UF/IFAS students, administrators honored at ASABE conference  

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Dorota Haman, chairman of UF/IFAS’ Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, has been elected a 2014 fellow by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and was inducted at the society’s annual meeting last week.

ASABE defines a fellow as a member of unusual professional distinction, with outstanding and extraordinary qualifications and experience in, or related to, the field of agricultural, food, or biological systems engineering. They have a minimum of 20 years of active practice in or related to engineering and at least 20 years as an active ASABE member.

Being elected a fellow is the group’s highest honor.

Haman, who became the agricultural and biological engineering chair in 2007, was honored for her research and Extension focused on water conservation.

Other UF/IFAS personnel also fared well at ASABE’s annual conference.

A team of UF/IFAS faculty members from agricultural and biological engineering won a blue ribbon for their “SmartIrrigation” apps in the electronic and web-based educational aids category.

The team included Kati Migliaccio, an associate professor based at the Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead, Clyde Fraisse, a UF/IFAS associate professor, Kelly Morgan, an associate professor in soil and water science based at the Southwest Research and Education Center in Immokalee, Jose Andreis, an IT specialist who developed the apps, and George Vellidis, a professor at the University of Georgia’s Tifton campus.

Natalie Nelson, a doctoral student working with professor Rafael Muñoz-Carpena, received the Robert E. Stewart Engineering Humanities Award for 2014.

The award recognizes an outstanding student for work that bridges engineering and the humanities. Nelson, who studies modeling techniques to reveal algal bloom patterns and development on an ecosystem scale, has worked to link art with engineering.

She was part of a student team that participated in – and won – the 2013 EPA Campus RainWorks Challenge, using hydrologic modeling to assess the efficacy of a low-impact stormwater management plan developed by a class of undergraduate landscape architecture students.

Nelson, Stefanie Leavitt and Cininta Pertiwi won first place in the annual meeting’s video competition. Leavitt, a master’s student, and Pertiwi, a doctoral student, are both supervised by Reza Ehsani, an agricultural and biological engineering associate professor at UF’s Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred.

In the undergraduate project poster competition, agricultural and biological engineering student Karl Wallace took first place and also earned honorable mention in the video competition.

Photo: Dorota Haman, chairman of UF/IFAS’ Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department