Chair: Lynn Groundwater, 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, MS – UC Davis BAE
Tyler is a PhD Candidate in Biological Systems Engineering 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: Agricultural Waste Management, Renewable Energy, Controlled Environment Engineering (e.g. Greenhouses and Bioreactors), Algal and Fungal Biotechnology, and Technoeconomic/Life Cycle Assessment. He is also passionate about engineering education, sustainable development, and interdisciplinary planetary health solutions (e.g. One Health). He is in the final stage of my doctoral degree at UC Davis and 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 cat Marvin who enjoys playing fetch, going for walks, eating spiderwebs, 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: Bo Liu, Ph.D – Cal Poly SLO BRAE
Dr. Bo Liu is an associate 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. Dr. Liu is the past committee chair of American Society of Biological and Agricultural Engineers (ASABE) ITSC-254 Emerging Information Systems, and the current Treasurer of ASABE California-Nevada Section.
Secretary: Charles Hillyer, PhD – CSU Fresno
Past Chair: Hossein Edalati, MS – UC Davis BAE
Abdolhossein Edalati-Sarayani likes to joke that his parents gave him a name with every letter in the alphabet so that he could learn to read sooner :). That said, Hossein is a first generation immigrant whose family moved to the US from Iran in 1986. They came here in search of higher education and opportunity. Hossein’s early interests in High School and College were in the biomedical sciences, but after working several years, he felt constrained by working in a closed lab space all the time. Perhaps, inspired by his grandfather’s roots as a Saffron farmer, Hossein returned to UC Davis to pursue a graduate degree in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department where he is advised by Professor Ruihong Zhang. His graduate work has focused on projects related to municipal and agricultural waste management, sustainability, and environmental engineering. In his spare time, Hossein likes to be around the beautiful game of football (soccer), coaching youth soccer and refereeing.
Membership Chair: Julie Meyers, MS EIT – Davids Engineering
Julie Meyers is a Civil/Agricultural Engineer at Davids Engineering in Davis, CA. Since joining Davids Engineering in 2018, she has provided services in support of SGMA Groundwater Sustainability Plan development and other agricultural or wetland water management projects. Julie grew up in San Jose, California before attending UC Davis, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Biological Systems Engineering. Her graduate research and coursework were focused on precision irrigation, hydrology, and remote sensing. Julie is also licensed in the state of California as an Engineer-in-Training. Julie initially decided to study engineering because she was good at math and wanted to avoid writing essays, but wasn’t sure what kind of engineering to major in. Having also enjoyed biology, she eventually made her way to Biological Systems Engineering – a happy medium between mechanical engineering and biology. As she became more aware of the many challenges facing agriculture in California, she decided to focus on precision irrigation and sustainable water management in agriculture. In her free time, Julie enjoys outdoor activities such as biking, backpacking, skiing and gardening. She has participated in the cycling event Foxy’s Fall Century in Davis in 2018 and 2019 and is planning to do so again in 2020. In her quest to avoid buying plastic packaging, Julie has also been making her own yogurt, sour cream and, occasionally, crackers.
Program Chair: Mohammad Sadek, PhD – Cal Poly SLO BRAE
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.
Public Relations: 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!
Career Development: 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.
Awards Chair: Sushant Mehan, PhD – Formation Environment, LLC
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.
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!