University of Kentucky College of Agriculture College of Engineering




Alex Wade award 

Alex Wade honored with 2014 Outstanding Senior Male Award

April 24, 2014 — BAE senior Alex Wade received the Otis A. Singletary Outstanding Senior Award at an awards banquet on April 14. UK Now's Katy Bennett writes about Alex and other award winners in the press release "University Honors and Awards Program Recognizes Outstanding Students, Faculty and Staff."

BAE Connections 

Spring edition of BAE Connections published

April 21, 2014 — The spring edition of BAE Connections, the department's newsletter, has been published. This second edition focuses on Cooperative Extension.

Alpha Epsilon Awards 

Seven students inducted into Alpha Epsilon

April 21, 2014 — Seven students from BAE were inducted into Alpha Epsilon on April 14. Alpha Epsilon is the honor society of ASABE.

BAE's new Alpha Epsilon members are:

  • Bobby Carey
  • Amanda Hickman
  • Charles Hutchinson
  • Drew Jones
  • Nicole Koeninger
  • Lindsey Wolfe
  • Yue Zhang

Tau Beta Pi Awards 

Four receive Tau Beta Pi Faculty and Staff Awards

April 17, 2014 — Four members of BAE were recipients of faculty and staff awards at Tuesday night's Tau Beta Pi Awards Banquet.

Five awards were presented:

  • Outstanding Teacher in Biosystems Engineering: Dr. Czarena Crofcheck
  • Outstanding Senior in Biosystems Engineering: Alexander Wade and Lyla Ratsavong (tie)
  • Outstanding Junior in Biosystems Engineering: Shane Worley
  • Frank Woeste Award: Alexander Wade

The "outstanding" awards are voted on by students; the Woeste award is given to the student with the highest GPA (voted on by faculty in the event of a tie). Wade is the only senior in BAE with a 4.0 grade point average.

Nicole Koeninger 

Nicole Koeninger receives Outstanding Student Poster Award

April 15, 2014 — Nicole Koeninger received an award for Outstanding Graduate Student Poster Presentation at the 2014 Student Water Conference, which was held at Oklahoma State University April 10-11. Koeninger is a graduate research assistant under Michael Montross, Ph.D., P.E. and is pursuing her master's degree in bioenvironmental engineering.

Her winning poster was titled "Soil Erosion from Rainfall Simulator with Actual and Simulated Corn Roots." Co-authors are Montross, Carmen Agouridis, Ph.D., P.E., and Graduate Research Assistants Aaron Turner and Joshua Jackson. Her award-winning poster will be soon be hanging in the BAE hallways, but in the meantime, the plaque she received is on display in the front office.

Super paper awards 

Tom Bridges and Drew Schiavone each receive ASABE Paper Award 

April 15, 2014 — Papers written by Tom Bridges and Drew Schiavone have been selected for 2014 ASABE Superior Paper Awards. Tom Bridges is a research specialist in controlled environment systems. Schiavone is a graduate research assistant; he is pursuing his doctorate in food and bioprocess engineering under Michael Montross, Ph.D., P.E.

Articles published by ASABE in its four peer-reviewed journals during 2013 are eligible for 2014 Superior Paper Awards. Winning Paper Award authors are presented with a certificate at the Annual International Meeting, which will be held in Montreal this July.

The winning papers are:

T.C. Bridges, R.S. Gates, E.M. Smith, L.W. Turner, “Modeling the Growth of Laboratory and Farm Animals: Part 2. Polytocus Animals and the Relationship of Birth Weight, Gestation Time, and Mature Size, Transactions of the ASABE, Vol. 56, No. 3.

D.F. Schiavone, A.A. Teixeira, R.A. Bucklin, S.A. Sargent, “Design and Performance Evaluation of a Solar Convection Dryer for Drying Tropical Fruit,” Applied Engineering in Agriculture, Vol. 29, No. 3.


CAFE 'Ag Mag' features biochar research conducted by Agouridis and Griffith

April 15, 2014 —The Spring 2014 issue of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment's (CAFE) Ag Magazine features research conducted by Carmen Agouridis, Ph.D., P.E., and Graduate Research Assistant David Griffith. The duo has been focusing on turning Kentucky's horse manure into useable biochar, which can be used as fuel or a soil additive. Read the full story.


Czar Crofcheck selected for 2014 College of Engineering Dean's Award for Excellence in Service

April 2, 2014 — Dr. Czar Crofcheck, Ph.D., P.E., has been selected by Dean Walz as a recipient of the 2014 College of Engineering Dean's Award for Excellence in Service.

Crofcheck, an associate professor and the department's director of undergraduate studies, specializes in food and bioprocess engineering. She teaches four classes (a required course, an elective, and senior design) and advises 30 students, though she has advised as many as 88 in one semester.

“We are truly lucky to have Dr. Crofcheck on our faculty. Her energy and tireless service for the benefit of students are truly assets for our department and for the College of Engineering,” Dr. Nokes, chair of the department, said.

In 2013 Crofcheck was a chair of the biological engineering division of the ASABE Nominating Committee, and she is Past President of the Institute of Biological Engineering. She is a co-chair of the Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative Project, which hosts the annual Aquabots camp for girls. She has received numerous awards for teaching and research.

The Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research recognizes and rewards outstanding research accomplishments of lasting impact on engineering and computer science and the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Service recognizes and rewards those individuals who excel in carrying out the service mission of the college. The award will be presented during the College of Engineering Awards Reception scheduled for Monday, April 28, 5:30-7:30 pm, at the Hilary J. Boone Center.

Lawn mower clinic 

BAE Student Branch lawn mower clinic scheduled for April 16-19

April 2, 2014 —The annual lawn mower clinic provides a preventative service before the mowing season begins, at only $35 per mower, and provides hands-on experience to students. Space is limited, so please email or call (859) 218-4329 to reserve a spot. Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Larry Turner Scholarship Fund.

Mark Purschwitz 

Mark Purschwitz named Peer Reviewer of the Year by Journal of Agromedicine

March 21, 2014 — Press Release:
The Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention and the Central Appalachian Regional Education and Research Center (CARERC) are pleased to announce that editors of the Journal of Agromedicine have named Mark Purschwitz, Ph.D., as their 2014 Peer Reviewer of the Year. The editors also awarded an Honorable Mention to fellow editorial board member Deborah Reed, PhD, RN, MPSH, FAAOHN, for her outstanding contributions to the journal, which is coordinated through the National Farm Medicine Center (Marshfield, Wisc.) and published quarterly by the Taylor & Francis Group.

Dr. Purschwitz is Extension Professor and Agricultural Safety and Health Specialist in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and the Environment. He has been affiliated with the Southeast Center since his arrival at UK in 2008. “Dr. Purschwitz embodies the qualities we look for in reviewers,” said journal Editor-in-Chief Matthew Keifer, MD, MPH. “We are grateful that he and our other reviewers are so generous with their time and expertise.”

Dr. Purschwitz brings to the Journal of Agromedicine a long history of applied research and community impact in agricultural occupational safety and health: In 2012, Dr. Purschwitz was recognized with the prestigious SMV Technologies Ergonomics, Safety and Health Award of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). He was the first University of Kentucky faculty member to receive that award.

Earlier, the ASABE had recognized Dr. Purschwitz and UK IT specialists Mala Subbaswamy and Jamie Profitt with a Blue Ribbon Award for The Kentucky ROPS Guide. The Kentucky ROPS Guide is the only online resource in the nation to offer full search capability that enables any tractor owner, equipment dealer or technician to determine the availability, source, and acquisition procedures for retrofit rollover protection for any domestic or imported agricultural tractor in the United States for which a retrofit is available. The ASABE Blue Ribbon Award “encourages agricultural engineers in industry and public service … to strive for excellence in Extension activities through the interchange of ideas on successful methods and techniques. It also promotes excellence in educational aids, which represent agricultural engineering and through the exchange of ideas and individual recognition, contributes to overall improvement in the use of educational aids." Dr. Purschwitz and his colleagues earned the Blue Ribbon in the Website section of the ASABE 2011 Extension Education Aids competition.

Dr. Reed is Distinguished Service Professor and Good Samaritan Endowed Chair in the UK College of Nursing. In addition to serving as a core faculty member of the Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention, Dr. Reed directs the Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing (OEHN) program within the Central Appalachian Regional ERC. In May 2014 Dr. Reed will lead a 90 minute session at the annual conference of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN). These sessions are highly prized, and Dr. Reed’s will be the first in the AAOHN history to highlight the agricultural industry.

The Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention is directed by David M. Mannino, MD; Professor and Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, University of Kentucky College of Public Health. The Central Appalachian Regional ERC is directed by Wayne T. Sanderson, CIH, PhD; Professor and Chair, Department of Epidemiology, UK College of Public Health. For more information please contact: Teresa A. Donovan, MPH Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention, Central Appalachian Regional Education & Research Center, University of Kentucky College of Public Health.

To read the announcement from Taylor & Francis, visit

Ag Weather Center Twitter chat 

Matt Dixon joins @universityofky Twitter Chat on Kentucky's Extreme Weather

March 18, 2014 — Matt Dixon, of the Ag Weather Center, will take questions beginning 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 18, via the university's official Twitter account, @universityofky.

Ag Weather Center 

'Kentucky Weather Observer" focuses on rough winter

March 17, 2014 — The latest edition of the 'Kentucky Weather Observer,' from Tom Priddy, Matt Dixon, Dr. Wanhong Wang, and Yuan Lu of the UK Ag Weather Center, explores this past winter in detail.

ASABE Resource magazine 

'Offset design improves round-bale unroller'

March 13, 2014 — The March/April issue of the ASABE's Resource magazine highlights a project by John Wilhoit and Timothy Coolong.

100 Years of Extension logo 

Video celebrates 100 years of Extension

March 6, 2014 — The seven-minute video "Celebrate 100 Years" illustrates the strong past and bright future of the University Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, which participes in the lives of Kentucky's rural and, increasingly, urban citizens. Extension’s mission “Extending Knowledge and Changing Lives” continues to have relevance, with UK's Extension agents developing useful programs including Kentucky Farm Start, SNAP, and 4-H Robotics, among others.

Ky Farm Bureau Across Kentucky logo

'Across Kentucky' features Michael Sama and Suzanne Weaver Smith

March 6, 2014 — Kentucky Farm Bureau's "Across Kentucky" features several radio spots on the University of Kentucky's Consortium on Unmanned Systems Research. In these short interviews, Dr. Suzanne Weaver Smith and Dr. Michael P. Sama discuss the future of unmanned aerial vehicles and their applications in agriculture.

Across Kentucky, February 25, 2014

Across Kentucky, February 28, 2014

Two additional radio spots will be released in the coming weeks.

e-Day logo

Mark your calendar for E-Day, February 22

February 19, 2014 — Engineers Day, or E-Day, is an outreach program that celebrates the things that engineers do to make our world work, from building bridges to discovering new medications to writing the software that powers our cell phones. Perfect for school-aged children through high school, E-Day offers over 150 exhibits, contests, and demonstrations. Ongoing from 9am to 1pm, there is no set time for most events. Parking and admission are free.

BAE will be in FPAT Room 263, with the following exhibits:

  • Lasers in Agriculture
  • PV Solar Energy
  • Wildcat Quarter Scale Pulling Tractor
  • What do Wetlands Do?
  • Robots in Agriculture
  • Stream Restoration
  • How is Cotton Candy Made?
  • How Hot Are You?
  • Grow Your Own Energy

For more information visit UK Eday.

Peer mentors

Peer mentors, free pizza

February 19, 2014 — Alpha Epsilon presents Peer Mentor Day, February 24, from 4pm to 5pm in the Good Barn. This special session will help students find answers about classes, internships, and jobs. Please bring any relevant information, such as applications, schedules, and resumes. Free pizza will be served; rsvp to Dr. Agouridis by February 21.

Mary Arthur, Carmen Agouridis

In depth: Mary Arthur and Carmen Agouridis discuss GREENHOUSE

February 12, 2014 — Video: Mary Arthur and Carmen Agouridis sit down with A&S's Hive to discuss GREENHOUSE, UK's new living learning community for environment and sustainability.

Farm road retention basin

GREENHOUSE blog and video released

February 11, 2014 — Dr. Carmen Agouridis has penned a second blog post which highlights the positive effect that diversity has on professional and scholarly experiences. In a video produced by A&S's Hive, she discusses the purpose of the new Farm Road retention basin.

National Farm Machinery Show logo

National Farm Machinery Show runs February 12-15

February 11, 2014 — The National Farm Machinery Show, February 12-15, begins this week at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. The nation's largest indoor farm show, attracting approximately 300,000 visitors each year, was started in 1963 in a cooperative effort to educate farmers between University of Kentucky's agricultural engineering department and electric cooperatives. BAE has continued to play a role in the machinery show, which has changed greatly over the decades from its modest beginnings to become an important agricultural event.

This year, BAE's exhibits have a focus on dairy technologies, including Dr. Joe Taraba’s scale model of a compost bedded, loose housing dairy barn; graduate student John Evans's compost aeration tool (CAT), which is used to manage a compost bedded barn; Dr. Jeff Bewley’s (Animal Sciences) precision dairy management technologies that improve cow comfort; plus the latest apps for retrieving weather data and producer-related information from the Ag Weather Center (Tom Priddy). The booth will also feature the department’s award-winning WildCat Pulling team quarter scale tractor, which received second place in the 2013 ASABE 1/4 Scale Tractor International Student Design Competition. The Wildcat Pulling team took first place in 2012.

In addition to the engineering displays in BAE's booth, the machinery show provides an opportunity to see some of the latest agricultural machinery and technology available to producers. Open from 9am to 6pm, the show is free; parking is $8. For more information, visit

Ky Weather Observer/Snowfall Totals

Recap of frigid weather in January 'Kentucky Weather Observer'

February 10, 2014 — The latest monthly release from the Ag Weather Center chronicles the region's unusually cold and snowy weather. There is hope for spring: The Vegetable Gardener's Calender lists safe planting dates beginning in February. For a recap of January and a look ahead to February, read the Kentucky Weather Observer newsletter.

Greenhouse LLC

Carmen Agouridis and principals discuss Greenhouse in A&S podcast

January 28, 2014 — During an Arts & Sciences podcast, Dr. Carmen Agouridis discussed her expectations for student-teacher and teacher-student learning when UK's new living learning community, Greenhouse enrolls its first students this fall. Co-directors Mary Arthur (Forestry), Shannon Bell (Sociology), and Alan Fryar (Earth and Environmental Sciences) and Agouridis were joined by Shane Tedder and Mariah Lewis to discuss sustainability issues for Greenhouse, UK, and Lexington. Visit Greenhouse for more information; listen to the podcast.


NCEES logo

NCEES begins computer-based training for the FE

January 28, 2014 — The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) is offering a seven-week video series on YouTube to assist with the transition to computer-based training (CBT) for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. Go to NCEES Computer-Based Training for more information.

Greenhouse LLC

Carmen Agouridis welcomes students to Greenhouse

January 24, 2014 — Dr. Carmen Agouridis has written a blog post welcoming prospective students to Greenhouse, the new living learning community (LLC) which she, Mary Arthur (Forestry), Shannon Bell (Sociology), and Alan Fryar (Earth and Environmental Sciences) are co-directing. The first cohort of students will begin environmental studies in the fall of 2014; Visit Greenhouse for more information.



George Duncan quoted in new book about tobacco

January 23, 2014 — One of BAE's tobacco experts, Extension Professor Emeritus George Duncan, Ph.D., was interviewed by Ann K. Ferrell, for her newly published book, Burley: Kentucky Tobacco in a New Century, an anthropological account of Kentucky's history and future as a tobacco-growing state. The book is for sale at the University Press of Kentucky; visit Burley for more information.


USDA logo

Brazil study-abroad trip planned for May

January 23, 2014 — Dr. Stombaugh is organizing a two-week study abroad trip to Brazil in conjunction with Iowa State University. The excursion will be very similar to the trip taken in 2012, with a focus on agricultural development. On this bus tour through the states of Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, the group will have the opportunity to see a variety of sizes of agricultural operations from very small, subsistence-type family farms to some of the largest coffee and sugar cane producers in the world. The trip will take place immediately following the end of finals in May. The cost of the trip is budgeted at about $3,000; BAE has scholarship funds available. For more information, please email Dr. Stombaugh .



'Extended cold spell poses risk to livestock'

January 23, 2014 — UK Ag News has issued a warning about the low temperatures, which are expected to last through the end of January into February. For mor information, read the full story.


USDA logo

Ag Secretary Vilsack to visit UK

January 16, 2014 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will visit the University of Kentucky today to discuss the need for a food, farm, and jobs bill. Read the media advisory at the USDA Office of Communications. Vilsack will make his address at 1:30 pm in the Cameron Williams Auditorium, UK Plant and Soil Science Building, 1405 Veterans Drive.


December Weather Observer

December Weather Observer released

January 16, 2014 — The Ag Weather Center has released the latest Weather Observer. Read the month's full wrap-up at the UK Ag Weather Center.



Severe cold weather warning issued


UK Ag Weather Center issues severe cold weather warning

January 3, 2014 — Dangerously cold weather is on the way. Read the full warning at UK AgNews.


Virginia Tech REU


Virginia Tech REU for biomolecular and bioprocess engineering offered this summer

January 2, 2014 — Virginia Tech is offering an NSF-sponored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) this summer at its campus in Blacksburg. The eight-week REU provides the opportunity to perform research and participate in educational programs in biomolecular and bioprocess engineering and enjoy team-building and social activities. The REU will take place June 9 to August 1, and offers a $4,000 stipend plus room and board. Review of completed applications will begin on February 1, and will continue until all spots are filled. Research areas include synthetic biology, metabolic/genetic engineering, protein engineering for biopharmaceuticals sustainable biomaterials. The online application form can be accessed at Virginia Tech Bioprocess Engineering for Sustainability REU. Visit Virginia Tech for more information.  


Happy Holidays


Happy Holidays

December 23, 2013 — The Biosytems and Agricultural Engineering Department will be closed for the holidays from noon 12/24/13 through 9 am 1/2/14. We wish everyone a safe and peaceful holiday break. 


Mathew Ruwaya


Photo of Mathew Ruwaya highlights Kentucky ag

December 12, 2013 — CAFE's Dr. Larry Grabau gets the interview, but the large photo, taken by CAFE staff, of BAE's Engineer Associate Mathew Ruwaya is what grabs the reader's attention in this article about Kentucky agriculture. Read the 'Farm Flavor' story here.


ag weather warning


UK Ag News and Ag Weather Center issue cold weather warning

December 11, 2013 — UK Ag News has released a story covering the Ag Weather Center's warning about impending dangerously cold weather. Read "Cold stress emergency for livestock, pets."


ag weather center


The Ag Weather Center releases storm details, December 'Weather Observer'

December 6, 2013 — Yesterday, the Ag Weather Center staff released the December "Weather Observer," with details on the impending winter storm.


ag weather center


The Ag Weather Center debuts new website

November 20, 2013 — The Ag Weather Center staff released its new Ag Weather website yesterday.

Extension Meteorology Specialist Tom Priddy said, "We've added some new tools and deleted much of the old links and less useful links. Now, from the front page, users can get to each county's weather forecasts by mousing over the dates. In addition, a seven-day summary of agricultural weather is available by city tabs at the bottom of the front page."

According to Priddy, the new website is much simpler, easier to navigate, and much more pleasing to the eye. He encourages users to look at the ag models and the access to weather forecasts and climate data.

The old site will be maintained for at least one year, but in January 2014, the new website will become the default site for the Ag Weather Center.


2014 calendar


2014 Classic Farm Tractors calendars are on sale

November 20, 2013 —

2014 Classic Farm Tractors calendars are available from Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Student Branch. The calendars cost $7, or for 2 or more, $6 each. Please include $4 each with maximum of $8 for postage and handling. To order, contact or any of the BAE Student Branch members. Calendars are also available at 128 CE Barnhart Building.


Phone List


BAE phone numbers change on November 20

November 19, 2013 — Please note that all phone numbers for the department will change tomorrow, November 20. Updated phone numbers and reference materials for the new phones can be found on the BAE Internal page.

If you have any problems reaching someone in the department, please call our main number, 859-257-3000, which has not changed.


Graduate Student Recruitment Event 



Graduate Student Recruitment Event to be held January 23–25

November 11, 2013 — BAE has announced that the dates for the 2014 Graduate Student Recruitment Event will be January 23–25. Visiting students will meet with faculty, tour the department, see UK's campus, visit with current graduate students and explore Lexington. Lodging and meals will be provided by the department and documented travel expenses (up to $500) will be reimbursed. Applications are due by Thursday, December 19, and will be considered on a merit basis and reviewed in a first-come, first-served manner. If you are considering graduate school, this is wonderful chance to see what the department has to offer.

Visit the Graduate Recruitment page for more information.


Christmas breakfast 



Holiday breakfast scheduled for November 26

November 11, 2013 — BAE's holiday breakfast, prepared by staff members, will be held November 26 at 9 am in the Good Barn. Please sign up in the front office or email Jayne.


weather observer 



UK Ag Weather Observer is available

November 11, 2013 — The latest update of the UK Ag Weather Observer is now available. Additionally, meterologists Matt Dixon and Tom Priddy are available to visit winter farm meetings to discuss the new Ag weather website, outlook, and new weather tools created for Kentucky agriculture. Contact them for for more information.


Rain Garden GroundbreakingRain Garden Rain garden

Photos courtesy of BAE staff


Construction Begins on Rain Garden

October 15, 2013 — Construction to build a rain garden began yesterday in the grassy area near C.E. Barnhart, Plant and Soil Sciences, the Good Barn, and the Gluck Equine Research Center. The rain garden, co-designed by Drs. Carmen Agouridis (BAE) and Brian Lee (Landscape Architecture), will address drainage and water-quality issues in this low-lying area. "Additionally, the rain garden will allow for research, monitoring, and data collection, provide ecosystem service metrics, and improve water quality on campus and in the county," Rebecca McCulley, associate professor in Plant and Soil Sciences and acting interim director of the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment, said.

While interest in building a rain garden on campus has been strong for a long time, the funding and approval processes took time. "Dr. Agouridis, whose Low Impact class proposed the original plan, has shown an amazing willingness to donate her time. Without a doubt, the project wouldn't have happened without her commitment to the project," McCulley said.

The rain garden was first funded by a $10,000 grant from the UK Student Sustainability Council and then an additional $22,000 was secured through a Class B education grant from the LFUCG Stormwater Quality Projects Incentive Grant Program. Construction is expected to last about two weeks, during which time several parking spots will be reserved for construction team access. A formal reception to introduce the rain garden to the community will be held in the spring of 2014.

Ag Genius


Wilhoit and Swetnam to Judge AgCredit Award

October 14, 2013 — Associate Extension Professor John Wilhoit and Larry Swetnam, along with UK Horitculture's Mark Williams, will judge the 'Agricultural Innovations' division of this year's Ag Genius Awards, sponsored by AgCredit.