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BAE Update

Volume 59 • Fall 2011 • Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

Tim Bowser serves Central Asia agricultural volunteer program Written by Kylee Willard, FAPC Communications Graduate Assistant A faculty member of Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center returns to Oklahoma from an agricultural volunteer assignment in Central Asia. Dr. Tim Bowser, FAPC food process engineer and OSU biosystems and agricultural engineering associate professor (pictured third from left), traveled with CFNA’s Farmer-toFarmer program to the village of Dendiston in the Khatlon region of Tajikistan to provide assistance to residents. “I truly enjoyed helping to improve lives of farmers and agribusinesses in Tajikistan,” Bowser said. “An opportunity such as this is second-to-none.” Bowser provided support to the only small food processor in the region, Oila Company. The father and five-son operation processes fruit and vegetable products including jams, pickles and juices for sale locally. “The father-sons team were well-educated and great to work with,” Bowser said. “These men were willing to learn and interested in the information and suggestions I provided.” Bowser helped the Tajiki company identify issues in production practices. “Oila’s products are packaged in one- and two-liter glass jars,” he said. “Because of the rocky terrain, one of the biggest issues for the company is broken glass during vehicle transportation.” Knowledge gained through Bowser’s profession and industry experience in the United States allowed him to provide suggestions and introduce successful practices to Oila. “Plastic was the answer to Oila’s broken glass issue,” Bowser said. “I took dozens of flexible pouch samples for the company

In this issue... From the desk of the department head Faculty promotions Application Engineering Program reaches milestone Awards! Clay Buford retires Welcoming staff and saying goodbye BioPEC earns national NIFA honor Watershed Program landmark Alumni updates BAE announcements

to experiment with. We spent several days identifying packaging and processes while making product.” Other topics discussed during Bowser’s experience included product development, labeling, and personal and plant sanitation. Bowser’s travel was made possible with funding from the United States Agency for International Development and collaborative efforts of the CNFA’s Farmer-to-Farmer program, a private, not-for-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. “CFNA’s long-term projects seek to develop private farmer associations, cooperatives, private agribusiness, women’s groups and other organizations that help farmer and agribusinesses increase their incomes and well-being,” Bowser said. “CNFA employs a value chain approach to agricultural development, seeking to strengthen all links in the market chain, from input supply and production to post-harvest handling and value addition to marketing and sales.” Bowser joined the ranks of more than 1,300 volunteers in the CNFA’s Farmer-to-Farmer program since 1993 and was the 16th individual to travel to Tajikistan this year. “This international travel opportunity provided a venue for me to meet and reach out to individuals I may not have encountered otherwise,” Bowser said. “This program offered two cultures the chance to learn about each other, create working relationships and foster lasting connections.”




From the desk of Dan Thomas Greetings from the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering! This is my first newsletter at Oklahoma State, and my hope is to keep my comments profound and short. Higher education is changing, especially for publicly-funded institutions. Surprise, surprise! State and federal support will not meet all our needs or expectations. Tuition and fees are already getting “ugly” (high and/or insufficient). We are pushed to offset funding reductions through grants and support from our friends and alumni. The value of higher education will be redefined and reinvigorated. But guess what? This won’t be the first or the last time! If students pay more for an education, their expectations of a quality education and the experiences that coincide with higher education will climb as well. The Oklahoma State University Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering will rise to these expectations. After joining the department on June 27, I was welcomed by record high temperatures and rather dry conditions. Regardless of the weather conditions, the people in Oklahoma are great. The department’s faculty, staff and students are outstanding; and I know Stillwater will be a wonderful place to live for many years to come! I am proud to be a part of a premier biosystems and agricultural engineering program. Several of our outstanding people and programs are recognized in this newsletter. We hope to replace several critical faculty members in the near future, based on recent retirements. We also anticipate a new website soon, so check us out and come by for a visit. You will not be disappointed…

Dan Thomas, Ph.D., P.E. |

Professor and Head

Brown earns title of Regents Professor and faculty earn promotions The Oklahoma State University/A&M Board of Regents approved promotions in academic rank for faculty members on the campuses in Stillwater, Tulsa and Oklahoma City, effective July 1, during its meeting June 16. Glenn Brown, professor and graduate coordinator for biosystems and agricultural engineering (pictured below at left), has received the honorary title of Regents Professor. Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Arizona State University in 1976. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in civil engineering at Colorado State University in 1982 and 1987, respectively. His work focuses on ground water contaminant transport, teaching and advising. Brown began his work at OSU in August 1987. He held research positions at Colorado State University and Sandia National Laboratory, and has worked in the mining industry performing environmental impact assessments. Brown specializes in ground water and unsaturated flow, contaminant transport, computerized tomography of porous media, low impact development, fluid mechanics and

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hydraulics, and engineering history. His professional activities include practicing as an Oklahoma Licensed Professional Engineer, serving as an active member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), among other organizations. The position of Regents Professor is the most prestigious rank that may be attained in recognition of scholarly accomplishments by faculty in the Oklahoma State University system. The position recognizes the few select faculty who have made unique contributions in several areas, including research, artistic performance, creativity, teaching, and extension, to note only a few. Other faculty promotions in the department include Nurhan Dunford, second from left, promoted from associate professor to professor. Carol Jones, second from right; and Mark Wilkins, far right; are promoted from assistant professor to associate professor.

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Applications Engineering Program reaches Written by OSU News $1 billion milestone for Oklahoma and Communications An Oklahoma State University program that supplies engineering expertise has contributed more than $1 billion in total services and economic impact value to rural manufacturers in Oklahoma, according to program coordinators. “We’re excited to announce that the $57 million in services provided through the Applications Engineer Program in this fiscal year puts the total value of services and economic impact above $1 billion for the program since it started in 1997,” said Doug Enns, senior applications engineer. “The Applications Engineer Program is an important way that OSU and the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance provide direct assistance to manufacturers that boosts economic development in rural Oklahoma and we are all very proud to announce the achievement of this milestone,” said Larry Hoberock, the program’s co-principal investigator and head of the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Dan Thomas, head of the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department recently succeeded Randy Taylor as co-principal investigator. Both the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, and the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at OSU supply applications engineers for the program, which provides technical assistance to small and medium-sized rural manufacturers. The engineers work in cooperation with extension educators through the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance. “The applications engineers provide on-site, one-on-one engineering and technology transfer assistance to help the manufacturers become more profitable and sustainable with increased sales, cost savings and other investments that create jobs and bolster Oklahoma’s economy,” Hoberock explained. The Applications Engineer program is supported by the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance with state funding provided through the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology. On average, the

program generates $71.4 million per year in economic development for Oklahoma, at an average annual cost to the state of approximately $600,000. This yields an annual average leveraging of state funds of 119 to 1. In order to receive engineering assistance, the client agrees to participate in a post-project assessment that measures the overall impact of the project some months after the completion of activities. “The assessment is conducted by a third party and is based on procedures developed by the National Institute for Standards and Technology for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. It offers several measurements including the economic value of the service to the company,” said Enns. The assessment results indicate a $310 million increase in sales since 1997, $135 million retention in sales that would otherwise have been lost, $92 million in cost savings, and $112 million in new capital expenditures. The assessments also show that the applications engineers have helped Oklahoma manufacturers create or save more than 3,700 manufacturing jobs. The combination of jobs and the other assessment factors put the total economic impact for Oklahoma over $1 billion, according to Enns. OSU applications engineers are located across the state, and currently include Win Adams serving the northeast part of the state, Shea Pilgreen serving the southeast, Don Lake serving the west, and Doug Enns and Rajesh Krishnamurthy serving the central part of the state and providing state-wide assistance as needed. Pictured at right (from top to bottom) are the applications engineers Win Adams, serving the northeast part of the state; Shea Pilgreen, serving the southeast; Don Lake, serving the western region; and Doug Enns and Rajesh Krishnamurthy (not shown), serving the central part of the state and providing state-wide assistance as needed.

Congrats to the new professional engineers of the BAE family! Principles & Practice of Engineering Exam: Joe Paul Edwards, B.S. 2006 | Brian Faga, M.S. 2009 Fundamentals of Engineering Exam: Gary Gray | Jacob Huff | Brittany Looke (all B.S. graduates of May 2011)

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ASABE 2011: OSU engineers shine in Louisville

Hanson, Hunt and Wilkins are shown above receiving their awards (left to right). Randy Taylor is shown in the picture at left (standing second from the right) receiving the Blue Ribbon certificate with John Fulton (far left, Auburn University), and Ed Barnes (left, Cotton Incorporated). Taber Midgley and Derek Heeren accept awards in the bottom right-hand picture (standing at far right, respectively). The OSU Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering was well represented at the Annual International Meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers held in Louisville, Kentucky, August 7 - 10. Faculty and students conducted many technical presentations, committee leadership roles, and etc. The department enjoyed fellowship of 43 students, faculty, alumni, and friends in attendance at our annual OSU Alumni and Friends Dinner. Faculty awards • Greg Hanson, location coordinator and research leader, won the ADS/Hancor Soil and Water Engineering Award. The award recognizes noteworthy contributions to the advancement of soil and water engineering. • Sherry Hunt, Research Hydraulic Engineer, won the Gale A. Holloway Professional Development Award. This award recognizes outstanding leadership and active involvement in ASABE for early career members. • Mark R. Wilkins was recognized as an Outstanding Reviewer in the Biological Engineering Division. Blue Ribbon Awards: • Doug Hamilton and Craig Woods (OSU Agricultural Communication Services) for a video series, “Alternative Manure Technology” (electronic and web-based delivery). • Randy Taylor, John Fulton (Auburn University), Ed Barnes (Cotton Incorporated), and Amanda Erichsen for “Sensor-Based Variable Rate Application for Cotton” (publications – short). • Jason Vogel and Sharla Lovern for the “Oklahoma Low Impact Development” (websites).



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Student awards • The OSU ASABE Student Branch won the 2011 Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) Trophy, 2nd place ranking. • The Robotics Team came in 2nd of 4 teams. Robotics team members include graduate students Aaron Franzen, Haixia Li, Yongbo Wan, Abdoulaye Samba, Yeyin Shi, and visiting graduate student Siyu Li. • Derek Heeren was a finalist for the Boyd-Scott Graduate Research Award for Ph.D. Graduate Student papers. • Emily Matlock was a finalist for the K.K. Barnes Student Paper Award • Collin Craige and Heath Hendricks submitted entries in the Undergraduate Project Poster Competition • Taber Midgley won the Boyd-Scott Graduate Research Award for M.S. Graduate Student papers. “These awards garnered by our faculty, staff and students represent ASABE’s highest levels of recognition for quality,” said Dan Thomas, head of the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering. “We’re very proud of our people and the programs receiving these national honors.” To view more information about the ASABE awards go to

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Ron Elliott earns John Deere Gold Medal Award Written by Donald Stotts, OSU Agricultural Communication Services Oklahoma State University emeritus professor Ron Elliott has been named the 2011 recipient of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ John Deere Gold Medal Award. Considered to be one of the organization’s most prestigious honors, Elliott was selected in recognition of his “distinguished leadership contributions” in soil and water engineering as an academic leader, educator, researcher and extender of knowledge, as well as his service to ASABE and other professional organizations. “I’ve known Ron for many years, and the John Deere Gold Medal Award is a testament to the influential impact he has had on our profession,” said Dan Thomas, head of the OSU Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering. Elliott, who served as department head from 2001-2010, joined the OSU Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (DASNR) as a faculty member in 1981, going on to teach at the undergraduate and graduate levels and conduct a variety of interdisciplinary research projects. His research focused on soil-water-plant-atmosphere relations, evapotranspiration, automated weather networks, crop growth modeling and irrigation water management. He was a key contributor to the Oklahoma Mesonet, a pioneering statewide network of automated weather stations that today is internationally recognized as a premier observation network and is cited as the gold standard by the National Research Council. “Dr. Elliott has been recognized with numerous awards for his work over the years, including an American Meteorological Society Special Award for the Oklahoma Mesonet,” said Robert E. Whitson, DASNR vice president, dean and director. “His receiving the ASABE John Deere Gold Medal Award certainly ranks among the most esteemed and significant.”

A 37-year member of ASABE, Elliott’s professional affiliations also include the American Society for Engineering Education, National Society of Professional Engineers, Oklahoma Society of Professional Engineers and the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. He is a member of four honorary societies. Elliott has authored or coauthored more than 135 refereed journal articles, proceedings and technical publications and has coedited one book. “Dr. Elliott was one of the division’s true team players, always setting lofty goals and maintaining the highest standards as he worked to accomplish them, individually or in partnership with division faculty, staff, students and stakeholders,” said Bob Westerman, DASNR assistant vice president for program support. Westerman said Elliott was as popular as he was proficient. “People wanted to work with Ron Elliott,” he said. Elliott earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural engineering from the University of Illinois in 1973 and 1974, respectively. He earned his doctoral degree in agricultural engineering from Colorado State University in 1981. ASABE is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering as it applies to agricultural, food and biological systems. The organization boasts approximately 9,000 members hailing from more than 100 nations. Ron Elliott is pictured above (at right) receiving the award from Ronald McAllister, ASABE Past President, at the 2011 ASABE annual meeting. All pictures of award winners on pages 4 and 5 of this newsletter are courtesy of ASABE.

Clay Buford retires after 12 years of service to BAE

Clay Buford, an applications engineer who provided engineering services to manufacturers in the northwest quarter of the state, retired June 30. He began working for the department in October 1999. According to third party surveys of his clients, Clay helped them to increase their sales by more than $18 million and save more than $8 million during his tenure. He helped the manufacture’s of the northwest region create or retain 296 jobs in rural Oklahoma. Clay also assisted several senior design projects from 2001 - 2011. Ron Elliott, former department head and current emeritus professor, said that “Clay was a true professional in carrying out his work, and he was a strong advocate for his manufacturer clients. He was a great contributor to the Applications Engineering team.” Clay grew up in Oklahoma and plans to spend his retirement raising cattle.

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Student awards Dimple Kundiyana earns Graduate Research Excellence Award A lot of work behind the scenes by Dimple Kundiyana, biosystems and agricultural engineering doctoral graduate and previous bioenergy research engineer at Oklahoma State University, recently was recognized with the reception of the Graduate Research Excellence Award. The award is presented to graduate students who have defended their theses or dissertations over the past year, recognizing outstanding research accomplishments. After reviewing the nomination and research materials, a committee comprised of faculty members selected Kundiyana for the award. This award is bestowed among outstanding graduate students; Kundiyana is the third biosystems and agricultural engineering graduate student to receive the honor (this was also earned by Jason Vogel in 2001, and Indrajeet Chaubey in 1997). This year, eight students received the honor. Up to 12 students can receive the award each year. “Dr. Kundiyana possesses many outstanding qualities, including scholarship, maturity, creativity, leadership and project management abilities,” said Ray Huhnke, professor and director of the Biobased Products and Energy Center at OSU, and co-advisor to Kundiyana. Kundiyana was actively involved in several campus-wide activities, including past president of the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Graduate Student Association,

participant in OSU Creativity Contest and statewide research related outreach activities during the four years spent to attain his Ph.D. He was team leader for two collegiate business plan competitions, recognized as a graduate finalist in the 2009 Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup and semi-finalist in the 2010 OSU Riata Business Plan Entrepreneurship Competition. “His achievements are the result of a strong work ethic and dedication,” Huhnke said. His work has already made a profound impact on the students at OSU. At least 12 graduate students have benefitted from his guidance and mentoring since joining the team in 2006. As a co-principal investigator on three federal research grants, Kundiyana is considered an expert in the area of biofuels and has been invited to review manuscripts for several peer-reviewed journals.

BioWinol researchers continue to receive awards and make plans for further research Last April Karthikeyan Ramachandriya and Jennine Terrill, doctoral students of the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, travelled to Washington, DC with Dr. Mark Wilkins, BAE associate professor, to participate in the National Sustainability Expo on the National Mall. The team presented their project, BioWinol, at the Expo and competed in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) competition. The BioWinol concept was originally developed by BAE alumnus Dimple Kundiyana (Ph.D. 2010). The process involves using a renewable electricity source to generate hydrogen which is then fed along with carbon dioxide to bacteria in a reactor to produce a biofuel, i.e. ethanol. “The concept is to store energy from a power source that is available only at certain times, such as wind energy, and convert the energy to a useable and valuable form”, said Wilkins. At the awards banquet in Washington, the OSU team received an Honorable Mention. Recently they were informed by the EPA they would receive a grant to continue developing their concept. “We’re thrilled to be able to continue our work with BioWinol,” Wilkins said. “This program is different than our typical research projects because it is student driven and student led. The students generated the proposal, the research plan, and the project reports. They also developed all of the display materials shown at the Sustainability Expo. This award shows just how great our graduate students are at Oklahoma State and that they can compete with the top students around the nation.” View the full award articles in this newsletter from our news page at

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Student awards Derek Heeren Awarded a Prestigious US EPA STAR Graduate Fellowship Derek Heeren, Ph.D. student and research engineer, has been awarded a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency STAR Graduate Fellowship to support his dissertation research. His work focuses on the subsurface transport of phosphorus in riparian floodplains, especially on phosphorus leaching at the field scale. “Derek is an outstanding graduate student and is well deserving of this prestigious award. His research is of great importance, not only to the state of Oklahoma, but also throughout the nation in terms of environmental protection for water and watershed management,” said Dr. Garey A. Fox, Derek’s adviser. “This is a tremendous honor for Derek, the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department and OSU.” Heeren earned his B.S. and M.S. in agricultural engineering at South Dakota State University. The fellowship provides support for a maximum of three years, usable over a period of five years, at up to $42,000 per year of support. The goal of the program is to “…help ensure that the U.S. meets its current and projected human resource needs in the environmental science, engineering, and policy fields.”

BAE students earn OSU Freshman Research Scholarships The BAE department is well represented by having 4 of 52 students, university-wide, earning an early, hands-on introduction to university-level research in the Freshman Research Scholars Program (FRS). These students include: Taylor Cole, Altus; Peter Storm, Stillwater; Jonathan Overton, Yukon; and Elizabeth Hickman, Bettendorf, Iowa. In this unique, first-look at academic inquiry students will expand their education beyond the classroom by engaging in cutting-edge research under the guidance of some of the most innovative faculty on campus. Supported by $1,000 scholarships courtesy of the Robberson Trust, FRS students will learn basic research ethics and methodology while working closely with their mentors and

graduate assistants to design and conduct projects of their choosing. In the fall students will participate in major-related orientation courses taught by experienced faculty researchers and two college deans. As a capstone to the FRS experience, students will have the opportunity to share the results of their research at a peer-level colloquium in the spring. By elevating their education with research, these undergraduates can distinguish themselves as leaders capable of contributing to the community in ways that coursework alone cannot. In just the past four years, five FRS students have been named Barry M. Goldwater Scholars, the most prestigious undergraduate distinction in the sciences.

New BAE staff Jeri Fleming is the new program manager for the BAE water programs. Fleming earned her bachelor’s of arts degree in mass

communications/public relations and a minor in accounting from the Northeastern State University in 2003. She also earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 2006. Fleming will oversee and coordinate work on the Illinois River stream channel restoration project, as well as help provide extension educational information on natural stream restoration and enhancement. She is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and serves as an adjunct professor in political science and the graduate college teaching water resources law & policy, and environmental law & policy. She has one son and two grandchildren.

Stephanie Bowen is the new extension assistant for Oklahoma Mesonet. Bowen earned her bachelor’s of science degree in agricultural communications at OSU in May 2011. Her responsibilities in this position include developing 4-H curriculum, writing various communication pieces, assisting with marketing and outreach efforts and exhibit booths.

We say goodbye to

OSU Student ASABE Fundraiser

Aaron Louthan, Computer Support Specialist Anthony Megel, Research Engineer

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T-shirts: $12

Visit 111 Agricultural Hall or call 405.744.5431.

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OSU Biobased Products and Energy Center receives national honor: 10 BAE faculty included Oklahoma State University’s Biobased Products and Energy Center has been honored by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture with its NIFA Partnership Award for Mission Integration. OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources formed the center in 2008 to promote greater integration within its interdisciplinary, multiinstitutional team of scientists and engineers, as well as their collaborative efforts with other agencies and organizations. The BAE department is proud to announce that 10 faculty members were honored with this award, names and descriptions of the BAE faculty members are listed below and shown with other researchers honored for this award at right. Hasan Atiyeh’s research focuses on synthesis gas fermentation, biochemical conversion of biological materials into biofuels and biobased products, reactor design, modeling, and process scaleup. Danielle Bellmer’s research involves production of biofuels from sweet sorghum, biomass gasification and waste utilization for energy production. Nurhan Dunford’s research focuses on improving existing and developing new bioprocessing technologies, examining potential of non-food biomass as biofuel and bioproduct feedstocks, advancing utilization of by-products/waste streams for biofuel production, and value-added product development. Ray Huhnke is team leader for this project in converting lowcost biomass into liquid fuel and other value-added products using a gasification-fermentation process. He also supports research in feedstock logistics and thermochemical conversion of biomass. Huhnke is also researching coordinator on a five-

year NFS EPSCoR initiative entitled “Building Oklahoma’s Leadership Role in Cellulosic Bioenergy.” Ajay Kumar’s research involves thermochemical conversion of biomass into fuels, chemicals and power. Krushna Patil’s research efforts focus on biomass gasification, pyrolysis and fluidization. Mark Wilkins researches alcohol and organic acid production, enzymatic hydrolysis and process scale-up. Michael Buser designs and develops mechanical systems for harvesting and packaging biomass for cellulosic ethanol production. Carol Jones’ research involves packaging, storage, transportation, logistics of biofeedstocks, and physical properties of feedstock. Scott Frazier researches industrial ecology mass and energy flow mapping of biofuels processes, biofuels end-use systems (engines, generators, distributed generation), and biofuels related education topics, agricultural process optimization and quality management studies.

View the full news release online at

Former Engineering Dean Karl N. Reid inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame Four distinguished Oklahoma State University faculty members are among this year’s class of inductees into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame, selected by the Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society. This selection includes Karl N. Reid, the Dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology (CEAT) from 1986 to 2011. Reid’s achievements at OSU and in the engineering program have been nothing less than brilliant. After earning his B.S. and M.S. degrees at OSU, Reid obtained in 1964 the Doctor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was hired as an assistant professor at Oklahoma State; by 1970 he became professor; by 1972 the Head of the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Between 1968 and 1972, Reid was the founding director for the Center for Systems Science; in 1986, he was a founder and director of the Web Handling Research Center; in 1989, he was a founding director of the Oklahoma Center for Integrated Design and Manufacturing. In recognition of his service to the engineering profession, he has been elected as Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1983) and the American Society for Engineering Education (1999). Reid was selected by his Oklahoma peers in 1988 as the Outstanding Engineer in Oklahoma. Teaching and student advisement remains foremost of Reid’s activities.

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USDA - Watershed Program Named National Written by Sean Hubbard, Historic landmark by ASABE OSU Agricultural Communication Services The USDA-Small Watershed Program has been designated as a national historic landmark in agricultural engineering by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). A ceremony was held at the National Watershed Conference in Oklahoma City on May 17th, to mark the event with 150 people in attendance. Speakers included Oklahoma Lt. Governor Todd Lamb, ASABE President Ron McAllister, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White, USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Administrator Dr. Edward Knipling, Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts Executive Director Clay Pope, Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District Director John Peterson, Agricultural Research Service Research Hydraulic Engineer Dr. Sherry Hunt, and Larry Caldwell, retired NRCS engineer. The ceremony included the unveiling of a brass plaque recognizing the USDA Small Watershed Program. A granite monument recognizing this designation has been placed at the Oklahoma Agricultural Building in

Oklahoma City. Brass plaques will also be placed at the Agricultural Research Hydraulic Engineering Research Unit at Lake Carl Blackwell near Stillwater, Oklahoma and at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service State Office in Stillwater. The ASABE Historic Agricultural Engineering Landmark activity commemorates significant past accomplishments with appropriate landmarks. Only 57 historic landmarks have been recognized by ASABE since 1926 including other significant developments such as the John Deere plow, the cotton gin, vegetated waterways, and the skid steer loader. For a listing of all ASABE Historical Landmarks, visit historic2/index.html. The USDA Small Watershed Program established the principle of combining conservation practices in a watershed with flood control dams on tributary streams. In order to implement the program, innovations in engineering, hydraulics, hydrology, and soil mechanics were developed by USDA Soil Conservation

Service (now NRCS) and ARS engineers and scientists. The program was created by the Flood Control Acts of 1936 and 1944 and expanded nationwide by the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act of 1954. The projects are planned and implemented by local units of government, such as conservation districts, with financial and technical assistance from the NRCS. "It was appropriate to have the dedication ceremony in Oklahoma," said Mike Thralls, Oklahoma Conservation Commission executive director, "because the state has always been a national leader in the Small Watershed Program with several national 'firsts', including the first flood control dam constructed with assistance of the USDA Watershed Program in July 1948, and the first dam rehabilitated in April 2000." Oklahoma also leads the nation in the number of dams with 2,107 USDA-assisted flood control dams constructed since the program began.

Picture above at left, from left to right: Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb; Sherry Hunt, research hydraulic engineer for the USDA ARS Hydraulic Engineering Research Unit in Stillwater (Hunt is BAE adjunct faculty, and earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in the department in 1999 and 2000, respectively); Clay Pope, executive director for the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts; Ronald McAllister, ASABE President; Ed Knipling, USDA ARS Administrator; Dave White, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief; John Peterson, Past Executive Director of the National Watershed Coalition; and Larry Caldwell, watershed specialist for the Oklahoma Conservation Commission. Picture above at right, at the state Agriculture Building in Oklahoma City from left to right: Mike Thralls, executive director for the Oklahoma Conservation Commission; Ed Knipling; Dave White; and Ron Hilliard, USDA NRCS state conservationist. Visit our news page at to view more about these awards.

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BAE updates Weddings

Rachel Carson married Robert Felice in Tulsa on May 22. Rachel received her bachelor’s degree from the department in May 2010 and is currently working on her master’s, advised by Garey Fox, associate professor. She serves as the department’s recruiter and is participating in a co-op program with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Robert received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at OSU, and is pursuing his master’s degree in civil engineering. Celso Tamele married Karina Dulobo in a ceremony

in Maputo on June 4. Celso received his master’s degree from the department in May 2011 where he was advised by Glenn Brown, Regents Professor. He returned to his home country (Mozambique) and started a consulting company which provides services in ag engineering and marketing. Karina received her bachelor’s degree in sociology at Eduardo Mondlane University from Mozambique, and is pursuing her master’s degree in sociology.

Gilley settles in with Denver’s Metro Wastewater Reclamation District Alicia Gilley is the new Director of Resource Recovery and Reuse for the Denver Metro Wastewater Reclamation District. She earned her master’s degree at OSU in environment and natural resources in 2001. Her career path took her to Iowa, Oklahoma and Kansas as she gained valuable industry experience before returning to the Denver area to join the Metro District in early January. She was a process engineer for the City of Olathe, Kansas. Gilley is a Certified Public Manager and has a bachelor’s in biosystems engineering. She has experience as a research engineer at Oklahoma State University and has also worked for Black & Veatch in Kansas City. Article input courtesy of the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District Infoceptor of Denver, Colorado.


Leena Atiyeh, daughter of Hasan Atiyeh and Ruba Muhsen, was born May 5, 2011. Hasan is an assistant professor in bioprocessing engineering. Ally Nicole Hicks, daughter of Jannice and Dustin Hicks, was born April 29, 2011. Jannice is a senior financial assistant for the department. Hannah Elizabeth Wilkins, daughter of Mark and Lana Wilkins, was born on October 24, 2011. Mark is an associate professor in bioprocessing engineering.

Condolences Greyson Lee Moore, son of Austin and Melissa Moore, passed away Aug. 26 at five months of age. Melissa has been a Sr. Administrative Support Assistant in the main BAE office since 2008, and Austin is a TV Producer/Director for OSU’s Agricultural Communications Services.

Kotwaliwale selected as Principal Scientist by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has selected Nachiket Kotwaliwale for the post of Principal Scientist. To be selected for this is equivalent to professor in a university setting. Nachiket finished his doctorate in the BAE department in 2003. His dissertation was “Feasibility of physical properties and soft x-ray attenuation properties for non-destructive determination of quality of nutmeat in in-shell pecans.” Jerry Brusewitz, emeritus faculty, served as his committee chair. Kotwaliwale has worked as a scientist at the Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Bhopal, India since 1993. He took a leave of absence to pursue his doctorate in BAE. He will continue working in the area of Nondestructive Evaluation of Food Quality and food processing engineering at the Institute.

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Alumni updates Ahmad Khalilian receives Clemson University’s top agriculture honor Agricultural engineer Ahmad Khalilian (Ph.D. 1980) received Clemson University's highest agricultural honor, the Godley-Snell Award for Excellence in Agricultural Research. The 2011 recipient is internationally recognized for his work in precision agriculture and irrigation and a leader in zone management for nematodes in row crops. Khalilian, professor in the biosystems engineering department, is the 25th faculty member recognized for agricultural research excellence and for making outstanding contributions to improving the lives of South Carolinians. During his 26 years at the Clemson University Edisto Research and Education Center in Blackville, Khalilian has focused on areas of vital importance to the state, the nation and the world as the need grows for sustainable, effective and profitable food and fiber production. View the alumni section of the BAE news page at to read more information about these and other alumni updates.

BAE foundation update The Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering appreciates your past support of scholarships and funds tied to the department! We continue to need increased diversification of our funding portfolio due to reduced base funding from state and federal sources over the last few years. Opportunities are available to increase the endowments for scholarships (more students will benefit) and to increase funding to specific programs that benefit the department well beyond scholarships (faculty and staff development, laboratory support, naming opportunities, and etc.). The department has a few specific new initiatives, including: the enhancement of support for our expanding study abroad programs, upgrading the décor and quality of our main office and hallway entrances, and the development of Professorships to help us retain and reward our excellent faculty!

YES! Count on my support for:

Biosystems & Ag Engineering PLEASE ACCEPT MY GIFT OF: $500






Thank you, | Dan Thomas, Ph.D., P.E. | Professor and Head







*Gifts to the OSU Foundation may be tax deductible.

Other $

DESIGNATED TO OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY FOR: Leon Crain Endowed Scholarship Fund 21-40300 Dr. James and Ruby Garton Endowed Scholarship Fund 21-50700 Si & Kay Grider End Supporting Intl Experiences/Biosys Eng 21-50600 C. T. Haan Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering Scholarship 21-42900 Halliburton Power of Six Scholarship in BAE 21-63900 Larry Roth Endowed Scholarship 21-01600 Ervin W. Schroeder Biosystems Engineering Endowed Scholarship 21-43000 Dr. Marvin Stone Endowed Scholarship Fund 21-48300 Friends of BAE Scholarship Endowment 21-64600 BAE Student Development Fund (Scholarships) 21-26600 BAE Student Professional Development Fund 21-48000 BAE Faculty Fund 21-01500 This gift is:




Please complete this form and return to

CHECK: Please make checks payable to OSU Foundation. BANK DRAFT: Necessary forms will be mailed to you upon return of this form. CREDIT CARD:

One-time gift












(Up to 5 Years)


Oklahoma State University Foundation 400 S. Monroe / Stillwater, OK 74074 / ph. 800.622.4678 / fax 405.385.5102 / Give online at

BAE Update



Dudley Barefoot Memorial Schol in Biosystems & Ag En 21-64300

Please contact me about including the OSU Foundation in my estate plans. Matching gift form enclosed - Employer:

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BAE Update

Non-Profit Organization U.S. POSTAGE PAID Stillwater, OK Permit No. 191

Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering 111 Agricultural Hall Stillwater, OK 74078-6016

Address Service Requested

Calendar 2011 December 16 - 17 | Fall Commencement December 22 - January 2 | University closed

2012 January 9 | Spring semester begins February 17 | ASABE Oklahoma Section Meeting, Stillwater March 12 - 16 | Spring break March 31 | BAE Student Awards Banquet April 26 - 27 | Advisory Committee Meeting (projected) May 4 | Spring Commencement May 6 - 20 | ENGR 4060 study abroad courses May 31 - June 3 | 1/4-scale tractor competition, Peoria, IL July 29 - August 1 | ASABE Annual International Meeting, Dallas

BAE Update The BAE Update is a publication of OSU’s Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and is published each semester to inform alumni and friends of activities in the department. We invite you to submit comments, story ideas or alumni updates to: BAE Update 111 Agricultural Hall Stillwater, OK 74078 405.744.5431 Editors: Dan Thomas and Nancy Rogers Writing and design: Amanda Erichsen

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid and educational services. This publication is issued by Oklahoma State University as authorized by the Dean of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural resources and has been printed at a cost of $730 for 1000 copies. 11/11 AE

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