College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

ABE graduate students awarded scholarships

Congratulations to the following ABE graduate students who were recently recognized by the Iowa State University Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE):

  • Conrad Brendel – Iowa Section ASABE Outstanding M.S. student: Brendel grew up in Elizabethtown, PA and completed his B.S. at Iowa State in the civil engineering department. After graduating in 2015, he switched to the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering to pursue his M.S. as part of Dr. Michelle Soupir’s water quality research group. Brendel is currently evaluating the impact of subsurface drainage on phosphorus losses in the Black Hawk Lake Watershed, Iowa and plans to graduate this semester. Upon graduating, Brendel would like to continue his education and earn his Ph.D. so he can become a professor and teach about water quality issues.
  • Bethany Brittenham – Recipient of the Harold and Katherine (Sarah) Guy Graduate Fellowship: Brittenham, or Superior, NE, completed her B.S. in biological systems engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015. Currently, she is pursuing her Masters in agricultural and biosystems engineering. Brittenham’s research focuses on the integration of perennial vegetation into row crop fields for reductions in nutrients lost through runoff and groundwater leaching. Upon graduation she plans to join a consulting firm and work towards professional engineering licensure.
  • Phil Colgan – Recipient of the Harold and Katherine (Sarah) Guy Graduate Fellowship: Colgan is a second year graduate student in the Genomics and Environmental Research in Microbial Systems (GERMS) Lab where he studies the impact of modern agricultural management practices on the microbial communities associated with agricultural soil and water. Colgan’s research is focused on better understanding the transfer, spread and persistence of antibiotic resistance genes in the environment surrounding manure applied cropland. He hopes to use this experience to inform management practices to mitigate the spread of antibiotic resistance genes and also to help develop more comprehensive methods of detecting those resistance genes for risk assessment.
  • Katlyn DeVoe – Recipient of the Henry Giese Memorial Scholarship: DeVoe, of Monroe, Wisconsin, graduated in May 2016 from Iowa State University with her undergraduate degree in agricultural engineering and a minor in animal science concurrently working on her Master’s degree during her senior year. She is now in her second year of her Master’s degree under the supervision of Dr. Steven Hoff. DeVoe grew up on her family’s dairy farm where her love for the dairy industry stems. She wanted to be in a field where she would be able to directly impact the dairy industry in areas such as animal comfort. DeVoe’s research consists of developing a climate dependent heat stress mitigation model for dairy cattle housing. Her end goal is to create a contour map of the United States with cooling system recommendations for dairy cattle producers. Prior to her thesis work, Katlyn also helped develop an airflow measurement device to evaluate fan performance in livestock and poultry housing. Along with her research, DeVoe is the ABE Learning Department Coordinator and a teaching assistant for ABE 216.
  • Brian Dougherty – Recipient of the Harold and Katherine (Sarah) Guy Graduate Fellowship: Dougherty is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in agricultural and biosystems engineering with a focus on land and water resources engineering. As part of the Ag Water Management team headed by Dr. Matt Helmers, Dougherty is researching nutrient losses from subsurface drainage systems and working on water quality projects at ISU farms.
  • Liz Luby – Iowa Section ASABE Outstanding Ph.D. student: Luby is a third year Ph.D. student in agricultural and biosystems engineering, co-advised by Dr. Michelle Soupir and Dr. Tom Moorman (USDA-ARS). Luby completed her B.S. at Virginia Tech in the spring of 2012 in biological systems engineering with a minor in green engineering. The following fall she joined the Cyclone family at Iowa State to pursue her M.S. in ABE. Upon completion of her M.S. in 2014, Luby was granted the opportunity to continue her studies and pursue a Ph.D. Her work focuses on the fate, transport and transfer of antibiotic resistant bacteria and their associated resistance genes stemming from manure application on agricultural lands. In her free time Luby enjoys rising, gardening and traveling.