Tag Archives: RESEARCH

Tennessee State University researcher receives national excellence award for multistate water conservation project

Dr. Dilip Nandwani
Dr. Dilip Nandwani

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service)— A researcher from Tennessee State University received a national award for excellence recently for his work on water conservation.

Dr. Dilip Nandwani, associate professor of organic agriculture with the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, received the individual Award of Excellence from the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy November 3, during the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Nandwani also accepted the 2014 Experiment Station Section Excellence in Multistate Research Award on behalf of the 20 land-grant university research team involved in the study.

Nandwani served as the committee chair for the collaborative team studying how farmers can best use microirrigation systems to sustainably irrigate their land, especially during droughts and water shortages. The five-year project included agricultural engineers, plant and soil scientists, and economists conducting a variety of studies and outreach efforts across the country.

The multistate team, which worked on the project officially known as the W-2128 Microirrigation for Sustainable Water Use Project, was supported in part through USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) by the Multistate Research Fund, established in 1998 by the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act (an amendment to the Hatch Act of 1888) to encourage and enhance multistate, multidisciplinary agricultural research on critical issues. Additional funds were provided by contracts and grants to participating scientists.

“It is a great honor to be recognized at the APLU’s Annual Meeting,” Nandwani said. “This award validates our hard work over the last five years.”

Nandwani began work on the project while a member of the faculty at the University of the Virgin Islands. During the course of the five-year project, the multistate team’s research led to new microirrigation equipment and tools that are easier to install, more durable and more precise. The advances have encouraged adoption of microirrigation systems, which has led to significant economic and environmental impacts.

Highlights of the project included the University of Idaho demonstrating better crop yields with microirrigation than with center-pivot irrigation, while New Mexico State University tested and compared several models of drip tubing and emitters that could be used for inexpensive, low-pressure microirrigation suitable for small farms.

Iowa State University showed that fewer sensors, if placed correctly, could provide cost-effective, detailed maps of soil moisture content, while Oregon State University calibrated soil-water sensors to improve the precision of irrigation scheduling.

“My goal is to ensure the science we invest in leads to solutions to today’s most pressing challenges,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, director of USDA-NIFA. “One of those challenges is finding ways to feed the growing population while minimally impacting the environment. A safe, reliable supply of water is inextricably linked to food security. The five-fold increase in irrigated acres that took place during the 20th century cannot be repeated in the 21st century — there isn’t the space. Instead, we must increase efficiency of the irrigated farmland we have, and that’s what this project is doing.”

In addition to Tennessee State University, the other participating land-grant institutions included: Auburn University; University of Arizona; University of California, Davis; University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources; Colorado State University; University of Florida; University of Hawaii; University of Idaho; Kansas State University; Mississippi State University, University of Nebraska, New Mexico State University; Cornell University; Oregon State University; University of Puerto Rico; Texas A&M AgriLife Research; University of the Virgin Islands; Washington State University; and University of Wyoming. The universities also collaborated with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and Agricultural Research Service.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU College of Engineering Research Focus Prepares Graduates for Employment; Receives $1 Million DHS Grant for Data Sciences Study

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Engineering is aggressively pursuing research in strategic areas that complement the engineering curriculums and prepare graduates for careers in emerging areas for employment and entrepreneurship.

One of those emerging areas is the field of Data Sciences and Analytics, a key focus of the college, which, according to Dean S. Keith Hargrove, meets the “huge” industry demand to manage “big data” and helps businesses optimize their operations to meet the needs of their customers.

“We have responded to this industry demand with the development of advanced courses, industry partners, and qualified faculty to create a curriculum for this discipline and concurrently conduct research for cyber-security, analytics, and data storage,” Hargrove said.

Graduate student Adrian Parker develops multi-physics simulation models for lithium ion batteries and uses special equipment for battery devices. (courtesy photo)
Graduate student Adrian Parker develops multi-physics simulation models for lithium ion batteries and uses special equipment for battery devices. (courtesy photos)

Adrian ParkerThis effort has yielded positive results, he noted. Recently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded the College of Engineering a $1 million grant to develop an integrated research and education program in data analytics. The award will be implemented in two phases over a period of six years.

Dr. Martene Stanberry, assistant professor of Mathematics, and Dr. Sachin Shetty, assistant professor of Electrical Engineering, will manage the program by combining their expertise and experience in cyber security and control systems research, as well as leveraging resources and facilities already available to them under the TIGER (TSU Interdisciplinary Graduate Engineering Research) Institute, directed by Dr. Hargrove.

Also, another team of researchers in the college has received funding to examine ways to improve the life of batteries. The team, including Drs. Lizhi Ouyang, Landon Onyebueke, Mohan Malkani and Hargrove, received $150,000 from the Naval Engineering Education Center of the U.S. Navy Sea System Command, and $80,000 from the Crane Naval Warfare Center in Indiana. The team will conduct multi-physics modeling of lithium ion batteries, and perform testing of electro-chemistries for performance and reliability. Also a part of the TIGER Institute, the project will involve undergraduate and graduate students.

Under the DHS program, the thrust of the study will involve the development of data analytic approaches for anomaly detection in critical infrastructure, that are based on the prior work of the faculty in scalable machine learning and optimal control systems, Hargrove said. He added that the education thrust would enhance the existing undergraduate Mathematical Sciences and Electrical and Computer Engineering programs through curriculum enhancement, student recruitment and retention, outreach, and collaborative relationships with DHS Centers of Excellence, industry, federal labs, and academia. Students will receive training in statistical analysis, machine-learning methods, and cloud computing and storage technologies used in manipulating, storing, and analyzing cyber data.

According to Hargrove, the need to capture, store, manage, and interpret massive amounts of data for decision making in today’s high-tech environment, is expected to grow exponentially within the next decade.

“The spending in ‘big-data’ is projected to increase from $27 billion from 2012 to $55 billion by 2016,” the dean said, adding, “It is therefore our responsibility to help train and educate a diverse workforce to enter these emerging career fields.”

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Dedicates Cutting-edge Research Facilities to Accommodate “Phenomenal” Growth in Agricultural Sciences

The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences dedicated three new buildings September 17 on campus, including the centerpiece of the additions, the Agricultural Biotechnology Building. The added lab space and updated equipment in the  state-of-the-art $8 million Agricultural Biotechnology Building will provide more room for cutting-edge research, with implications for farmers and consumers in Tennessee and beyond. Helping with the ribbon cutting ceremony include (L-R) Julius Johnson, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture; John Morgan, Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor; TSU President Glenda Glover; USDA Mid South assistant area director Archie Tucker; Dean Chandra Reddy; and State Representatives Brenda Gilmore and Harold Love(photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences dedicated three new buildings on campus September 17, including the centerpiece of the additions, the Agricultural Biotechnology Building. The added lab space and updated equipment in the state-of-the-art $8 million Agricultural Biotechnology Building will provide more room for cutting-edge research, with implications for farmers and consumers in Tennessee and beyond. Helping with the ribbon cutting ceremony include (L-R) Julius Johnson, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture; John Morgan, Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor; TSU President Glenda Glover; USDA Mid South assistant area director Archie Tucker; Dean Chandra Reddy; and State Representatives Brenda Gilmore and Harold Love (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – With graduate enrollment in agricultural sciences at Tennessee State University more than tripled in five years and an influx of new Ph.D. faculty topping more than 25 in just three years, University officials are celebrating the addition of new facilities to accommodate this “phenomenal” growth.

Today, TSU President Glenda Glover, joined by Dean Chandra Reddy, Chancellor John Morgan, of the Tennessee Board of Regents, and other University officials, federal and state stakeholders and elected official, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for three new buildings on campus.

The buildings, with a combined price tag of more than $12 million, were funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The centerpiece of the new facilities is the 25,000 square-foot Agricultural Biotechnology Building, the first new building constructed at the University in nearly eight years. It contains more than 12 state-of-the-art labs for cutting-edge research, including DNA synthesis and chromatography analysis. The building will also house and support primarily agricultural research, and provide working space for more than 20 new Ph.D.-level scientists, as well as administrative offices.

The other two facilities, called the Agricultural and STEM Education and Training Center, and the Agricultural Research Support Building, are located on the University farm.

“Tennessee State University is preparing students who are ready for the workforce,” said a very upbeat President Glover, as she thanked the USDA, the TBR, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and other stakeholders for their support in making the buildings a reality.

“This is such a wonderful opportunity. With these facilities, our students will benefit tremendously by engaging in cutting-edge research in food safety and security, and by expanding their knowledge in their quest for excellence,” the President added.

Dr. Hongwei Si, Assistant Professor of Food Chemistry, explains some of the research projects going on in the Food Biosciences and Technology Lab, as visitors, including Dean Chandra Reddy, and TBR Chancellor John Morgan, far right, listen. (photo by Rick Delahaya, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. Hongwei Si, Assistant Professor of Food Chemistry, explains some of the research projects going on in the Food Biosciences and Technology Lab, as visitors, including Dean Chandra Reddy, and TBR Chancellor John Morgan, far right, listen. (photo by Rick Delahaya, TSU Media Relations)

For Dean Reddy, he said research funding in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences has tripled to couple with climbing enrollment on the undergraduate and graduate levels.

“This dedication and these buildings memorialize the ongoing transformation in the college over the last five years,” Reddy said. “We have multiplied every useful metrics during this time, be it student enrollment, research funding and outreach.”

He said the college has integrated academics with research and outreach and extension, established faculty focus groups to provide intellectual leadership to their programs, as well as created new opportunities for students to get involved in research and outreach.

The need for continued investment in agriculture and the food sciences is tremendous, he said, reminding the gathering about the expected growth in human population and the risk of climate change and its effect on food crops, and the impact of food on “our” overall health and wellbeing.

“To address these fundamental problems, our research is focusing on developing crops and products for health, for climate change, for energy, and ultimately alleviate the problems facing the world today and in the future,” added Reddy.

TBR Chancellor Morgan, who described the dedication as very significant, also thanked the USDA, President Glover, Dr. Reddy and other stakeholders for their support.

“This is very significant because it reflects the commitment of this University to excellence and to producing students who are capable and ready for the workforce anywhere in the country and the world.”

While the dedication of the new facilities was the focus of today’s ceremony, a presentation by a TSU student received tremendous cheers from the audience, and caught the attention of several speakers and stakeholders with job offers for the Agricultural Sciences major from Chicago.

Kourtney Daniels
Kourtney Daniels

Kourtney Daniels, a sophomore with a 4.0 GPA, serving as a TSU Student Ambassador, had only to give the welcome remarks, but her “very eloquent,” three-minute presentation drew praises even she did not expect.

“I was just being myself; I did not expect to have such an impact,” said Daniels.

Others also participating in today’s dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony were: Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Mark Hardy; State Representative Brenda Gilmore, a TSU alum, who has championed many causes on the state and national levels for her alma mater; and Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner, Julius Johnson.

State Representative Harold Love Jr.; Archie Tucker, assistant director of the Mid South Area for the USDA’s Agricultural Research Services; Steve Gass, of the Tennessee Department of Education; Dr. Roger Sauve, superintendent of the Agricultural Research and Education Center at TSU; and Ron Brooks, associate vice president for Facilities Management, also took part in the dedication.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.