Research

BAE Seniors Innovate to Solve Real-World Problems

The three-quarter Capstone course at UC Davis gives biological systems engineering students the skills and experiences they need to become leaders in engineering design. This year’s teams worked on projects ranging from remote sensing to aquaponic indoor plant growth to alginate encapsulation of caviar. Two exceptional teams are highlighted.

Hot and Cold

UC Davis engineers are innovating at high and low temperatures to enable travel at hypersonic speeds and sustainably keep food safe and fresh, respectively.

A Dry Idea to Save Energy and Preserve Food

Have you ever stopped to think about how much energy it takes to dry the coffee beans in your coffee? Or the corn in the tortilla chip you’re crunching? Or the rice in your sushi roll? Probably not — you might lose your appetite. Biological Systems Engineering Ph.D. student Alice Dien has thought about it a lot and come up with an intriguing solution: Desiccation.

“Fungi to save the world”

Mycelium, the white filament-like root structure of mushrooms, might be an important building block of a more sustainable world. By growing mycelium with a biomass—anything from coffee grounds to leftover agricultural waste—researchers at UC Davis are creating sustainable structures that can be turned into everything from biodegradable plastics and circuit boards to filters that remove harmful antibiotic and pesticide residues from water.

Agriculture Goes Digital

The UC Davis Digital Agriculture Laboratory sits at the intersection of agriculture and digital technology. Led by biological and agricultural engineering assistant professor Alireza Pourreza, the lab works directly with growers to develop and deploy technology that gives them the information they need to better understand their plants and navigate our changing climate.

UC Davis to Lead Groundwater and Irrigated Agriculture Sustainability Study

Researchers from the University of California, Davis, have been awarded a $10 million grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to find ways to sustain irrigated agriculture while improving groundwater quantity and quality in the Southwest under a changing climate.

Engineers invent machine to shake up UC Davis’ COVID-19 testing

UC Davis engineers have invented shaking and inversion machines that are a critical part of the UC Davis Genome Center’s award-winning asymptomatic COVID-19 testing. These machines, designed and built in just six weeks, help treat saliva samples so they can be tested for the virus.

Keeping Youth Safe on Agricultural ATVs

Researchers in the department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE) are working to make agriculture safer for children. With a new five-year project funded through the National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety (NCCRAHS), assistant cooperative extension specialist Farzaneh Khorsandi and professor Fadi Fathallah will study all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety to prevent childhood injury.

UC Davis engineers fight food insecurity through sustainable agriculture

As the world’s population is expected to reach 9–10 billion by 2050 according to the U.N., the world must double food production to meet demand while using and reusing the resources we have left in a sustainable manner. Ruihong Zhang and Isaya Kisekka at UC Davis are rising to meet the challenge by finding new ways to sustainably produce food, while conserving resources by using microbes to produce new sources of protein and managing and irrigating crops with pinpoint precision.