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Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering


On a Roll: Ph.D. Candidate Jaden Tatum

Aug. 15, 2023
Ph.D. Candidate Jaden Tatum

Being a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE) at The Ohio State University requires a rigorous commitment to research, intellectual exploration, and a drive to contribute to the advancement of their chosen research area. To adequately implement these advancements, many students strive to receive grant funding from both the university and external sources. 

Jaden Tatum is researching grain drying and storage for developing countries for her dissertation, while also investigating shallow geothermal heating and cooling systems in Ohio greenhouses. In both cases, she won several grants from the university and beyond to help with research and putting these exciting topics in action. 

Joining the department in 2019 after studying at the University of Arkansas, Jaden met her now advisor, FABE professor Ajay Shah, and became a part of the BioSystems Analysis Lab.

"Jaden is an exceptionally talented student with stellar academic credentials and a strong research background," said Shah. "She is a 'go-getter', which is evident from the numerous accolades that she has received."

jtJaden most recently received a grant from Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) for her Ohio greenhouses project. Building off grants from the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) and Ohio State Energy Partners, Jaden was able to install the first shallow geothermal greenhouse system and monitor the results. For the SARE grant, she hopes to learn more through monitoring and make a decision tool for Ohio farmers to use the technology. 

"The vision with this project is if we can help people heat and cool their greenhouses or high tunnels more easily, they can provide local produce year-round and lower costs and energy to promote sustainability," said Jaden. 

For her grain drying project, not to be outdone, Jaden received funding from the CFAES Internal Grants Program, and multiple grants from the Ohio State Sustainability Institute. Additionally, she received a grant from the Office of International Affairs to travel to Tanzania with FABE Humanitarian Engineering instructor Patrick Sours and Civil Environmental and Geodetic Engineering (CEGE) clinical professor Michael Hagenberger. While there, she will participate in fieldwork and conduct interviews related to her research.

"OSU has been a great place to be able to pursue different research interests," said Jaden. "I've felt really supported by the department and astounded by all of the different opportunities to find the next little bit of money that I need to do something cool." 

Going forward, Jaden would love to continue in a research and extension role, getting to work on different projects, and would one day like to be a full-time faculty member at a college or university.