Biological Systems Engineering

Seminar Archive Spring 2011

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BSysE-598 Coordinator: Manuel Garcia-Perez

April 22, 2011; Friday, LJSmith 259 at 4:00PM

Please join us for a graduate student seminar titled:  “What Golbalization at WSU Means to You and Your Future” presented by Dr. Prema Arasu, Vice Provost and Associate Vice President for International Programs and Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University. 

April 19, 2011; Friday, LJSmith 259 at 4:00PM

Please join us for a seminar titled “Food Risk Assessment:  Challenges and New Perspectives” that will be presented by Dr. Maria Corradini, Associate Professor at the Universidad Argentina de la Empresa (UADE), Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Dr. Corradini is Advisor for the International Life Science Institute (ILSI-Argentina Branch).  This seminar will be presented on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 10am in LJ Smith Hall, Room 259. 

April 15, 2011; Friday, LJSmith 259 at 4:00PM

Please join us for a graduate seminar titled “Hybrid systems for making advanced bio-fuels and chemicals”.  The seminar will be presented by Dr. Birgitte Ahring, Ph.D., Battelle Distinguished Professor and Director of the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory on Friday, April 15, 2001 at 4pm in L.J. Smith Hall, Room 259.

April 8, 2011; Friday, LJSmith 259 at 4:00PM

Please join us for a graduate seminar titled “USE OF MICROSENSORS TO STUDY BIOFILM PROCESSES” presented by Haluk Beyenal, Associate Professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering.  The seminar will be at 4pm on April 8, 2011 in LJ Smith Hall, Room 259. 

Abstract
Biofilms can grow on many surfaces, and they can be harmful or useful in environmentally benign processes. Biofilms cost United States industry billions of dollars  annually by corroding pipes, reducing heat transfer or hydraulic pressure in industrial cooling systems, plugging water injection jets, and clogging water filters. In addition, biofilms cause major medical problems by infecting host tissues, harboring bacteria that contaminate drinking water, and causing the rejection of medical implants. On the other hand, biofilms are used in the bioremediation of groundwaters which have been contaminated with heavy metals or other toxic chemicals, and they are employed in biological wastewater treatment systems because of their high effectiveness compared to other commercial systems.  Microsensors have assumed a prominent position as indispensable tools in biofilm research because they allow for the probing of local microenvironments and the quantification of local chemistries at the microscale level with high spatial resolution, providing information that is difficult to get otherwise.  As the thickness of most biofilms does not exceed a few hundred mm and the measurements need to be done within the space occupied by the biofilm. Biofilm researchers use microsensors to measure the concentration profiles of dissolved substances within the space occupied by the biofilm as well as in the bulk solution near the biofilm surface. 

This presentation will provide an overview of the various microsensors currently available to biofilm researchers and their applications.  General principles for using microsensors and interpreting the resultant measurements will be discussed as well.

Bio
Dr. Beyenal is an associate professor in the Washington State University, Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering. His research is focused on biofilm processes. His research group has developed many microsensors which are used to investigate the activity and structure of biofilms, developed mathematical models to predict biofilm activity and structure.  Using these novel tools, his research group studies heavy metal immobilization using biofilms and investigates electron transfer mechanisms in biofilms and electrochemically active biofilms.  He has co-authored more than 60 publications on biofilms, and recently published a book entitled “Fundamentals of Biofilm Engineering”. 

March 25, 2011; Friday, LJSmith 259 at 4:00PM

Please join us for a graduate seminar titled “USE OF MICROSENSORS TO STUDY BIOFILM PROCESSES” presented by Dr.Haluk Beyenal, Associate Professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering.  The seminar will be at 4pm on April 8, 2011 in LJ Smith Hall, Room 259.  An abstract is below.

Abstract
Biofilms can grow on many surfaces, and they can be harmful or useful in environmentally benign processes. Biofilms cost United States industry billions of dollars  annually by corroding pipes, reducing heat transfer or hydraulic pressure in industrial cooling systems, plugging water injection jets, and clogging water filters. In addition, biofilms cause major medical problems by infecting host tissues, harboring bacteria that contaminate drinking water, and causing the rejection of medical implants. On the other hand, biofilms are used in the bioremediation of groundwaters which have been contaminated with heavy metals or other toxic chemicals, and they are employed in biological wastewater treatment systems because of their high effectiveness compared to other commercial systems.  Microsensors have assumed a prominent position as indispensable tools in biofilm research because they allow for the probing of local microenvironments and the quantification of local chemistries at the microscale level with high spatial resolution, providing information that is difficult to get otherwise.  As the thickness of most biofilms does not exceed a few hundred mm and the measurements need to be done within the space occupied by the biofilm. Biofilm researchers use microsensors to measure the concentration profiles of dissolved substances within the space occupied by the biofilm as well as in the bulk solution near the biofilm surface. 

This presentation will provide an overview of the various microsensors currently available to biofilm researchers and their applications.  General principles for using microsensors and interpreting the resultant measurements will be discussed as well.

Bio
Dr. Beyenal is an associate professor in the Washington State University, Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering. His research is focused on biofilm processes. His research group has developed many microsensors which are used to investigate the activity and structure of biofilms, developed mathematical models to predict biofilm activity and structure.  Using these novel tools, his research group studies heavy metal immobilization using biofilms and investigates electron transfer mechanisms in biofilms and electrochemically active biofilms.  He has co-authored more than 60 publications on biofilms, and recently published a book entitled “Fundamentals of Biofilm Engineering”. 

March 25, 2011; Friday, LJSmith 259 at 4:00PM

Please join us for a graduate research seminar titled “Multi-Scale Biophysical Investigations of Bacterial Properties” presented by Dr. Nehal I Abu-Lail of the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Cemical Engineering and Bioengineering, Washington State University.

Abstract:
Bacterial adhesion describes the ability of a bacterium to attach to inert and biotic surfaces of interest. Understanding and controlling bacterial adhesion is relevant to many long-lasting problems such as implant-related bacterial infections. Annually, about one million cases of implant-related bacterial infections are reported in the US. The route to bacterial infections involves two main stages. Prior to causing infections, a pathogenic bacterium needs to survive in vitro environments, attach to inert surfaces, and find an opportunity to enter the host. Once in vivo, the bacterial pathogen needs to survive, proliferate, and invade mammalian cells of the host. For most bacterial pathogens, the in vivo mechanisms of bacterial virulence are well-investigated via traditional biological means. In comparison, the in vitro steps leading to bacterial virulence are poorly understood. Therefore, our lab research is focused on enhancing our fundamental understanding of the differences in the biophysical properties among pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria and the role of these properties in controlling the bacterial adhesion to inert surfaces and in contributing to bacterial virulence. To investigate the biophysical properties of microbes, we use a combination of nanoscale and macroscale tools in our investigations. In this talk, I will highlight our atomic force microscopy studies while working with an array of Listeria pathogenic and non-pathogenic species.  Our recent results indicated the presence of a strong correlation between the abilities of microbes to be pathogenic in vivo and their abilities to adhere to inert surfaces in vitro.  Our results also indicated the presence of a relationship between bacterial virulence and the nanomechanical properties of bacterial cells. In addition, I will describe some of our preliminary efforts towards better understanding of how pathogens attach to mammalian cells at the nanoscale. Our results overall are instrumental to researchers working on designing tools to better predict, control, diagnose, and treat bacterial infections.

Nehal I. Abu-Lail received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (2004). She is an Assistant Professor at the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering (ChEBE) WSU since August of 2006. Her research interest lies at the interface of chemistry, science/engineering, materials and Biological Sciences with special emphasis on fundamental understanding of interactions within biological systems at the nanoscale. She has published over 20 technical articles and presented her research in over 50 national meetings. Her research is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of health (NIH) and 3M.

March 11, 2011; Friday, LJSmith 259 at 4:00PM

Please join us for a graduate research seminar titled “Physical Characteristics and Microstructures of Mango Powder (Philippines "Carabao" var.) Made from Different Drying Systems” presented by Ofero Caparino, Graduate Research Assistant working for Dr. Juming Tang in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering.

February 25, 2011; Friday, LJSmith 259 at 4:00PM

Please join us for a graduate seminar titled “Automation in Agriculture:  In-field Solutions for Specialty Crops presented by Yiannis G., Ampatzidis, Research Associate for the Center for Prevision & Automated Agricultural Systems.

Presentation Summary
Data acquisition in the field should be reliable and timely in order to enhance real-time decision making and provide information needed to meet compliance standards.  One of the main difficulties for implementing cost effective documentation and traceability systems, as well as spatially variable crop management for agricultural products, is the acquisition of relevant data in the first link of the production chain, i.e., the complex farm environment. This presentation introduces innovative in-field data monitoring systems, especially during manual fruit harvesting, for in field traceability yield mapping as well as for providing information on efficiency and working hours of an individual worker (monitor farm labor).

February 18, 2011; Friday, LJSmith 259 at 4:00PM

Please join us for a graduate seminar titled “WEPP Model Erosion Prediction Technology Development and Application”.  The seminar will be presented by Dr. Dennis C. Flanagan, Lead Research Scientist at the USDA-ARS National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory and Adjunct Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. 

February 11, 2011, Friday, LJSmith 259 at 4:00PM

Please join us for a graduate seminar titled “Stereovision-Based Lateral Offset Measurement for Vehicle Navigation in Open Agricultural Fields”.  This seminar will be presented by Dr. Qi Wang, Post-doctoral Research Associate in the department of Biological Systems Engineering.  
Summary:
This presentation is a summary of Dr. Qi Wang’s research work in the autonomous navigation of agricultural vehicles.   He will provide brief background information of vehicle navigation in open agricultural fields.  To address some existing problems, Dr. Wang has developed a computer-vision based method that assists running agricultural vehicles in keeping a consistent heading direction in open fields.  He will introduce the basic idea of this method, the computer algorithms, and the validation experiments.  His work opened a new research area:  the vision-based navigation of agricultural vehicles in ill-structured environments. 

February 4, 2011, Friday, LJSmith 259 at 4:00PM

Please join us for a graduate seminar titled “Traditional Indian Dairy Products” that will be presented by Dr. Uprit.   Dr. Uprit is a Fulbright Visiting Fellow and Professor & Head of the Department of Dairy Technology in the College of Dairy Technology at India Gandhi Agricultural University, Raipur (C.G.) India. 

Abstract:
Milk products like khoa, shrikhand, gulabjamun, paneer, and sweets, represent a prolific segment of the Indian Dairy Industry.  These products have a huge market nationally as well as internationally due to a large Indian population in many countries in general, and in North America in particular.   Most Indian dairy products are processed in traditional ways, but the entire range of these products opens up a new and promising avenue for diversification.  The fast changing socio-economic environment drives the requirements for traditional dairy products to be processed and packaged in new forms.

January 28, 2011, Friday, LJSmith 259 at 4:00PM

Please join us for a graduate seminar titled “New Strategies for the Catalytic Upgrading of Fast Pyrolysis Bio-oil from Mallee”.  This seminar will be presented by Xiang Li from Curtin University, Western Australia
Abstract:
New Strategies for the Catalytic Upgrading of Fast Pyrolysis Bio-oil from Mallee
Xiang Li
(Curtin Centre for Advanced Energy Science and Engineering, Curtin University, Western Australia)
Biomass is regarded as one of the most important renewable energy sources for sustainable production of biofuels and chemicals. For example, mallee biomass in Western Australia has recently attracted significant attention as a source for the production of second-generation bio-fuels due to its excellent energy performance and economic competitiveness. Fast pyrolysis of biomass for producing liquid bio-oil can convert up to 70% of the original biomass into a crude bio-oil. Although this oil is convenient for transportation and storage and is a potential substitute for petroleum, its quality makes it incompatible with the existing petroleum refining infrastructure due to high acidity and thermal instability. The experimental results obtained by simultaneous catalytic esterification, acetalization and hydrolysis of bio-oil fractions with methanol using a commercial Amberlyst-70 catalyst at temperature between 70 and 170 oC will be discussed during the seminar.

 

*unless otherwise posted

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