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Retired June 2014


Daniel H. Willits joined the Department as an Assistant Professor in 1974 after completing his PhD at the University of Kentucky. He progressed through the academic ranks being named Professor in 1986. Over his career, he developed an outstanding and well recognized research program in greenhouse engineering focused on understanding and modifying the internal environment of greenhouses to the benefit of crop production.  Dr. Willits made significant contributions in the areas of evaporative pad cooling for mechanically ventilated houses and fog cooling for naturally ventilated houses.

Dr. Willits provided leadership for graduate educations as chair of 11 Masters and 6 PhD committees. He is well published with 62 refereed journal publications, 69 conference proceedings and 20 popular press articles. His work has been recognized with two ASAE paper awards and he was invited to present the keynote address at two international greenhouse symposiums, one in Spain and another in Israel.

Dr. Willits made important contributions to the BAE academic program throughout his 40 year career and as Director of Graduate Programs since 2000.  In addition to serving as Director of Graduate Programs for the past 14 years, Dr. Willits developed and taught the BAE research methods course which lays the foundation for conducting sound ethical research and professional behavior. In 2008 he broadened his contributions to graduate education at N.C. State by accepting a half time assignment as Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs with the NCSU Graduate School.


P.h.D. Agricultural Engineering University of Kentucky 1974

M.S. Agricultural Engineering University of Florida 1967

B.S. Mechanical Engineering University of Florida 1996

Area(s) of Expertise

Greenhouse Systems: Environmental control of greenhouses, plant/environment interactions, computer modeling of plant environments