Repurposing Proteins in Nature for Biotechnological Application

Kok Zhi Lee


Proteins in nature with diverse biochemistries and structures provide an unlimited source for scientists to repurpose and engineer them for biotechnological applications. Here, werepurpose a plant viral protein for self-assembled nanomaterial synthesis. We improve the nanomaterial properties beyond the current gold standard through protein engineering, expanding its compatibility for diverse applications.

Evaluation of lipase-catalyzed epoxidation processes.

Elena Robles


The polluting impact derived from the use and production of plastics and polyols has pushed for the use of renewable materials and biotechnological processes. Nevertheless, novel industrial biotechnological processes require increased stability of the catalyst employed, this is particularly important in the use of costly enzymes. In this research, we evaluate the stability and efficiency of Candida antarcticalipase B (CALB) as a catalyst in the epoxidation of high oleic variations of soybean oil. Results are presented in terms of its yields and stability as well as physical parameters influencing its decay.

Water Management Solutions for East Africa: Increasing the Availability and Utilization of Data for Decision Making

Victoria Garibay


This research project addresses areas where there is input data scarcity with a primary focus on Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Its goal is to facilitate data-driven decision making strategies for informed water management policy and planning. This will be accomplished through the investigation of bias correction techniques to improve of the quality of freely available data and a demonstration of how existing an improved data resources can be used to evaluate practical scenarios.

Determining the Feasibility of Using Machine to Machine Synchronization in the Development of A Novel Unloading Strategy

Aaron Etienne


Over the past decade, technologies have been introduced to give agricultural machinery varying levels of semi-autonomous operation. Technologies such as auto-guidance have reduced the number of factors an operator must focus on in the field. Harvest is arguably the most complex operation farmers undertake from both the machine and system level. Often several operators work in the field simultaneously and constant communication is key to a safe and efficient operation. By introducing machine-to-machine communication between the combine and the tractor pulling a grain cart, it is possible to automate the grain unloading sequence. Automating the combine unloading process greatly reduces the burden on both the combine and tractor operator. In this study, the feasibility of using an existing machine-to-machine synchronization system for creation of a harvester unloading strategy was determined. Controller Area Network (CAN) data from in-field testing of a John Deere 8345R tractor pulling a Brandt 1020XR grain cart and S660 combine were logged using a Kvaser CAN logger. The logger simultaneously collected data from the combine and tractor data via a Kvaser air bridge that wirelessly transmitted the tractor’s CAN data to the logger on the combine. The data were then used to develop a system model. The system model was combined with a grain fill model to simulate the unloading process. Simulated results indicated that the system was capable of generating consistent grain fill profiles without spillage.