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ASABE Names Winners of 2013 Major Awards

Date: Sunday, July 21, 2013

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) recently presented awards to nine members for notable career achievements. The nine were honored at the 2013 ASABE Annual International Meeting, held in Kansas City, Missouri.

Links in the paragraphs below lead to more biographical information and portraits. Click here to request additional photos.

BARRY M. JACOBSON, PE, is the recipient of the 2013 PEI Professional Engineer of the Year Award for his exemplary service to the engineering profession and for outstanding performance in research, application, and outreach related to the Florida solar energy industry.  President of and senior project engineer for Solar Impact, Inc., of Gainesville, Florida, a company he co-founded in 2007, Jacobson's entrepreneurial spirit brings together the professionalism of an expert engineer with the self-starting skill of a veteran consultant. Through his innovation and vast engineering knowledge and expertise in light interception, energy production, structural supports, DC and AC electrical designs, and by his understanding of financial modeling, Jacobson has significantly helped move his company, Solar Impact, Inc, forward.  Photo  Full Biography

JAMES P. BORDOVSKY, P.E., is the recipient of the 2013 Heermann Sprinkler Irrigation Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions in the development of center pivots and associated equipment, and for his impact on energy and water management worldwide. Bordovsky, senior research scientist and agricultural engineer of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Lubbock/Halfway, Texas, is involved in all aspects of agricultural research related to water use and irrigation efficiency through improved management and engineering design of irrigation systems including concept development, acquisition of funds, execution of research protocols, and information transfer.  With an extremely productive career spanning several decades, Bordovsky is a recognized leader in low-energy sprinkler irrigation research and development.  Photo  Full Biography

ROBERT V. (BOB) AVANT, JR., P.E. is the recipient of the 2013 Mayfield Cotton Engineering Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions and selfless service in support of all levels of the U.S. cotton industry. Avant is corporate relations program director at Texas A&M AgriLife Research, College Station, Texas.  His distinguished career includes more than 30 years of government and private sector experience in agriculture, environmental, energy, and consulting engineering areas.  Avant has provided outstanding service to the cotton industry with a background of experience in energy, air quality, ginning, and production systems.  His innate understanding of production systems comes from 34 years of farming experience on the family farm in Central Texas.  Avant is one of the longest-serving members of the USDA Agricultural Air Quality Task Force, enjoying appointments by three secretaries of agriculture, under Presidents Bush and President Obama, for twelve years of total service.  As an advisor and counselor, he has been involved in all major air-quality issues related to agriculture. He focus has been on bringing agriculture, particularly the cotton industry, to the forefront through the promotion of applied research focused on sustainable systems using engineering knowledge as a basis. Photo  Full Biography

WESLEY W. WALLENDER, P.E., is the recipient of the 2013 ADS/Hancor Soil and Water Engineering Award for his outstanding accomplishments and contributions to irrigation engineering, hydrology, watershed management, and technical literature through research and education. Wallender, professor of hydrology and engineering, biological and agricultural engineering department, and land, air and water resources department, University of California, Davis, California, is highly respected worldwide for his expertise in irrigation engineering and the extent of his research program.  It was Wallender who connected the spatial variability of infiltration characteristics and soil water to the analysis, design, and evaluation of surface irrigation systems. By linking spatially distributed hydrology models and economic models, he was able to predict poverty in developed and developing countries. He developed a nanoscale-based model to predict saturated hydraulic conductivity as clay soils deform during groundwater pumping, and he quantified water requirements for human diets in Africa, France, and the U.S. to demonstrate diets high in animal products require far more water than vegetal diets. Photo  Full Biography

KEVIN A. JANNI, P.E., ASABE FELLOW, is the recipient of the 2013 Henry Giese Structures and Environment Award in recognition of his leadership and outstanding research contributions involving emissions from animal facilities, and for his innovative teaching and extension programs in livestock environment as a researcher, teacher, and Society member. As professor and extension engineer for the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Janni is responsible for conducting innovative and collaborative research and outreach related to livestock systems, ventilation, air quality, and mitigation of airborne emissions from animal facilities. He is currently leading a USDA-funded project to assess a low-cost air sampling method and microbial accumulation in biofilters. Having served as director for graduate and undergraduate studies and department head at the University of Minnesota for 33 years, Janni is a highly regarded classroom teacher who has developed multiple new courses in animal housing and environmental control, and is currently teaching a writing-intensive engineering course on process control and instrumentation and an air pollution course with an ethics theme.  He has also been an active advisor and mentor to graduate students, and an extension educator involved in the University of Minnesota Diary Extension team and the Manure Management and Air Quality Education team.  Photo  Full Biography

RICHARD J. STRAUB, P.E., ASABE Fellow, is the recipient of the 2013 James R. and Karen A. Gilley Academic Leadership Award in recognition of his exemplary academic leadership, scholarship, and service to his department, college, university, and ASABE. Straub has served as professor and chair for the Department of Biological Systems Engineering at University of Wisconsin, and as director of animal programs for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the  University of Wisconsin-Madison.  His accession to the chairman position was at a time when the engineering program enrollment was in decline, and the department was facing difficulty in retaining and replacing faculty and upgrading aging facilities.  Yet through unwavering determination and steadfast resiliency, Straub, by means of aggressive recruitment, stakeholder engagement, and a major development campaign sought to turn things around. Three years under his careful and well planned leadership, enrollment increased, faculty numbers were stabilized, major facility renovations were initiated on the department's building, and the department was on its way to successfully completing a $2.5 million development campaign.   His leadership commitment to departmental growth, vitality, and excellence is clearly evident and profoundly rewarded. Photo  Full Biography

ROBERT "Bobby" GRISSO, P.E., ASABE FELLOW, is the recipient of the 2013 SMV Technologies Ergonomics, Safety and Health Award for his outstanding contributions toward the improvement of farm safety and health through educational programs and safe use of machinery systems while also protecting the environment through extension, teaching, and research. Grisso is an associate director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and professor and extension engineer in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia.  His extension and teaching contributions to ergonomic safety and health have greatly improved agricultural profitability. His primary extension programming has been directed toward improving the accuracy of pesticide application and safe handling of pesticides by farmers and other certified applicators. In addition to agricultural sprayer application safety, Grisso has focused on improving tractor performance through improved traction and fuel economy, and the use of precision technology to optimize machinery, machine safety, and crop productivity.  A 32-year member of ASABE, Grisso has been a member of numerous Power and Machinery division committees, as well as having served as division chair and as associate editor forTransactions of the ASABEandApplied Engineering in Agriculture.   He served on the ASABE Board of Trustees and on various Education division committees, and he held various officer positions in the Nebraska Section, including chair. Photo  Full Biography

BRENT W. AUVERMANN is the recipient of the 2013 G.B. Gunlogson Countryside Engineering Award for his outstanding contributions in research and education addressing environmental issues associated with livestock production. His applied research and extension programs focus on developing and promoting management practices to reduce environmental impacts of confined and concentrated beef and dairy operations while maintaining economic viability. Notable examples of his research and extension programs include an emphasis on air quality emissions and abatement, nutrient management, manure as biofuel feedstock, and large-animal carcass composting. Professor and extension specialist in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, with a dual-appointment in the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M Texas AgriLife Research, Amarillo, Texas, Auvermann is renowned for his expertise involving environmental air quality for livestock systems. Photo  Full Biography

DIETRICH KNORR is the recipient of the 2013 International Food Engineering Award for his outstanding leadership contributions to research in the development and commercialization of alternative preservation processes for food products and for education of food engineering professionals. Knorr, professor and researcher for the food biotechnology and food process engineering department, at Berlin Institute of Technology, in Berlin, Germany, has contributed significantly worldwide to the development, application, and commercialization of new alternative preservation technologies.  His basic research has greatly improved understanding of the kinetics and mechanisms of quality and safety parameters involving microorganisms and enzymes, as well as the heat and mass transfer mechanisms within food product structure.  His research has provided major contributions toward improving food safety, and food quality and functionality, as well as identifying new opportunities for processing and new product development. Photo  Full Biography

VILAS M. SALOKHE is the recipient of the 2013 Kishida International Award for his distinguished leadership and outstanding contributions as a researcher, educator, mentor, and administrator through the promotion of international communication exchange and for his service to professional organizations worldwide.  For more than 35 years he has led an active academic and professional career that has greatly influenced the agricultural engineering profession. Salokhe, vice chancellor, Kaziranga University, Jorhat, Assam, India, is currently involved in a multi-faculty, multi-disciplinary university of professional and technical education.  His responsibilities in addition to administering the academic-research-outreach operations include extending the university's reach to potential students with quality education and scaling-up the university's presence on a regional and global academic map.   Salokhe's research interests include agricultural soil mechanics, agricultural machinery development, human factors engineering, and controlled environment agriculture.  With his main area of research involving wetland tillage, protected cultivation and biosystems engineering, he pioneered wetland tillage research from an Asian perspective, with practical implications in this region. Photo  Full Biography

TheJohn Deere 600 Series HydraFlex Draper Platform has been selected for the 2013 Rain Bird Engineering Concept of the Year Award.   This draper platform excels at harvesting low-growing crops such as soybeans, lentils, and peas, consistently across the full width of cut and while traveling over uneven terrain at high ground speeds.  Utilizing draper feeding technology provides a longer harvesting day by being able to start earlier and finish later.  This combination of matching soil conditions, matching field contours, and longer harvesting days maximizes harvesting productivity when compared to conventional harvesting platforms.  It is available in 11-m and 12-m (35-ft and 40-ft) widths and is designed to deliver a higher level of harvesting productivity when used with John Deere's new S-Series combines.  The design won a John Deere Innovation award and was a significant contributor to John Deere becoming the first U.S. recipient, in 2011, of the Swedish Steel Prize, considered the Nobel Prize of the steel industry.  It also earned a 2012 ASABE AE50 award and the 2012 ASABE Quad City Section Outstanding Engineering Achievement award for its nine team members and for John Deere Global Crop Harvesting, Product Development Center, Silvis, Illinois. Photo  Full Biography

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