Chair: Lynn Groundwater, MS PE – Provost & Pritchard
Lynn has worked as an Associate Engineer with Provost & Pritchard at their Clovis office since 2015 and has nearly seven years of experience in civil and agricultural engineering. She has worked on SGMA projects including Basin Boundary Modifications and Groundwater Sustainability Plans, feasibility studies, water well projects, and water resources design projects. Lynn graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in BioResource and Agricultural Engineering from Cal Poly, SLO and got her Master’s Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University. Lynn has her Professional Engineering License in Civil Engineering and in Agricultural Engineering. Lynn was named the ASABE California/Nevada Section Engineer of the year in 2018. She is the Chair of the ASABE California/Nevada Section. Some would say that with the last name of Groundwater, a career in the water industry would be only natural. Lynn’s first introduction into engineering was through her father who was an engineer at a water district in Northern California. Lynn enjoyed math and science in high school and wanted to go to college for engineering. After taking a few agricultural engineering classes at Cal Poly, she knew that was the right major for her. Now she works on water resources studies and design projects in the Central Valley. Outside of work, Lynn enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, Kyle, and spending time with their animals. They have a small farm in the country with a cat, a dog, two turtles, and three horses. Lynn has ridden horses most of her life and loves having her horses at home. When they aren’t at home Lynn and Kyle enjoy camping, hiking, and traveling. Their latest adventure was getting married in October and going on their Honeymoon to New Zealand.
Vice Chair: Tyler Barzee, PhD – UC Davis BAE Department
Tyler is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department at the University of California Davis where he works with Professor Ruihong Zhang in the BioEnvironmental Engineering lab. He is an East Coast native and received his BS in Biosystems Engineering from Clemson University. His current research interests include: Bioprocessing, Algal and Fungal Biotechnology, Process Modeling, Agricultural Byproduct Upgrading, Renewable Energy, Controlled Environment Engineering, and Technoeconomic/Life Cycle Assessment. He is also passionate about engineering education, sustainable development, and interdisciplinary planetary health solutions (e.g. One Health). His future goal is to become a faculty researcher and educator. In Tyler’s spare time, he enjoys cooking, traveling, listening to music, and going on walks/hikes. He is also a classically-trained guitarist and you can usually find him around campus or on Youtube performing with the UC Davis Classical Guitar Ensemble. He is an animal lover and loves spending time with his two cats Marvin and Moose who both enjoy playing fetch, eating, cuddling, and devising plans for world domination. Tyler became a Biosystems Engineer because he believes it is among the most important and fascinating disciplines for sustaining human life and the environment into the future. To learn more about Tyler, please visit https://www.tylerbarzee.com/.
Treasurer: Mohammad Sadek, PhD – Cal Poly SLO BRAE Department
Dr. Mohammad Sadek is an Assistant Professor in the BioResource and Agricultural Engineering (BRAE) Department at Cal Poly State University. His area of expertise is agricultural machinery systems and automation. With a mechanically inclined background, Dr. Sadek believes that the wheel is one of the greatest inventions of all time. The rotational motion has solved many problems in the world. To upkeep his believe, he is also moving around the world. He has traveled and lived in many countries around the globe. Dr. Sadek is originally from Bangladesh. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from Bangladesh, he moved to Thailand for his master’s degree. Prior to start at Cal Poly, he lived in Canada, where he earned his doctorate degree and worked several years in Buhler Industries Inc. as a new product development engineer. Finding cheaper solutions for a problem brought him to the engineering field. He loves to call him poor man’s engineer. As an engineer, Dr. Sadek enjoys building games and toys using engineering principles. In his free time, he likes to move, I mean travel with his family. His favorite places have been the Great Wall of China and Banff in Alberta, Canada. His goal is to keep travelling and fulfill his dream of a world tour. He also enjoys cooking, loves to make his fusion recipes.
Secretary: Charles Hillyer, PhD – CSU Fresno CIT
Charles Hillyer joined the Center for Irrigation Technology at California State Univ., Fresno as Director in October of 2019. Prior to joining CIT, Charles has worked at a small startup company, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Oregon State Univ., and Mississippi State Univ. Charles’ focus on irrigation management and technology began when he joined Dr. Marshall English’s research team at Oregon State Univ. as a graduate student in 2004. Since then, Charles has worked on various irrigation topics including deficit irrigation management, variable rate irrigation, data exchange, and standards development. He is active in several professional societies including ASABE, the Irrigation Association, and AgGateway. Charles is the current head of the US delegation to the ISO TC23/SC18 committee on irrigation equipment.
Past Chair: Carolyn M. Jones, PE – USDA 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 and 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 manure management to stream and wetland restoration to small pond design and design/computation tool development. In 2004, Carolyn obtained her Civil Engineering Professional Engineering (PE) 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 PE 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 Team Engineer and serves 8 counties. Carolyn served as Acting State Conservation Engineer for 4 months in 2017. Carolyn was a 2009-2011 ASABE Trustee, was the 2010-2012 Chair of ASABE’s Professional Engineers Institute, has been active in the CA/NV Section since 2001, and participates on a number of Natural Resources and Environmental Systems (NRES) technical committees.
Membership Chair: Kristen Perano, PhD – USDA NRCS
Kristy is a Civil/Agricultural Engineer with the Natural Resources Conservation Service for Nevada and Placer counties in California. She graduated from UC Davis with a major in Biological Systems Engineering and a minor in Animal Science in 2012. She then attended Cornell University, earning her Masters’ and PhD in Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell. Her PhD research focused on conductive cooling systems for dairy cattle, specifically the production benefits, moisture accumulation, and heat flow in a cooling system that circulates chilled water through cows’ mats to relieve heat stress. She also contributed to research projects on ventilation systems, computational fluid dynamics, and bioenergetic modeling for dairy cattle while at Cornell. She is originally from Jackson, CA where she grew up on a cattle ranch that has been in the family for five generations. In her free time, she enjoys helping on the family ranch, gardening, and cross-country skiing. She is also very active in advocating for refugees, especially Afghans and Iraqis who worked as interpreters for the US military but face difficulties in obtaining visas to get to safety.
Program Chair: Irwin Donis-Gonzalez, PhD – UC Davis
Dr. Irwin Donis-González joined the Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE), and the Agricultural and Natural Resources (ANR) departments at the University of California Davis, on October 15, 2015, as a Cooperative Extension postharvest systems engineering specialist. His research focuses on topics related to post-harvest engineering, handling (storage, drying, etc.), traceability, and processing of agricultural commodities with a goal of reducing energy consumption while ensuring food quality and safety. Dr. Irwin Donis-González’s passion for agriculture and postharvest technologies began in the years 2004 in his native Guatemala, working as an independent agro consultant upon earning his Bachelor’s and Licentiate degree in Agricultural Engineering. Wanting to pursue advanced training in postharvest management, he went to earn his M.Sc. degree as a Fulbright Scholar. Using chestnuts as a model, he was instrumental in reducing the microbial contamination in fresh and processed foods by directly overseeing the postharvest management/storage of chestnuts throughout the state of Michigan. He then went on to earn his Ph.D. to further the use of non-destructive sensing technologies to assess the internal attributes of fruits, chestnuts, and vegetables. Dr. Donis was previously working as a postdoctoral associate at MSU addressing challenges for agro-based industries in the State of Michigan. Being an engineer, Dr. Donis-González loves to work on his own Jeep, which allows him to enjoy nature with his wife, daughter and two pups….. He is an avid Martial artist, and you can find him cooking on a BBQ, at least 10 days per month!
Public Relations: Sushant Mehan, PhD – The Ohio State University FABE Department
Agricultural engineering fulfills my curiosity for understanding the complex relationship between nature and human existence. During my undergraduate and Master’s studies at Punjab Agricultural University, my worldview and the relevance of the field of agricultural engineering came into focus. I developed an appreciation for agricultural engineers to enable Earth’s ability to support humanity’s food, water, and energy needs. My pursuit of knowledge and understanding led me to a Ph.D. at Purdue University, U.S.A. There, I am evaluated the impact of changing climatic conditions on nutrient flows through surface and agricultural drainage waters on water quality and quantity in the Western Lake Erie Basin. This information will advance the understanding of nutrient movement and inform best practices for the reduction of harmful algal blooms. I am currently working as an environmental consultant at Formation Environmental LLC., in Sacramento, California. In my present role, I am simulating the nitrate loadings within the central valley, important information for water regulators and other stakeholders to manage water resources in the state. Other than that, I am an active member of ASABE, where I am trying to bridge the gap between industry and academia. Being an active member of the young professional community at ASABE, I focus to enhance the professional skillsets of the college/graduate students and early career professionals by holding continuous professional development workshops. In my fun time, I try to involve myself in adventurous activities, e.g. recently I went to Lake Tahoe to learn skiing but after 3 hours of lessons and falling nearly 15 times, I realized I need more science to understand it before I brake any bone in my body. Overall, I serve with the hope that my contributions will add value to the field, and inspire others as I was in my early academic career.
Career Development: Luis Cabrales-Arriaga, CSU Bakersfield Physics & Engineering Department
Luis Edgar Cabrales Arriaga was born in Tampico, Mexico. He received a BS in Chemical Engineering at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Tamaulipas in Altamira, Mexico. He gained experience working as an engineer at M&G Polymers, one of the largest polyester producers in the world. Afterwards, he went on to earn an MS in Chemical Engineering at Texas Tech University (TTU) working on research projects related to polymer science. Then, he joined the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute (FBRI) at TTU as a research associate. While working at the Institute, he earned a Ph.D. with specialization in Fibers and Biopolymers from TTU in 2011. Currently, he is the Chair and Associate Professor at the Department of Physics and Engineering at California State University-Bakersfield. His research interests are in the areas of functionalization of polymeric surfaces to impart antibacterial, hydrophobic, UV protection, photocatalytic, and oleophobic properties. He is also interested in the study of cellulose materials and the synthesis of polyesters from renewable resources, their characterization, and their processing. At CSUB, he continues to work on research related to materials science and engineering while initiating the engineering sciences program. Furthermore, he has been working in water treatment technologies which are cost-effective to solve some of the needs of the region.
Awards Chair: Alejandro Andrade-Rodriguez, PhD – UNR Ag, Vet, & Rangeland Sci Department
Manuel Alejandro is an assistant professor in water and irrigation management at the Department of Agriculture, Veterinary, and Rangeland Sciences of the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). Alejandro received a doctoral and master’s degree in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering from the University of Arizona, and a bachelor’s degree in Irrigation Engineering from Manuel Andrade, PhD the University of Chapingo in Mexico, his country of origin. Before joining UNR, Alejandro worked as a Research Engineer with Texas A&M Agrilife in Amarillo, TX, as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Bushland, TX, as a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Arizona, and as an Irrigation Engineer with the Mexican National Institute of Water Technology in Morelos, Mexico. Alejandro developed and teaches two new courses at UNR, titled Principles of Irrigation Water Management and Applied Programming for the Agricultural Sciences. Alejandro’s research program at UNR has the overarching goal of developing knowledge that will improve the management of irrigation water resources used in arid and semi-arid areas. Among his current research interests are precision irrigation, deficit irrigation, irrigation scheduling methods, plant and soil water sensing systems, crop modeling, decision support systems, and the application of heuristic optimization methods and artificial intelligence for the solution of complex problems in irrigation water management that cannot be tackled with traditional methods
Industry/Student Liaison: Steve Zicari, PhD PE – California Safe Soils
Hello! I’m pleased to serve as the Student/Industry Chair for the ASABE CA/NV section in 2020. Currently I am the Chief Technology Officer at California Safe Soil, LLC, a company based near Sacramento, CA where we convert organic food- and agricultural-byproducts into fertilizers, feeds, and other bioproducts. I earned my PhD in Biosystems Engineering at UC Davis and MS/BS degrees in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University. As a practicing Professional Engineer in Ag. and Bio. Engineering, I look forward to supporting our student-members and -chapters to grow their access to an industry network (and vice-versa!). I became an engineer to implement innovative solutions to improve resource-use efficiencies so that we can sustainably feed and fuel our growing population. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my wife and two kids travelling, skiing, and eating yummy food!