College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

ABE Graduate Student Awards

Several ABE graduate students recently received awards and recognition.

Iowa Section ASABE honors went to Brian Dougherty (major professor Matt Helmers) for outstanding M.S. student and Kai Liu (major professor Hongwei Xin) for outstanding Ph.D. student.

Graduate College Teaching Excellence Awards were conferred to Ben Smith (major professors Jay Harmon and Steve Hoff) and Chad Dolphin (major professors Gretchen Mosher and Adina Howe).

Guy Fellowships were awarded to Emily Waring, Phil Colgan, Jared Flater, Brian Dougherty, and Pawan Upadhyay:

Emily Waring is a Ph.D. student studying Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science. Her undergraduate studies at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in Biological Systems Engineering sparked a passion for investigating solutions to non-point source pollution. She received her Master’s in ABE at ISU in December of 2016. For her Ph.D. research, she plans to investigate how cover crops influence soil health in Northwest Iowa and Southern Uruguay. She enjoys the ISU ABE department because it allows her to combine her passions for science and the environment. Upon graduation, she hopes to continue researching water quality within agriculture in the U.S. and in Latin America.

Phil Colgan is a third year graduate student in the GERMS lab where he studies the impact of modern agricultural management practices on the microbial communities associated with agricultural soil and water. His 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.

Jared Flater is a native Iowan and ISU alum (Environmental Science, 2008) in his third year as a graduate student in ABE. He acquired an interest and appreciation for soil health while working for the USDA with Dr. Cynthia Cambardella and continuing research in that area as a graduate student. Research topics include evaluating prairie STRIPs for antibiotic resistant bacteria mitigation and characterizing microbial response to organic amendments for soil nutrient cycling efficiency. Following his master’s degree, he plans to continue on for a Ph.D. at Iowa State in ABE.

Brian Dougherty was recently selected to receive the Harold and Katherine Guy Graduate Fellowship awarded by the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering department at Iowa State University. The Guy Fellowship was established to promote research in soil and water conservation. Brian 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, Brian is researching nutrient losses from subsurface drainage systems and working on water quality and soil health projects at ISU research farms.

Pawan Upadhyay is a Ph.D. student in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering department of Iowa State University. He is from India and is passionate about solving challenges relating to our land and water resources. Before joining ISU he was employed as scientific associate in the Informatics Division of GVK Biosciences Private Limited. He obtained his master’s degree from IIT Kharagpur.