Research Labs & Groups

Bio Energy Testing and Analysis Laboratory
The BioEnergy Testing and Analysis Laboratory (BETA Lab) was envisioned to be a testing and analysis facility for biofuels produced in many biorefineries in the US. It will also have capability for biofuel characterization to establish standards for new biofuels including work on process design optimization in all aspects of biofuel production. The lab has several biomass conversion systems for various biomass conversion processes.

Contact: Dr. Sergio Capareda,

Biological Engineering Sensor Technologies Lab
The B.E.S.T. lab is a home to sensor-development research projects that pertain to agricultural and biological systems. We use several instruments to measure physical and biological phenomena, such as spectrometers, particle-size analyzers, video-microscopes, etc. We also have the capability to do biochemical experiments and develop electronic hardware. A lot of what we do is research and development for optoelectronic sensors that will be used on agricultural field machines, but we are also developing sensors for control of commercial algae production.

Contact: Dr. Alex Thomasson,

Bioseparations Lab
The Bioseparations Lab is committed to advances in bioprocessing and bioseparations of recombinant proteins and peptides expressed in transgenic systems. The main research focus of the Lab is solving unique bioprocessing challenges posed by diverse transgenic plant systems.

Contact: Dr. Zivko Nikolov, 

Center for Agricultural Air Quality & Engineering Science
The mission of the CAAQES is to provide the research, technology transfer, and educational programs that will result in appropriate regulation of agricultural operations, rapid adoption of new air pollution abatement technology, as well as increase the number of graduates pursuing careers in environmental air quality fields.

Contact: Dr. Ron Lacey, 

Food Engineering
Food engineering is the application of engineering principles to the storage, processing and distribution of food materials and their bio-products. It requires a sound engineering education, as well as fundamental training in chemistry and food science.

Contact: Dr. Rosana Moreira,

Food Safety Engineering Laboratory
The food safety engineering group provides expertise in the area of food irradiation using electron beam technology. The FSEL focuses on research, teaching, and extension addressing the application of e-beam radiation.

Contact: Dr. Rosana Moreira,

Nanoscale Biological Engineering Laboratory
Our vision of science-based problem solving in Bio-Inorganic Hybrid Catalytic Systems guides our education and research programs. We’re problem solvers who use molecular level (Nano) manipulation approaches to develop catalytic materials with novel functionalities.

Contact: Dr. Sandun Fernando,

Nexus Research Group
Developing the tools to provide societies and their policy makers the information to address these needs by addressing global resource challenges on topics including: development of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus framework linking science and policy, characterization of the soil-water medium using thermodynamic modeling; efficacy of non-traditional water, and applications for sustainable integrated water management such as implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Developing and outlining policies and strategies for global resources security, especially for arable soils and water, are critical for the healthy future of our planet. Facing the challenges of climate change, understanding and optimizing agricultural practices, managing agricultural and ecological systems, are key points that require development. Mohtar founded A&M’s Water-Energy-Food Nexus Initiative and the Water-Energy-Food-Heath Nexus Renewable Resources Initiative at the American University of Beirut, where he currently serves as Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. Mohtar also works to realize these interests as a Governor of the World Water Council, an Executive Board member of International Water Resources Association (IWRA), and a Fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers ASABE).

Contact: Dr. Rabi Mohtar, 

Urban Ecological Engineering

Cities face a slew of environmental and ecological problems as urban populations spike across the globe. Addressing water quantity and quality issues the “usual way” has resulted in severe impairment of water bodies and other ecological disturbances: increased waste, increased need for energy, increased need for land for food, increased CO2 production, disruption to wildlife corridors. Our ecological engineering program provides solutions that mimic natural systems to address these issues and reduce the impact of urbanization on nature. The scope of the program is to research and educate ecological applications to solve engineering problems related to water resources. We focus on assessing the quality and efficiency of green infrastructure for stormwater management, urban water conservation, natural stream restoration, rainwater harvesting, and alternative water sources such as graywater and A/C condensate. The goal of the program is to provide research based assessment of various ecological engineering practices through field experimentation and modeling. We aim to disseminate sound design, construction, and maintenance information about these practices through workshops and cooperative collaboration with engineers, landscape architects, planners, the general public, and municipal entities. The wide adoption of these practices in Texas cities and beyond is the ultimate aim of this program.

Contact: Dr. Fouad Jaber,

Vadose Zone Research Group
The Vadose Zone Research Group is engaged in state-of-the-science research in a wide range of topics related to the unsaturated zone between the land surface and ground water. We aim to further the frontiers of knowledge in the water, conservative/reactive chemical, and heat transport measurement, modeling, and parameter estimation in the vadose zone from pore scale to global scale under engineered, agricultural, range, and suburban land covers/management practices and various hydro-climatic conditions as well as evolving climate change scenarios.

Contact: Dr. Binayak Mohanty,

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