FABE Seminar Series
Each semester, the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering hosts a seminar series for graduate students, faculty, and guests. Speakers include Ohio State faculty and staff, international experts in current topics, and students sharing updates on their research.
Spring 2022 Series
The FABE Seminar is conducted Tuesdays from 1:50 - 2:45pm (ET) via Zoom.
Title: “Roles for smart indoor environmental control in connected energy communities”
Abstract: The recent pandemic has focused our attention on our indoor environments and the outsized role they play in our health, comfort and the energy used by our buildings. As in many engineering problems, the control of our indoor environments is rapidly moving from a prescriptive, rule-of-thumb, analog paradigm to a fully data-driven automated control paradigm, enabled by the internet of things and advances in data analytics, machine learning and AI. This talk looks at two different case studies and a simulation campaign concerned with sensor-driven control of indoor environments and couches them in the context of a near-future world of connected energy communities operating in concert with their surrounding microgrids and larger bulk grid. The overarching question we’ll seek to answer is what role control of our indoor environments can play in these communities. Results show that prediction and control of airborne pollutant concentrations with low-cost sensors and machine learning is in its infancy but showing promise. When integrated into a large community framework, results show ventilation control alone can be an enormous benefit to grid peak reductions and the reduction of power demand charges for commercial and agricultural consumers.
Bio: Dr. Jordan D. Clark is a building scientist and Assistant Professor at the Ohio State University in Columbus, OH who studies ways of sustainably providing for healthy, comfortable indoor environments. His research looks at several objectives including reducing energy use and carbon emissions attributed to building operation and improving buildings’ interaction with electrical grids. He is a national and international leader in the area of indoor air quality sensing and data-driven control of indoor environments and contributes to several efforts around data-driven modeling and control of buildings and energy systems containing buildings. He serves on the executive committee of ASHRAE Standard 62.2: Ventilation for Acceptable Air Quality in Residential Buildings, as a Consultant to ASHRAE Standard 62.1 for Commercial Buildings, and is the Research Subcommittee Chair for ASHRAE Technical Committee 4.3: Ventilation and Infiltration.
Title: Trustworthy AI and Data Science for Ecology and Conservation
Abstract: Computation has fundamentally changed the way we study nature. New data collection technology, such as GPS, high-definition cameras, UAVs, genotyping, and crowdsourcing, are generating data about wild populations that are orders of magnitude richer than any previously collected. Unfortunately, in this domain as in many others, our ability to analyze data lags substantially behind our ability to collect it. The hope of creating a trustworthy data-driven, AI-enabled decision and insight process is with a human-machine and a machine-enabled inclusive human partnership.
In this talk I will show how computational approaches can be a trustworthy partner of every stage of the scientific process of understanding animal ecology and making decisions about wildlife conservation, from intelligent data collection to hypothesis formulation and insight.
Bio: Dr. Tanya Berger-Wolf is a Professor of Computer Science Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at the Ohio State University, where she is also the Director of the Translational Data Analytics Institute. Recently she has been awarded US National Science Foundation $15M grant to establish a new Harnessing Data Revolution Institute, founding a new field of study: Imageomics. As a computational ecologist, her research is at the unique intersection of computer science, wildlife biology, and social sciences. She creates computational solutions to address questions such as how environmental factors affect the behavior of social animals (humans included). Berger-Wolf is also a director and co-founder of the conservation software non-profit Wild Me, home of the Wildbook project, which brings together computer vision, crowdsourcing, and conservation. It has been recently chosen by UNSECO as one of the top AI 100 projects worldwide supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Berger-Wolf has given hundreds of talks about her work, including at TEDx and UN/UNESCO AI for the Planet.
Prior to coming to OSU in January 2020, Berger-Wolf was at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Berger-Wolf holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has received numerous awards for her research and mentoring, including University of Illinois Scholar, UIC Distinguished Researcher of the Year, US National Science Foundation CAREER, Association for Women in Science Chicago Innovator, and the UIC Mentor of the Year.
Title: Introduction to OSC Resources and Services
Abstract: This presentation will provide information on OSC's services and resources for research computing. This includes hardware and software available at OSC, storage and file systems, batch processing, and how to use our web platform, On Demand. We aim to provide a vision for researchers of how to begin developing your computational research using OSC's resources.
Bio: Kate Cahill, Ph.D., is the education and training specialist for the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC). She has used computational modeling in the context of chemistry and currently develops training programs for both local and national High Performance Computing resources. She is also the Education lead for XSEDE at OSC where she aids in computational science curriculum development through faculty training.
Title: Trends and Emerging Approaches for Screening Food Ingredients: The Handheld Spectroscopy Revolution
Abstract: Molecular fingerprinting technology has evolved from bulky laboratory benchtop instrumentation to field deployable devices driven by advances in semiconductor and photonic technologies. Ongoing miniaturization of vibrational spectroscopy equipment has revolutionized the food industry by allowing on-site and real-time monitoring of food products and production processes to ensure quality and safety. Commercialization of handheld and ruggedized instrumentation for field deployment is enabling little or no sample preparation requirement, non-contact and non-destructive capabilities. Testing done as close to the original source would permit detecting risks before an ingredient has been diluted or combined with other ingredients. By producing a characteristic chemical ‘fingerprint’ with unique signature profiles, miniaturized molecular spectroscopy techniques combined with chemometric analysis have positioned as viable “green” alternatives for field applications allowing phenotyping, quality assurance, authentication, and detection of adulteration and contaminants in foods.
Bio: Luis E. Rodriguez-Saona obtained his degree as a Food Engineer from the Universidad Nacional Agraria, La Molina (Lima, Peru). Later he received his Master and Doctorate degrees in Food Science from Oregon State University. After a Post-doc at the Joint Institute of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA-UM), he joined the department of Food Science and Technology at The Ohio State University and is currently a Professor working on the applications of vibrational spectroscopy for chemical detection. Through the collaboration with leading optical sensing industries, his molecular vibrational Lab is recognized for the integration of pattern recognition analysis to complex spectral information for developing quality control programs, monitoring compositional traits in breeding programs, and screening for potential contamination and adulteration of foods. His research has generated over 100 peer-reviewed articles, 20 book chapters and multiple presentations at national and international meetings.
Title: Partnerships to Improve Water Quality and Agricultural Production in the Western Lake Erie Basin
Abstract: This seminar will describe our group’s research during the last decade beginning with watershed models and followed with field studies focused on reducing nutrient export to Lake Erie from upstream agricultural fields in the Maumee watershed. Initial model results confirmed that agricultural runoff is the largest source of phosphorus that drives the severity of annual algae blooms in Lake Erie. Model results also identified the potential of basin-wide adoption of agricultural management practices to reduce watershed nutrient runoff and benefits of targeting these practices to fields with greater runoff. To test the potential for targeted management practices to reduce nutrient runoff we formed a public-private partnership to identify, manage, and monitor runoff from legacy phosphorus fields. While these settings have the potential for large nutrient reductions, their closely guarded locations have prohibited past research. Results confirm large nutrient reductions are possible at these locations, and future analysis will identify additional variables to guide the targeting of management practices. Another important knowledge gap revealed from modeling is the lack of evidence of watershed-scale nutrient reductions following changes in agricultural management. To address this gap, we are now supporting 70% adoption of management practices in a 6,000-acre watershed. With strong support from the agricultural community and intensive monitoring, this project will test model predictions that this level of adoption will reach phosphorus reductions and concentrations prescribed by the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
Bio: Jay Martin is a professor of ecological engineering who analyzes and integrates human and natural systems. As a faculty member in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering and a Faculty co-lead for Healthy Land and Water Systems in the OSU Sustainability Institute, he seeks to use natural systems to improve water quality and increase sustainability. His interdisciplinary research links field studies, watershed models, and socio-economic analyses with stakeholder groups to investigate connections between downstream water quality and management practices in upstream watersheds. Currently, Dr. Martin is leading a $5M USDA-NIFA project to establish a Public-Private Partnership with crop consultants and farmers, to identify fields with elevated nutrient levels where management practices will be installed and monitored in an effort to reduce nutrient runoff. He is also leading an interdisciplinary research team to evaluate the impacts of a large green infrastructure project, "Blueprint Columbus," on water, communities, ecosystems, economics and public health within the City of Columbus. Outside of Ohio, Dr. Martin's other research has included Mayan agroecosystems in southern Mexico, biodigesters in Costa Rica, Andes wetlands in Colombia, and the use of algae as a soil amendment by O'ahu farmers in Hawaii.
Title: Regenerative Life Support for Mars Colonization
Abstract: Here I summarize the past 40 years of collaborative research with NASA to develop innovative technologies for living on Mars. My laboratory is part of the NASA-funded Center for Utilization of Biological Engineering in Space (CUBES) https://cubes.space/ . My students and I have focused on growing crops without sunlight from recycled wastes. These studies have implications for growing food in controlled environments on Earth, and I will discuss my vision for the future of high-input agriculture.
Bio: Bruce Bugbee is a professor at Utah State University and President of Apogee Instruments. He has collaborated with NASA for 40 years to design food production systems for people living on Mars. In 2011 he was awarded the Governors Medal for Science and is a Fellow of both the American Society of Agronomy and American Society of Horticulture. He has recorded multiple videos on the principles of indoor crop production; some of which have over a million views. Perhaps his pinnacle achievement is summarizing everything he knows in a TED talk entitled, “Turning Water into Food.”
Title: Creating a New Circular Bioeconomy
Abstract: There are two overarching reasons why the US must transition into a circular bioeconomy. First, our current bioeconomy produces the food, feed, fiber, and other products needed in today’s economy but is unlikely able to meet projected future demands for these same products. Secondly, the bioeconomy of the future must increasingly provide renewable biomass sources to replace fossil carbon for many products. Both reasons are critically important to our food, energy, and water security. Engineering has a pivotal role to play in in developing the technologies and their implementation necessary for the next generation of our bioeconomy. Envisioned benefits of a circular bioeconomy include: (1) improved resource use efficiency, (2) considerably lower GHGs emissions and environmental degradation, (3) reduced reliance on fossil carbon resources, and (4) valorization of waste materials (considerably reducing wastes). There is growing recognition of the need to transform current food and agricultural systems to be more sustainable and circular. The American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASABE) established a priority long-term initiative on transforming food and agricultural systems to be more circular by 1) designing out waste and pollution; 2) keeping products and materials in use; 3) regenerating natural systems, 4) maximizing resource use efficiency, and 5) providing economic benefits. In this talk, I will present an overview of concepts and examples of how progress is already being made with examples and summarize efforts of ASABE and other professional societies as well as other efforts in progress here in the USA and globally.
Bio: Dr. Jones, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the University of Florida, received a PhD degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University. He is internationally recognized as a leader in mathematical modeling of cropping systems; interactive effects of climate, soil, water, genetics, and management on productivity; climate risk management; resource use efficiency; decision support systems for agriculture; and integration of biophysical and economic models at farm, national, and international scales. Dr. Jones has helped develop and co-lead various national and international transdisciplinary research programs, including development of the Florida Climate Institute consisting of ten Florida universities and the global Agricultural Model Intercomparison Project (AgMIP). He currently works part time for the National Science Foundation (NSF) after recently serving as NSF Program Director in the Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems Division of the Engineering Directorate where he co-led the multi-directorate funding initiative “Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems” and helped lead the development of a new cross-directorate funding opportunity, “Signals in the Soil”. He has served on the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources. He is now helping to lead new initiatives to achieve a more sustainable circular bioeconomy that benefits businesses, society, and the environment. Dr. Jones has published over 500 journal articles, authored or edited 5 books, and taught short courses on agricultural system modeling in countries worldwide. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Fellow member of the AAAS, the ASABE, the ASA, and the SSSA professional societies, and he has received many other awards and recognitions.
Title: Aglectric Farming Study at Purdue University
Abstract: As we approach a “Full Earth” of over ten billion people within the next century, unprecedented demands will be placed on food, energy and water (FEW) supplies. To address this challenge, a team of agronomists, economists, and engineers from Purdue and Florida A&M (FAMU) Universities started ‘Aglectric’ farming to coproduce corn/ soybean along with electrical energy from the same agriculture land. In the year 2019, we installed commercial scale photovoltaic (PV) panels in an actual agriculture farm at the Purdue University and have studied coproduction of electricity and corn through extensive field data collection along with shadow and plant modeling.
In order to supply energy needs in a renewable world, due to diffused nature of the solar energy, in most parts of the world, significant fraction of the agriculture land will be needed to locally meet the energy demand. As large fraction of the US agriculture land is used for the cultivation of major crops such as corn, soybean, wheat etc., the concept of aglectric farming necessitates the study in the context of the major crops. A major challenge with the use of conventional south facing PV panels is that they cast deep shadows on the plant growing underneath and thereby detrimentally impact plant yield. This requires adjustment of the intensity, spectral distribution and duration of shading using innovative PV systems to achieve significant power generation without potentially diminishing agricultural output. As a result, a careful design of PV panels, their installation and operation strategies are required.
We will describe various PV panels designs and installation options. Then we will discuss the current PV panels and their operation strategies at Purdue’s farm. During a typical season, extensive data were collected individually from over 1600 selected corn plants throughout the growing seasons of 2019, 2020 and 2021. Soil and light intensity related data were also collected. We will present preliminary analysis of these extensive data along with some of our modeling results.
Indeed, early results provide the much-needed insights to make aglectric farming feasible in the context of a major crop such as corn. This will enable its adoption in Midwest USA and potentially lead to a transformative renewable economy where local needs will be met with local energy and resources.
Bio: Rakesh Agrawal is the Winthrop E. Stone Distinguished Professor in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University. Before joining Purdue in 2004, Agrawal had a fruitful and productive carrier at Air Products and Chemicals rising to its highest technical position of Air Products Fellow. He received a B. Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, an M.Ch.E. from the University of Delaware and an Sc.D. in chemical engineering from MIT.
His research includes novel processes for the fabrication of low-cost thin-film solar cells, energy systems analysis, shale gas processing, biomass to liquid fuel conversion, synthesis of efficient multicomponent separation processes using distillation, membranes and adsorption, and basic and applied research in gas separations and liquefaction. Agrawal has published 239 technical papers and has given over 260 invited lectures. He holds 129 U.S. and more than 500 foreign patents. These patents are used in over one hundred chemical plants with total capital expenditure in multibillion dollars. He has served on technology and engineering advisory boards of a number of companies.
Agrawal has received dozens of awards and honors, including Purdue’s Philip C. Wankat Graduate Teaching Award, Shreve Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching, and the Morrill Award for excellence in research, teaching and service. From the AIChE he has received Gerhold award in separations, the Institute Award for Excellence in Industrial Gases Technology, the Chemical Engineering Practice Award, Alpha Chi Sigma and the Founders Award. He received Award in Separations Science and Technology from the ACS. He delivered Peter V. Danckwerts Lecture at the 10th World Congress of Chemical Engineering.
He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the US National Academy of Inventors and a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. Agrawal received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama in 2011.
Title: Improving Efficiency of the Food Supply Chain
Abstract: The challenge of ensuring a sustainable supply of food to a growing world population is becoming more prominent. This challenge will require more efficient use of resources during every stage in the food supply chain. This seminar will focus and encourage discussion on the research being conducted to reduce energy, water and waste between production of raw materials and ingredients, and the preparation of food for human consumption.
Bio: Dennis R. Heldman was awarded B.S. (1960) and M.S. (1962) degrees from The Ohio State University, and PhD (1965) from Michigan State University. In 1966, he joined the faculty at MSU. In 1984, he became VP of Process R&D at Campbell Soup Company, then moved to the National Food Processors Association as Executive VP of Scientific Affairs in 1986. In 1991, Heldman joined the Weinberg Consulting Group Inc. He was Professor at the University of Missouri in 1992 to 1998. From 1998 to 2004, Heldman was Professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and was a consultant involved in applications of engineering concepts to food processing from 2004-12. In August, 2012, he joined the faculty at The Ohio State University as Dale A. Seiberling Endowed Professor of Food Engineering. He is involved in teaching and research with a focus on sustainability of the food systems.
Select FABE graduate students will be presenting their research for consideration for one of the FABE Graduate Student Research Awards.
Holly Huellemeier, Ph.D. level, will present:
“Application of quartz crystal microbalance technology to predict fouling and cleaning behavior in beverage processing”
Ian Simpson, Ph.D. level, will present:
"Refining urban stormwater pollution characterization and prediction to better design, locate, and maintain stormwater control measures"
Rachelle Crow, M.S. level, will present:
“Evaluating the impacts of climate and stacked conservation practices on nutrient runoff from a legacy phosphorus agricultural field”
Title: The Changing Landscape of Translational Research in Computer Science
Abstract: In this seminar, I will describe translational research that many of us are increasingly conducting in computer science. There is a growing impetus to connect and collaborate with practitioners and researchers beyond the usual suspects. While AI and data science are being adopted by academia and industry alike, there is a reckoning within the discipline of computing to seek new approaches for inter-disciplinary collaboration. I will first provide examples from my own laboratory. Next, I will describe how the newly minted AI Institute ICICLE seeks to scale these interactions especially with researchers dedicated to digital agriculture and smart foodsheds. I will end by outlining opportunities from my laboratory, the ICICLE Institute, and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering that are ripe for exploration.
Bio: Raghu Machiraju is a Full Professor of Bioinformatics, Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), and Pathology at OSU. He is currently the Associate Chair for Growth in CSE and Co-Chair of the Faculty Search Committee. Earlier as the Faculty Director of the Translational Data Analytics Institute (TDAI), he helped found the Institute and defined and oversaw its growth as a major center of translational research on OSU’ campus. During his sojourn at TDAI, a successful Master’s degree in data analytics was launched and thriving communities of practice were created. Now at CSE, he is working to create a growth strategy for CSE and create frameworks for novel X+CS and AI+X programs with various partners on campus (X could be digital agriculture). Raghu’s own research interest include the development of robust and scalable machine learning techniques for prevailing problems in the clinical and biological sciences.
Title: Space Farming: How OSU, StarLab Oasis, and Nanoracks are developing off-Earth agricultural systems on the Starlab space station
Abstract: As humans venture further into the solar system, we will need to develop hardware and processes to sustainably feed astronauts. StarLab Oasis (the world's first space agricultural research company), Nanoracks (a company that has sent over 1300 payloads to space), and Ohio State University are working together to develop these technologies for space exploration and to develop food security on Earth. Ben Greaves of the Abu Dhabi-based StarLab Oasis will be discussing how StarLab Oasis is working with agricultural partners around the world to ensure all countries can use the space environment to develop climate-resilient and high-yielding crops. Finally, Ben will detail how the current work of these George Washington Carver Science Park members are building towards the agricultural technologies of the Starlab space station to be sent to space in 2027.
Bio: Ben Greaves attended the University of Michigan where he received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, a minor in Astrophysics and a master’s degree in Space Engineering.
As a graduate student, Ben interned at NASA Kennedy Space Center and NASA Langley Research Center where he developed projects for extraterrestrial food production as well as Martian habitat designs. Ben then became a US Peace Corps Agricultural Volunteer, where he engineered sustainable agroforestry and water irrigation systems in The Gambia for six months until he was evacuated due to COVID-19.
After returning, he attended the International Space University’s Interactive Space Program and conducted plant growth research as a HI-SEAS analog astronaut.
Now with StarLab Oasis, Ben is utilizing space systems to improve global food security and nutrition.
Title: Multi-modality Remote Sensing + Machine Learning in High Throughput Phenotyping of Row Crops: Opportunities and Challenges
Abstract: Increases in global population, coupled with challenges of climate change require development of technologies to support increased food production throughout the entire supply chain – from plant breeding to delivery of agricultural products. Developments in remote sensing from space-based, airborne, and proximal sensing platforms, coupled with advances in computational capability and data analytics, are providing new opportunities for contributing solutions to address grand challenges related to food, energy, and water. High-throughput phenotyping using high spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution remote sensing (RS) data has become a critical part of the plant breeding chain focused on reducing the time and cost of the selection process for the “best” genotypes with respect to the trait(s) of interest. This presentation focuses on the potential of high resolution RGB, visible and near infrared (VNIR) and short-wave infrared (SWIR) hyperspectral data, as well as light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data acquired from UAV platforms for predicting characteristics of sorghum and maize. In addition to direct measurements of traditional phenotypes, these sensors potentially provide surrogate measurements for more complex plant structural characteristics and chemistry-based responses, inviting leveraging of both traditional and advanced capabilities in machine learning. The opportunities and challenges associated with acquisition, processing, and analysis of multi-year data are illustrated using data acquired at the Agronomy Center for Research and Education (ACRE) at Purdue University. Examples include detection/counting, multi-modality predictive modeling of more complex phenotypes, and generalization of models across space and time.
Bio: Dr. Melba Crawford is the Nancy Uridil and Francis Bossu Professor of Civil Engineering, and a full professor in the Schools of Civil Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Department of Agronomy. Previously, she was an Engineering Foundation Endowed Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, where she founded an interdisciplinary research and applications development program in space-based and airborne remote sensing. Her research interests focus on development of advanced methods for image analysis, including manifold learning, active learning, classification and unmixing, and applications of these methods for agriculture and natural resource mapping and monitoring. She is currently co-leading a joint initiative between the Purdue colleges of agriculture and engineering in development of advanced sensing technologies and analysis methodology for wheeled and UAV platforms, focused on high throughput phenotyping and optimizing management practices.
Dr. Crawford is a Fellow of the IEEE and was previously President of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, and an IEEE GRSS Distinguished Lecturer. She was a member of the NASA EO-1 Science Validation team and served on the NASA Earth System Science and Applications Advisory Committee and the advisory committee to the NASA Socioeconomic Applications and Data Center (SEDAC).