Annual Review 2016

From the Chair's chair ...

Wow! It has been a little over a year since I sat down in the Chair's chair. It's hard to believe, but time does fly when you are having fun!  

I feel like I have learned a lot, helped a little, and things are moving ahead in BAE. I have had fantastic support from the faculty, staff members, and students. The administrations of both the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Engineering have been gracious with their time, support and guidance. Everyone has tested me and asked lots of questions as I begin to move things forward in BAE. As all of you know, "if you are not moving forward, you begin to move backward" (authors unknown). So, we have made some changes, are evaluating them, and will continue moving forward.

Things are pretty exciting around Farrall Hall, and there are lots of changes: we had a record high number of BE undergraduate students enrolled in Fall 2016; we have a new academic advisor, Hannah Brodhead, who you will read more about later; we have two new faculty members starting in January 2017; and we need to update Farrall Hall to accommodate for some other upcoming changes, as well. Things are a'moving in Farrall!

Last fall and spring, faculty and staff members came together to develop our Academic Program  Review for MSU administration. During Fall 2016, we had our ABET review, and under Dr. Marks' leadership, you know we did well. We should hear the final results sometime in Summer 2017, so stay tuned.  Implemented last academic year, we started requiring students to take the FE exam as part of our capstone courses. That is going well, and we are in our second year of that requirement now, so we will monitor it as we move forward.

Our undergraduate and graduate students continue to do well in campus-wide, regional, and national competitions, winning many presentation and monetary awards. Our faculty members are receiving grants and awards as they continue to address engineering challenges locally and globally.  

There are many things for all of us to be proud of in BAE.  We appreciate all of you who continue to donate to our programs; without those dollars, we would not be able to continue moving BAE forward. Those funds allow us to support our students' education an d be innovative with our programming.

And, as you are experiencing now, we have a new newsletter format, a true e-Bulletin.  We are hoping to use this new e-format to do a better job of keeping you informed of the fast moving progress in and around Farrall Hall.  Our goal is to publish two to three e-Bulletins each year.  Let us know your thoughts about this new format; we will listen, because we want to make it better.

Please stop by Farrall Hall, or invite me to visit you so that I can learn about you, your BAE past, present, and future.

Thanks for the opportunity to serve,

Darrell W. Donahue

To l earn more about the latest in  Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, visit our website.  

Research leads to development of innovative harvesting technology to lower production costs for apple growers

Michigan ranks third in the country for apple production, but the cost of production and access to available labor are two challenges facing growers and threatening profitability. An MSU researcher has come up with an innovative machine that may make these problems a thing of the past. (Read More.)

Michigan water use: Surfing the delicate balance between producing food and protecting the environment

MSU BAE uses its expertise in water quantity and water quality management to sustain Michigan's finite water resources for generations to come. The irrigation section of the program is structured so that producers and policy groups receive technical support, and BAE students gain hands-on practical skills in water management. (Read More.)

Energy: bioenergy and bioproduct solutions

Michigan has surged in its number of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, and the MSU Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering has played an important role in the formation of the Michigan Farm Energy Audit program. MSU is also one of only three universities cited in the ANSI/ASABE S612 farm energy audit standards. (Read More.)

Health: diagnostics, systems models and risk assessment tools to enhance public health

Advanced graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and early career professionals from eight countries and six industry fields converged on MSU campus for 10-day microbial risk assessment conference in July 2016. The institute addressed case studies focused on contemporary issues ranging from assessing the health risk associated with wastewater reuse for aquaculture, greywater reuse on U.S. Army bases, swimming by triathletes during Commonwealth Games, to consumption of contaminated water during the Flint water crisis, and using neonicotinoid on honey bees. (Read More.)

MSU Electrical Technology Certificate Program is a complete electrical apprenticeship training program 

The 15-month on-campus Electrical Technology Program at MSU is a complete electrical apprenticeship training program offering instruction in residential, agricultural, commercial and industrial wiring, and the only program in the country to offer agricultural wiring as a major focus area. Every year, graduates of this program are in such high demand that available jobs outnumber students. Ninety percent of program graduates pass the State of Michigan Journey Exam - the state average is 44 percent. (Read More.)
Tenure & Promotions

Drs. Liu and Saffron are promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure and Associate Professor, respectively. 

New Hires

Hannah Brodhead has joined the MSU CANR Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering as its new academic advisor for undergraduate students. 

Meet the BAE Faculty & Staff

Meet all the BAE faculty and staff (Read More.)

2016 Select Grants
In 2016, the BAE research portfolio amounted to over $1.63 million from diverse federal, state, and local agencies, organizations, associations, industries, foundations and others.  (Read More.)

ASABE Conference
BAE faculty provides leadership to first ever global food security conference organized by ASABE and held in South Africa, October 24-27, 2016. (Read More.)

Meet the 2015-16 Industry Advisory Board.  The department had an ABET review in 2016 and wishes to recognize all the extra board member efforts that made this ABET evaluation successful.  Thank you for all your many significant contributions to the department! (Read More.)

2016 Alumni Awards

Alumni are the heart of any program. Three BAE alumni -- John W. Larkin, Ph.D. '84, Agricultural Engineering and Food Science, Amy Yoder, BS '89, Agricultural Technology and Systems Management, and Paula Steiner, BS '04, MS '09, Biosystems Engineering -- were honored for their accomplishments in 2016.  (Read More.)

Select 2016 Faculty & Student Awards

When it comes to making a difference, BAE students and faculty and staff members inspire and influence the world around them.  (Read More.)

Why I support BAE 
by Larry Walker

BAE provides its students with a solid academic foundation to tackle engineering challenges related to agriculture and the environment...and is very good at connecting a student's educational experience to real-life issues and opportunities. - Larry Walker, M.S. (1975), Ph.D. (1978)

2016-17 Scholarship Recipients

More than $46,000 in scholarships were awarded to deserving BAE undergraduate and graduate students for the 2016-17 academic year. (Read More.)

2016 Senior Design Capstone Projects

Nine teams of BAE students get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to complete innovative capstone projects to chart real world, practical experience to solve globally important problems. (Read More.)

Internship Profiles

Internships and research experiences offer students invaluable real world experience not found in the classroom. Students share insight on what they gained from their experience, and reflect on why these experiences are so important for students. (Read More.)

2016 Degrees Conferred

Thirty-five undergraduate students earn Bachelor's of Science degrees in Biosystems Engineering, five candidates earn Master's degrees, and four complete their Ph.D. in Fall 2015, Spring 2016, and Fall 2016. (Read More.)