American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

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Over the years, ASABE has profiled college students and engineers who are improving quality of life and the sustainability of our earth's natural resources. Here are some of their stories. To learn more about their work or to arrange an interview with an ASABE member, contact:  Dolores Landeck, ASABE Director of Public Affairs.

Also, enjoy our "Take Five!" series of online interviews with ASABE members. 

Preventing Catastrophes

Hovering over a grain elevator dust explosion in a helicopter, Jerry Wille must determine how much of the concrete structure can be salvaged. He's also analyzing how to prevent future explosions. In his life's work, Wille designs agricultural structures and safety is always at the forefront of his mind. Full story

Making Smaller Footprints in the Woods

Raised on a small hobby farm in Minnesota, Nicholas Johnson had dreamed of being an engineer since seventh grade. Today he's designing monster machines used by the logging industry. His challenge, design them to reduce the environmental impact … not an easy feat when they weigh in at 40,000 to 80,000 pounds. Full story

Conserving the Land

"The urbanization and destruction of prime agricultural land in the United States is the largest challenge we will face in the future," said Ken Householder, an agricultural engineer with the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service. His job is to help landowners and ranchers protect the long-range value of their land. Full story

Seeing More than Meets the "Eye"

Open a bag of Frito Lay® potato chips and the first thing you think of isn't computer chips. Yet they play an important role in the "can't eat just one" potato chip story. Keith Tinsey uses his background in agricultural and biological engineering, as well as electrical and computer engineering, to store potatoes in good quality for as long as nine months before they're shipped to Frito Lay® Full story

Going from Inner City to Ag

Lynda Cabrales grew up in the inner city of Chicago. Not until she attended a summer program in high school did she realize milk came from cows not the store! That experience led her to an unlikely education path in ag engineering at the University of Illinois (she's a Ph.D.) and a job in R&D with Kraft Foods. Full story

Designing for Humanity

Malia Appleford has always had a desire to make life better for people, animals and the environment. So when the University of Illinois initiated a chapter of Engineers without Borders, she didn't hesitate to sign up. And when that turned into an opportunity to bring electricity to three villages in India's poorest state, Appleford was on the plane. Full story

Saving More Lives than MDs

Tom Hess, a professor in biological and agricultural engineering at the University of Idaho, often tells his students, "If you want to save more lives become an environmental engineer, not a M.D." A team of students took up his challenge, determined to bring clean drinking water to a Kenyan village. Full story

Removing the Band-aid

One thing Kristen Hughes learned in college was there are no silver bullet solutions to water pollution issues throughout the world. But that didn't mean she couldn't use her engineering education to go beyond the band-aid responses to real-world environmental problems. A journey to Egypt gave her a new career crusade. Full story

Improving Your Chances

Josh Lovecamp always had an interest in medicine and engineering. So he combined his two passions when he majored in biological engineering with a medical emphasis. Now he's a project specialist responsible for the safety and efficacy of cardiovascular medical devices that ensure that patients get the best possible treatment. Full story

Helping Amputees "Walk Free"

A heart-changing trip to an orphanage in China inspired Chelan Pedrow to use her biological systems engineering major to design an award-winning prosthetic leg that would grow as the child grew. That design experience has shaped her goal to work with U.S. military personnel and Middle East civilians whose lives and limbs have been changed by war. Full story

Greening Antarctica

A crop of fresh vegetables grows on a continent locked in darkness six months of the year. Outdoor temperatures are a bitter -100 o F. The unlikely garden means the 64 people at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station eat fresh salad daily. But this isn't just a story of survival in one of Earth's harshest environments; it's the makings of ecological life-support systems that one day may be used on the moon or Mars. Full story

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