Current: 2014-2015



Balaji Sethuramasamyraja, Ph.DCSU Fresno

Balaji Sethuramasamyraja

Dr. Balaji Sethuramasamyraja (Dr. Seth) is an Agricultural Engineer & Associate Professor in the department of Industrial Technology, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at California State University, Fresno. He is the Program Director of Agricultural Systems Management major and Precision Agriculture Technology minor. His research interests are in the areas of precision agriculture, Smart Farm automation/robotics, Internet of Things ‘IoT’ and applied engineering research in agriculture. He takes immense pride in teaching, research and student advising.


Vice Chair

Yiannis Ampatzidis, Ph.D – CSU Bakersfield

Yiannis Ampatzidis

Dr. Yiannis Ampatzidis is an agricultural engineer and assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Engineering at the California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB). He received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH, Greece) in 2010, his MS in Agricultural Engineering in 2005, his B.S. in Agricultural Engineering (5-year Diploma, MSc equivalent) in 2008 and his B.S. in Agriculture and Ecology (5-year Diploma) in 2002 from the same university. He has held several research positions in Greece and USA. Most recently, Dr. Ampatzidis was a researcher in the Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems (CPAAS), at Washington State University (WSU). He has taught at Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, at the Technological Educational Institute of Larisa, and at the AUTH (Greece). Generally, he works in the area of mechanization and automation of specialty crop production, focusing on the design, development, and testing of sensors and control systems for optimal management of inputs, resources and products. His current research focus is on mechatronics, precision agriculture, UAVs and machine systems with special interest in development, implementation and evaluation of agricultural machines and control systems for high value crops (precision agriculture applications, embedded systems developing and programming, UAVs-drones, GIS applications). He has authored or co-authored more than 60 papers in journals/international conferences, in his areas of expertise. For more info here:



Bo Liu, Ph.D – Cal Poly BRAE

Bo Liu 150

Dr. Bo Liu is an assistant professor in BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department at Cal Poly State University. He received his doctoral and master’s degree from the University of Missouri – Columbia. He teaches coursework in the areas of electronics, sensors, data acquisition systems and robotics, and conducts research in emerging information technologies, artificial intelligence and mechatronics applications in agricultural production and processing. His research projects have been funded by private companies, state and federal agencies. He has been invited to present research projects at various national and international conferences. Dr. Liu is the past committee chair of American Society of Biological and Agricultural Engineers (ASABE) ITSC-254 Emerging Information Systems, and the current secretary of ASABE California-Nevada section.


Past Chair

Carolyn Jones, PEUSDA NRCS


Carolyn earned an Agricultural (Biological Systems) Engineering BS degree from UC Davis in 2001 where she spent two years as a live-in caretaker at the Animal Science Horse Barn. In 2000, Carolyn was introduced to the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as a student intern in the Dixon Field Office. After graduation, she joined NRCS at the State Office where conservation/agricultural engineering took her as far north as Tulelake, as far west as Ukiah, as far east as Auburn, and as far south as Modesto. Her design projects have varied from irrigation and tailwater return to dairy waste management to streambank repair and revetments to small pond design and design/computation tool development. In 2004 Carolyn obtained her Civil Engineering Professional Engineering license. She transferred to the Napa Field Office in 2006 and has been working with landowners and partnering agencies on erosion control, storm water conveyance, livestock water systems, irrigation water management, and stream restoration design projects. In 2007, she earned her Agricultural Engineering license and is proud to be double-registered, including in the field of her passion – agriculture! In January 2012, Carolyn was promoted to the Bay/Delta Cluster Engineer and serves 8 counties. Carolyn was a 2009-2011 ASABE Trustee, is the 2010-2012 Chair of ASABE’s Professional Engineers Institute, has been active in the CA/NV Section since 2001, and participates on a few Soil and Water (SW) committees.


Career Development

Shawn AshkanCSU Fresno




Membership Chair

Zhongli Pan, Ph.DUC Davis BAE & USDA ARS

ZhongLi Pan 150

Dr. Zhongli Pan serves as Research Engineer at the Western Regional Research Center, USDA-ARS and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California – Davis. Dr. Pan received his Ph.D. degree in Food Engineering from the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of California, Davis, in 1998. He had outstanding work experience in academia, research institutions and industry. He has led many international cooperation activities and research projects, as well as professional society activities through his academic and research career. He also served as the Director of World Food Center – China at UC Davis from 2015-2016 with a major effort in developing the World Food Center’s cooperation with China for improved global food safety and security. He authored more than 280 scientific publications, patents, books and book chapters. Dr. Pan received several prestigious awards, including 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 2007 Herbert L. Rothbart Outstanding Early Career Research Scientist Award of the USDA-ARS, 2008 Bring Charm to the World Award in China, 2012 Distinguished Career Award – Association of Overseas Chinese Agricultural, Biological, and Food Engineers. He was an invited speaker at various international conferences. He has been serving in various leadership positions at several profession organizations, including current President of Chinese American Food Society and Vice President of Asian Association for Agricultural Engineering, as well as former President of Association of Overseas Chinese Agricultural, Biological and Food Engineers and Member of Trustee of American Society of Biological and Agricultural Engineers (ASABE) Foundation Board.


Program Chair

Traeger Cotten, PESouthern California Edison

Traeger Cotten, Ag Summit - Tulare - November 2014-16 (Large)

Traeger has been with Southern California Edison for six years, concentrating primarily on energy efficiency. Traeger consults with Edison’s large business customers on how to better use energy. In that capacity, he performs energy audits, makes recommendations for upgrades, quantifies the energy savings associated with those upgrades, and links those projects with incentive programs. Often times Traeger feels like he’s in an episode of Modern Marvels as he tours manufacturing & processing facilities while on the job. Traeger graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2000 with a Bachelors Degree in Agricultural Engineering. Prior to joining Edison Traeger worked in the automated controls industry, designing and implementing control systems. Traeger is the California-Nevada ASABE section Program Chair, a position that he has held for three years. Prior to that he was the Industry/Student Liaison.


Public Relations

Hossein Edalati, MSUC Davis BAE

Hossein Edalati

Abdolhossein (Hossein) Edalati is a graduate student at the University of CA, Davis in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department. He is advised by Professor Ruihong Zhang and has spent his graduate work on various waste management, sustainability, and environmental engineering related projects. These projects include: studying the microbial communities in a full scale anaerobic digester, producing sustainable biofertilizers from anaerobic digester effluent and testing them in greenhouses as well as on the farm for cultivation of high value specialty crops, researching ways to reduce the viscosity of corn steep liquor for potential use as organic fertilizer, and looking at manure management on California dairy farms, specifically mechanical separators on dairies and their affect in methane potential reduction in liquid storage lagoons.


Awards Chair

Nick Simonian, M.S.CSU Fresno

Nick Simonian 150

Nick is currently a part time lecture at California State University Fresno teaching Industrial Technology. In addition to CSU Fresno Nick provides technology integration support at H2o-Optimizer in Fresno Ca. Working to help provide technology in agriculture to assist local growers helping them reduce energy and water usage while providing an increase in yield. Nick also has extensive background in small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) with 25 years of design and development background and 12 years of autonomous flight systems development with the primary goal of mosaic terrain mapping. Nick graduated from California State University Fresno in 2009 with a Masters Degree in Industrial Technology and worked on UAV development during his time as a student at Fresno State.


Industry/Student Liaison

Pappu Kumar Yadav, M.S.CSU Fresno

Pappu Yadav 150

Pappu Kumar Yadav has been working in the capacity of Electrical Equipment Technician at Center for Irrigation Technology/ California Water Institute, Fresno State for more than three years now. He works on controls and automation of irrigation system used for various research projects focused on water, energy and irrigation technology. His areas of expertise include data acquisition system, soil moisture sensors, flow meters, nitrate sensors, radio telemetry and automation and control. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics & Communication Engineering from SRM University, Chennai, India and MS in Electrical Engineering from California State University, Fresno.


PAST: 2015-2016


Chair – Noelle Arredondo, PE; Meyers Construction

Vice Chair – Balaji Sethuramasamyraja, Ph.D; CSU Fresno

Secretary/Treasurer – Andy Holtz, Ph.D; Cal Poly BRAE

Past Chair – Carolyn Jones, PE; USDA NRCS


Membership Chair – Yiannis Ampatzidis, Ph.D; CSU Bakersfield

Program Chair – Traeger Cotten, PE; SCE

Career Development – Arturo Barajas; Cal Poly BRAE

Public Relations – Hossein Edalati, MS; UC Davis BAE

Awards – Nick Simonian; CSU Fresno

Industry/Student Liaison – Tyler Niday; OMC


PAST: 2012-2014


Chair – Carolyn Jones, PE; USDA NRCS

Vice Chair – Noelle Arredondo, PE; Meyers Construction

Secretary/Treasurer – Andy Holtz, Ph.D; Cal Poly BRAE

Past Chair – Victor Duraj; UC Davis BAE & WCAE


Membership Chair – Betsy Gerwig, PE; JM Lord, Inc.

Program Chair – Traeger Cotten, PE; SCE

Career Development – Not filled

Public Relations – Bob Coates, M.S.; UC Davis BAE

Awards – Richard Cavaletto, Ph.D PE; Cal Poly BRAE

Industry/Student Liaison – Not filled



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