Two UF/IFAS agricultural engineering faculty earn high global honors
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two faculty members in the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering have won prestigious global awards for outstanding contributions to their field.
One has also been elected to an advisory panel to the government of Spain.
Professor Rafael Muñoz-Carpena, has won the 2015 Hancor Soil and Water Engineering Award for “accomplishments in hydrological and integrated environmental modeling and education of next-generation soil and water scientists and engineers.”
Muñoz-Carpena, who specializes in hydrology and water quality, remembers when, as a doctoral student at North Carolina State University, his mentor, Wayne Skaggs, won the award. Skaggs later became a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Skaggs “is one of the fathers of modern agricultural drainage,” says Muñoz-Carpena.
The Hancor award means every bit as much to Muñoz-Carpena now.
“It has additional meaning to me,” he said, because his former mentor won the award. “It’s recognition of your work among peers. The fact that I got it surprises me.”
Assistant Professor Eric McLamore won the 2015 A.W. Farrall Young Educator Award for outstanding teaching and mentoring of agricultural and biological engineering students. The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ASABE) gives the award to faculty under 40 years old. The Farrall award is endowed by family and friends of A.W. Farrall, a past president of the ASABE.
“I am honored to win this award and I also give credit to the students who worked hard in my courses. This award belongs to the former students as much as myself. We had a lot of passion for learning and it was fun,” McLamore said.
“Drs. Munoz-Carpena and McLamore are both outstanding faculty members who demonstrate the highest research and teaching standards in agricultural and biological engineering, and they foster interdisciplinary research and teaching across the University of Florida,” said Dorota Haman, chairman of the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. “They certainly deserve this national recognition from their peers.”
Both awards are from the ASABE, and they represent two of the 10 national awards given by the group. Muñoz-Carpena has also been elected to the rank of Fellow of ASABE this year. Muñoz-Carpena and McLamore will receive their awards in New Orleans in July.
Like his ASABE award, Muñoz-Carpena was just as surprised when he found out he had been elected as a corresponding member (”académico”) of the Royal Academy of Engineering of Spain, an advisory committee for the Spanish government. Muñoz-Carpena left his native Spain about 15 years ago, but has kept in touch with colleagues there.
He compares the role of the academy to the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S. Royal Academy members are legally referred to as “your excellency,” because Spain is a parliamentary monarchy.
“It’s the biggest recognition to engineering in Spain,” Muñoz-Carpena said.
By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: Rafael Munoz-Carpena, 352-392-1864, ext. 287, email@example.com
Eric McLamore, 352-392-1864, firstname.lastname@example.org