergraduate researchers Autumn Sylvestri, Elizabeth Gillikin and Ankitha Lavu for their project “Waste Lab – The Neuse Starts Here.”
  • Fountain Wars Design Competition – First place was awarded to undergraduate team members Elizabeth Adams, Max Dyke, Kevin Essig, Ryan Farrell and Grant Johnson.
  • Boyd Scott Research Paper Competition (M.S. Division) – First place was awarded to M.S. graduate Carly Graves for her projectEvaluating Acidified Miscanthus Biochar as a Broiler Litter Amendment for Ammonia Control.”
  • Boyd Scott Research Paper Competition (Ph.D. Division) – Second place was awarded to doctoral graduate Suraiya Akter for her project “Broilers’ Heat and Moisture Production Under Air Velocity Treatments in Summer Condition” and third place was awarded to doctoral graduate Piyush Patil for his project “Simulating Lagoon Sludge Drying in Solar-Assisted Greenhouse Drying Systems.”
  • AGCO Senior Design Competition – First place was awarded to senior design team Joseph Hanks, Lily Averette, Justin Raver and Grayson Averette for their project “Improved Precision Sow Feeder with a Mass-Based Measurement System.”
  • Bioprocess Startup Competition – First place was awarded to undergraduate team members Rosie Maloney, Paige Seibert, Atharv Dixit, Hannah Wall, Kristen Hall and doctoral graduate Nitesh Kasera for their product Adsorbeads and third place was awarded to doctoral candidate team members Ethan Woods, Lily Lower and M.S. graduate Carly Graves for their product PERC – Pelletizing Eastern Red Cedar.
  • K.K. Barnes Research Paper Competition – First place was awarded to Nora Sauers for her project “Flow and Concentration Pulses Increase Nitrate Removal Rates in a Woodchip Bioreactor” and third place was awarded to Junyu Pan for his project “Intermittent Ozonation of Swine Waste Lagoon.”
  • Robotics Design Competition Team (Undergraduate Division) – First place was awarded to the university’s first robotics team members Costas Pieri, Dylan McPeake, Nathan Ring, Evelynn Wilcox, Xignjian Li and Daniel Yanke for their project RoboPack.
  • International Quarter-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition – Third place was awarded in a separate event held in Peoria, Illinois to Pack Pullers M.S. graduate team members Max Hooks, Mitchell Watkins, Curtis Murphy, BAE undergraduates Spencer Corkins, Thomas Bartholomew, Griffin Metheny, John Malin, Dylan McPeake, Jackson Vargo, Lucas Spivey, Silver Hyatt, Jackson Evans, Aaron Cox, Lilly Monks, Matthew Post, Ethan Parker, Josh Friedman, Emily Dixon, Caroline Keenan, Harrison Fringer, Crop Science undergraduate Charlie Robertson and Poultry Science undergraduate Lauren Hayes.

The 2024 ASABE meeting will be held in Anaheim, California.