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Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering


FABE Faculty, Staff and Students Receive CFAES Research Awards

April 30, 2021
2021 CFAES Annual Research Conference Awards

Each year, the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences presents several awards to acknowledge notable research and collaborations, including categories for junior and senior faculty, new innovators, team research, and one award for the best published peer-reviewed article by a current or recently graduated Ph. D. student. This year, faculty, students, postdoctoral scholars, and research scientists from the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering were well represented among the award recipients. 

Below are the recipients from FABE. You can find the original press release, here. You can find the 2021 ceremony video, here. You can also view the complete list of 2021 Poster Competition winners, here.

CFAES Distinguished Junior Faculty Research Award
Dr. Ajay ShahThis award is for one faculty member at the rank of Instructor, Assistant, or Associate Professor who has made large contributions to their discipline. Impact is measured by the number of publications, students advised, research funding, presentations, patents, and other awards.

The 2021 award goes to Dr. Ajay Shah, an Associate Professor within the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Dr. Shah makes sense out of puzzles. Using a variety of systems analysis approaches, he identifies all the pieces, determines how they fit together, and evaluates the effects of their interactions. Dr. Shah’s research focuses on using integrated analysis of existing and emerging agricultural and biobased systems to identify ways to improve productivity, minimize wastes, reduce costs, abate environmental impacts and encourage social acceptability. He also pursues new approaches to agricultural systems, such as development of a whole-plant feedstock supply system to improve the productivity and economics of biobased industries, which has resulted in significant interest and collaborations from academia, industry and relevant stakeholders.

Dr. Shah’s work emphasizes five areas: (1) sustainability of crop/feedstock production technologies; (2) improvement of harvest and post-harvest logistics of crops and feedstocks; (3) exploration of technologies for sustainable biomass conversion to animal feed, natural fiber and bioproducts; (4) upcycling of organic wastes; and (5) evaluation of techno-economics and life cycle environmental impacts of agricultural and biobased systems to assess their scale-up potential and identify hotspots for process improvement. It contributes toward meeting increasing global demands for food, energy, and products.  

Congratulations Ajay on all of your accomplishments to date!

CFAES Distinguished Senior Faculty Research Award
Dr. Katrina CornishThis award goes to one faculty member at the rank of professor. The criteria for this award are like the Junior Faculty Research Award, with nominees being ranked by the quality and quantity of contributions to their field.

This year’s award goes to Dr. Katrina Cornish, a Professor in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. Dr. Cornish serves as Endowed Chair and Ohio Research Scholar, Bioemergent Materials, and as Director, Program of Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives, at The Ohio State University. Cornish is an internationally recognized expert and innovator in alternative natural rubber/latex crops, their latex, solid rubber, and coproduct processing and formulation technologies, biodegradable and recyclable rubbers and bioplastics, valorization of wastes, and product and device innovation and development. Her outstanding science and innovation accomplishments in her federal, industrial and academic appointments are documented by her election as Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, ~25 issued or pending patents, many with student and staff coinventors, 288 published papers, numerous worldwide lectures and her history of considerable public and private funding. In 2019, she won a hat-trick of innovator awards: The Ohio State University’s 2018 Innovator of the Year, and 2019 Innovator of the Year for her College and for OSU’s Institute of Materials Research. Among numerous other awards she won the Ohio Faculty Council’s Commercialization Award, and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Bioenvironmental Polymer Society and the Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops. Dr. Cornish holds a BSc (1st class honours) in Biological Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Plant Biology, both from the University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, England.

Congratulations Katrina, your accomplishments are truly impressive.

2021 Poster Competition Award Recipients
Master Category
Third place: Kushal KC, Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering, advised by Sami Khanal

Postdoctoral Scholar Category
Third place (tied): Ashish Manandhar, Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering, advised by Ajay Shah

Research Scientist Category
Third place: Anirudh Akula, Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering, Ajay Shah Lab
Second place: Esha Shrestha, Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering, Ajay Shah Lab