November 2018 | Vol. 8, Issue 5
Message from Department Head Gary R. Sands
We hope this month’s BioBriEf finds you well and enjoying what the fall season has to offer. Last week, it offered us our annual opportunity to recognize outstanding bioproducts and biosystems engineering (BBE) and sustainable systems management (SSM) students at the Scholarship Awards Luncheon, an event that's part of the 2018 BBE Showcase. David Kolsrud of DAK Renewable Energy delivered a heartfelt keynote address at the luncheon. His message of “living up to your full potential” was a valuable one for all! We awarded undergraduate scholarships to 65 students and recognized other student achievements. We are truly thankful for the generous student support received from so many, without which such a scholarship program would not exist. Thank you all! We invite those who may wish to join in the effort of supporting students to give to our student scholarship fund, especially on Give to the Max Day on November 15.
The BBE Showcase also provided an opportunity to meet with our BBE Advisory Council to work together on many facets of our program. Thank you, council members, for spending some of your valuable time with us. Your ideas and input are extremely valuable! We welcome any of you that may wish to join our Advisory Council—no prerequisites or membership dues—just bring your ideas!
The 2018 BBE Showcase culminated with the Research Poster Session and Networking Reception (pictured), which featured 46 research posters and was attended by more than 100 faculty, students, and Advisory Council members. The breadth of our research in BBE is truly remarkable, and congratulations to Lu Wang on winning the 2018 Best Poster! Lu's poster was "Integrated Process for Anaerobically Digested Swine Manure Treatment."
Finally, we wish Marlee Schlief, our student services and external relations coordinator, a fond farewell as she is leaving BBE to pursue other interests. Marlee made significant impacts to our external relations and student recruitment and retention efforts over the last few years. Best wishes, Marlee!
Integrating hyperspectral imaging and machine learning to assess salt stress tolerance in wheat
Ali Moghimi, doctoral candidate and lead author of the study, worked with a group of researchers, including professors Ce Yang and Peter Marchetto, to integrate hyperspectral imaging and advanced machine learning algorithms to identify salt tolerant wheat lines.
"Conventional methods to identify salt tolerant wheat lines rely on time-consuming, destructive, subjective, and costly techniques," Moghimi said. "Our research was motivated by the need to identify salt tolerant wheat lines in a more efficient manner to mitigate yield losses due to salinity and to ultimately maintain or improve production on saline soils." More about this research will be covered in the December issue.
What is the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) program?
The department has hosted the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) program since 2006 when it moved to the University of Minnesota under the direction of Bill Wilcke. NCR-SARE has awarded more than $50 million worth of competitive grants to farmers and ranchers, researchers, educators, public and private institutions, nonprofit groups, and others exploring sustainable agriculture. Learn more from NCR-SARE Communications Specialist Marie Flanagan
BBE faculty members co-chaired, presented at food engineering conference
Professor Roger Ruan and Food Science and Nutrition Professor Kumar Mallikarjunan served as co-chairs of the organization committee for the Conference of Food Engineering 2018 (CoFE) that was held in September in Minneapolis. Research Associate Professor Paul Chen also served as a committee member. Assistant Professor Abdennour Abbas was among those who presented.
Student spotlight: David Kodama
For third-year student David Kodama, possessing a variety of knowledge and experiencing all that you can is the key to success. He also believes that learning never stops, even outside of the classroom. After talking with his advisor, he discovered the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering and has since accomplished all that he wanted and more.
2018 Sneak Peek shows prospective students what department is about
Going on tours
Tours give students a first-hand look at the industry and ideas of potential careers after graduation.
UMN Extension honors Extension Biosecurity Education Team
The Extension Biosecurity Education Team was honored with a University of Minnesota Extension Dean's Award for Distinguished Team in October. The award states:
"The Extension Biosecurity Education Team delivers science-based, practical education to serve immediate and future needs of the Minnesota animal agriculture industry. In 2016, they constructed the Biosecure Entry Education Trailer (BEET), which has reached more than 179,300 people in the Midwest. BEET workshp audiences have included businesses that serve animal agriculture, veterinary students, and Minnesota 4-H livestock project participants. The team does not limit its education efforts to the use of the BEET trailer. They have produced multiple YouTube videos on biosecurity, as well as fact sheets in English, Hmong, Spanish, and Somali."
The team includes faculty members Erin Cortus and Kevin Janni in addition to Carol Cardona, Sharon Davis, Diane DeWitte, H. Wayne Martin, Abby Neu, Sally Noll, Joseph Rand, and Sarah Scheick. We'd also like to acknowledge BBE researcher Brian Hetchler who designed and built BEET and provided valuable input to the team.
Help us reach $5,000 for scholarships on Give to the Max Day
Mark your calendars for Minnesota’s day of philanthropy on Thursday, November 15.
For this year's Give to the Max Day, we aim to raise $5,000 for scholarships. We know it's a bold goal, but this is for our students, some who also have bold goals of their own. Earning a degree gets financially challenging each year, and students increasingly carry more debt. Your gift will help minimize this burden. With your help, students can focus on what's really important—their education.
Every gift counts. Your gift, no matter the amount, will make a difference.
Plus, the gift you make on November 15 may help us get prize money for our scholarships from the University of Minnesota Foundation. See the prizes