Category Archives: Faculty

International expert joins NCEA to explore future farms

USQ Research continues to attract the best and brightest from around the world to join the University to tackle national and global challenges in a variety of fields. One such example is Professor Alex Thomasson, an internationally recognised expert in agricultural sensing and automation, focusing on optics and photonics for precision agriculture. Professor Thomasson has spent the past few months with USQ’s National Centre for Engineering in Agriculture (NCEA) and will soon return to Texas A&M University in the USA. He has researched engineering aspects of production and processing for multiple crops… Read More →

Dr. Zong Liu Joins the BAEN Family

Dr. Zong Liu recently joined the Biological and Agricultural Department after completing his PhD in biological systems engineering and postdoctoral research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously, he received his bachelor’s degree in material science and engineering in Beijing, China and his master’s degree in agricultural sciences at Tennessee State University. His passion for physics and mathematics, coupled with the desire to combine engineering, crop and soil science, and agricultural economics, inspired him to pursue degrees and research experience with real-world application. Dr. Liu’s research interests stem from… Read More →

NASA Project Targets Hydraulic Property Using Satellites

Understanding the movement of water in soil is critical for many Earth Science Application (ESA) ranging from a local to global scale. However, soil properties describing these flow processes are often unknown. Furthermore, traditional ground-based measurement techniques for such soil properties are limited to a small scale only. More recently, with the deployment of new Earth observing satellites such as Soil Moisture Active and Passive (SMAP) and Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS), measuring soil water retention and hydraulic properties from space is a new unexplored area of research…. Read More →

Runoff reduced, water retention increased by multi-paddock grazing

Adaptive multi-paddock grazing has been found to be an effective conservation practice on grazing lands for enhancing water conservation and protecting water quality, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research study at Vernon. The research results were summarized in the article “Evaluating the ranch and watershed scale impacts of using traditional and adaptive multi-paddock grazing on runoff, sediment and nutrient losses in North Texas, USA,” published recently in the Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment journal The full journal article can be found at http://bit.ly/2mCiqdl. Conducting the AgriLife Research study… Read More →

Dr. Rabi Mohtar touts global water awareness at Vatican

Citing the need for heightened interest in water availability globally, Dr. Rabi Mohtar, biological and agricultural engineering professor at Texas A&M University, took center stage March 24 at Vatican City as part of Watershed, a conference to spark global conversations of the importance of water and the future. Pope Francis addressed the general audience in Saint Peter’s Square highlighting the importance of water and urged the Watershed conference to action around water values. The Watershed conference followed with a welcome session and first technical session on the water… Read More →

‘Internet of things’ to create big data for irrigated agriculture

Big data is big business, and everyone wants a part of the pie, however agricultural irrigators should take a careful look before accepting irrigation advice from new technology sources, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist. Dr. Charles Hillyer, AgriLife Extension irrigation specialist in Amarillo, said a recent survey on emerging irrigation technologies identified the “internet of things” or IoT as the most important issue. What is that? Big data, Hillyer said. “Most mentioned by the survey takers is having lots of devices being used by… Read More →

Faculty Spotlight: Colonel Russell McGee

Colonel McGee came to Texas A&M as a young Texas farm boy who wanted an affordable education with a family atmosphere. Life took Colonel McGee around the globe but like so many other Aggies, College Station called him home to Aggieland. What degrees do you have and where were they obtained? B.S. Agricultural Engineering, TAMU, 1985 M.E. Agricultural Engineering, TAMU, 1997 Master of Military Studies, Marine Corps University, Quantico VA, 1999. What drew you to Texas A&M University? I attended Texas A&M as an undergraduate from 1981 to… Read More →

Adjunct Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Robert De Otte

Dr. Robert DeOtte is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) and an adjunct faculty member of the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department at Texas A&M University. He has collaborated his research efforts with other members of the department including Drs. John Sweeten, Brent Auvermann, and Ken Casey. In 2010 Drs. DeOtte, Auvermann, and Casey received a $470,000 NSF Major Research Instrumentation grant directed at air quality research.  Dr. DeOtte coupled the particle imaging velocimeter (PIV) and associated instrumentation with his dispersion… Read More →

Auvermann selected to take leadership of Texas A&M AgriLife center in Amarillo

Dr. Brent Auvermann has been selected as the new center director at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Amarillo, following the retirement of longtime director Dr. John Sweeten. Auvermann is a professor in Texas A&M University’s department of biological and agricultural engineering, with a dual-appointment in both the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research. He will begin his new duties Feb. 1. “Dr. Auvermann is recognized by his colleagues, commodity leaders, state and federal agencies, and livestock producers for his subject… Read More →

Sweeten to retire after 45 years of service to Texas A&M

Dr. John Sweeten, center director at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Amarillo for the past 21 years, will hang up the many different caps he wears, retiring after 45 years of service to the Texas A&M University System. In addition to his Amarillo duties, Sweeten was tasked with leading the AgriLife center in Vernon in 2008, at which time he began developing joint or complementing programs between the two centers. He also had a joint appointment with West Texas A&M University in Canyon for… Read More →