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Assistant Professor  Stavros G. Vougioukas

Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
2030 Bainer Hall
University of California
Davis, California 95616

Email: svougioukas at ucdavis.edu

Phone: (530)752-1890


Professor Vougioukas works in the area of mechanization and automation of specialty crops, focusing on the design, development, and testing of actuators, sensors and control systems for optimal management of inputs and products.


Stavros G. Vougioukas received his Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece (1989).  He conducted graduate studies in the U.S.A. under a Fulbright grant and several research assistantships. He received his M.Sc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering (SUNY at Buffalo, 1999). He received his Ph.D. in Robotics and Automation (Electrical, Computers and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1995). He worked for one year as post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Industrial Engineering, in Parma, Italy. Until 2011 he worked as faculty at the School of Agriculture of the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece. In 2012 he joined the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department of the University of California, Davis.


1. Ampatzidis, Y., Vougioukas, S., Whiting, M., Zhang, Q. (2013). Applying the Machine Repair Model to Improve Efficiency of Harvesting Fruit. (In Press) Biosystems Engineering. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2013.07.011

2. Vougioukas, S., Anastassiu, H.T., Regen, C., Zude, M. (2013). Influence of foliage on radio path losses (PLs) for wireless sensor network (WSN) planning in orchards. Biosystems Engineering (114): 454-465. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2012.08.011

3. Vougioukas, S.G. (2012). A distributed control framework for motion coordination of teams of autonomous agricultural vehicles. Biosystems Engineering (113): 284-297. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2012.08.013

4. Hameed, I.A., Bochtis, D.D., Sørensen, C.G., Vougioukas, S. (2012). An Object Oriented Model for Simulating Agricultural In-field Machinery Activities. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 81(1): 24–32. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compag.2011.11.003

5. Vougioukas, S., Papamichail, D., Georgiou, P., Papadimos, D. (2011). River discharge monitoring using a vertically moving side-looking acoustic Doppler profiler. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture (79): 137-141. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compag.2011.09.004

6. Ampatzidis, Y.G., Vougioukas, S.G., Whiting, M.D. (2011). A wearable module for recording worker position in orchards. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture (78): 222-230. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compag.2011.07.011

7. Sorensen, C.G. , Pesonen, L., Bochtis, D.D. , Vougioukas, S.G., Suomi, P. (2011). Functional requirements for a future farm management information system. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture (76): 266–276. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compag.2011.02.005

8. Moshou, D., Bravo, C., Oberti, R., West, J.S. , Ramon, H., Vougioukas, S, Bochtis, D. (2011). Intelligent multi- sensor system for the detection and treatment of fungal diseases in arable crops. Biosystems Engineering 108(4): 311-321.

9. Bochtis, D.D. , Sørensen, C.G., Vougioukas, S.G. (2010). Path planning for in-field navigation-aiding of service units. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 74(1): 80-90. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compag.2010.06.008

10. Bochtis, D., Vougioukas, S., Griepentrog, H. (2009). A mission planner for an autonomous tractor. Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, 52(5), 1429-1440.

11. Ampatzidis, Y., Vougioukas, S. (2009). Field experiments for evaluating the incorporation of RFID and Barcode registration and digital weighing technologies in manual fruit harvesting. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 10:63–72. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compag.2009.01.008

12. Ampatzidis, Y., Vougioukas, S., Bochtis, D., Tsatsarelis, C. (2009). A yield mapping system for hand-harvested fruits based on RFID and GPS location technologies: field testing. Precision Agriculture, 10(1), 63-72. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11119-008-9095-8

13. Bochtis, D., Vougioukas, S. (2008). Minimising the non-working distance travelled by machines operating in a headland field pattern. Biosystems Engineering 101(1), 1-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2008.06.008

14. Bochtis, D., Vougioukas, S., Tsatsarelis, C., Ampatzidis, Y. (2007). Field Operation Planning for Agricultural Vehicles: A Hierarchical Modeling Framework. Agricultural Engineering International: the CIGR Ejournal. Manuscript PM 06 021. Vol. IX. February, 2007.

15. Bochtis, D., Vougioukas, S., Tsatsarelis, C., Ampatzidis, Y. (2007). Optimal Dynamic Motion Sequence Generation for Multiple Harvesters. Agricultural Engineering International: the CIGR Ejournal. Manuscript ATOE 07 001. Vol. IX. July, 2007.

16. Blackmore, S., Fountas, S., Vougioukas, S., Tang, L., Sørensen, C., Jørgensen, R. (2007). Decomposition of Agricultural Tasks into Robotic Behaviours. Agricultural Engineering International: the CIGR Ejournal. Manuscript PM 07 006. Vol. IX. October, 2007.

17. Georgiou, P., Papamichail, D., Vougioukas, S. (2006). Optimal Irrigation Reservoir Operation and Simultaneous Multi-crop Cultivation Area Selection using Simulated Annealing. Irrigation and Drainage, 55:129-144. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ird.229

18. Vougioukas, S., Blackmore, S., Nielsen, J., Fountas, S. (2006). A Two-Stage Optimal Motion Planner for Autonomous Agricultural Vehicles. Precision Agriculture, 7(5): 361-377. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11119-006-9022-9

19. Vougioukas S., Fountas, S., Blackmore, S. and Tang, L. (2005). Combining Reactive and Deterministic Behaviours for Mobile Agricultural Robots. Operational Research International Journal of the Hellenic Operational Research Society, 5.1:153-163, January-April 2005, ISSN:1109-2858.

20. Dimitriadis, A.N., Vougioukas, S.G., and Akritidis C.B.(2003). Energy Saving in Drying Plants by Partial Recovery of the Latent Heat. Agricultural Engineering Reports for Southeastern Europe, Vol.9, No.1-4, pp. 9-19.

21. Vougioukas S. (1997). Modeling, Implementation and Experimental Validation of a Simulated Force Sensor. European Journal of Mechanical Engineering (EJMEE), Vol. 42, No 4, Winter 1997 Issue, pp. 205-210.

22. Hess, D., Park, S., Tangri, M., Vougioukas, S., Soom, A, Demjanenko, V., Acharya, R., Benenson, D., Wright, S. (1992). Noninvasive condition assessment and event timing for power circuit breakers. IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery Journal, 7(1): 353-360. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/61.108929

23. Pitas I, Vougioukas, S. (1991). LMS Order Statistic Filters Adaptation by Back-propagation. Signal Processing, 25(3): 319-335. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0165-1684 (91)90117-2.

Book Chapters

1.“Positioning and Navigation”, H.V. Griepentrog, S.B. Blackmore and S.G. Vougioukas, CIGR Handbook, Vol.6, Chapter 4.2 (Mechatronics and Applications), pp.195-204. Volume Editor, Alex Munack. St. Joseph, Michigan, USA: ASABE. Copyright American Society of Agricultural Engineers, 2006. (ISBN10: 1-892769-54-9).
2. “Design and modelling approaches for advanced agricultural fleet management systems”. D.D. Bochtis, C.G. Sørensen, S.G. Vougioukas. Chapter 8 in: «Agricultural and Environmental Informatics, Governance, and Management: Emerging Research Applications». Editors: Zacharoula Andreopoulou, Basil Manos, Nico Polman, Davide Viaggi. IGI Global, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA, 2011, pp. 152-171, (ISBN13: 978-1-60960-621-3), DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-621-3.ch008.

Teaching Interests

ABT101 Engine Technology; Fall 2012 (3 credits).
ABT/LDA150 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS); Fall 2013 (4 credits).

Research Interests

My lab’s research revolves around the mechanization and automation of specialty crop production. Current emphasis is on the development of methodologies and technologies that can be used to replace labor, or improve the efficiency and ergonomics of human workers.

Model-based design of mechanized orchard-harvesting systems
Fully mechanical harvesting of fresh-market fruits has remained an elusive target for the past sixty years. The technical feasibility of robotic selective fruit picking has been demonstrated – in principle – more than thirty years ago; however, incomplete fruit detection and removal and very low efficiency continue to restrict the application of this approach. Mechanical-aided harvesting using various orchard platform designs is another approach, which still suffers from inadequate efficiency gain versus platform cost, especially in traditionally trained orchards. A major obstacle towards improving current – or coming up with radically different – designs of mechanized fruit-harvesting systems, is the lack of appropriate modeling tools. We are currently building model-based design tools that will enable researchers and developers to investigate the interrelationships among orchard layout, tree canopy geometry and spatial fruit distribution, the mechanics of picking platforms and actuators, and the ergonomics of personnel-carrying orchard platforms. Such tools can accelerate the development of next generation orchard mechanization and automation systems.

Human-robot collaboration and multi-robot coordination
Given the fact that robots cannot currently replace human perception and dexterity in many agricultural operations (e.g., harvesting, pruning), one alternative is to investigate the design of advanced autonomous machines that work together with agricultural workers in the field to improve labor efficiency and human factors. An important challenge in this area relates to developing mechanistic models of agricultural worker activities, so that advanced machines can monitor these activities and adapt their operations accordingly. Another challenging issue is how autonomous agricultural vehicles can coordinate and collaborate in order to improve field and orchard logistics while guarantying human and equipment safety.

Active Grants

1. Title: A Rapid Prototyping Design Tool for Pear Harvest-Aid Platforms Utilizing 3D Fruit Reach Ability And Kinematic Modeling.
Agency: California Pear Advisory Board.
2. Title: A Rapid Prototyping Design Tool for Cling-peach Harvest-Aid Platforms Utilizing 3D Fruit Reach Ability And Kinematic Modeling.
Agency: Canning Peach Mechanization Research Fund.
3. Title: NRI-Small: FRAIL-bots: Fragile Crop Harvest-aiding mobile robots.
Agency: NIFA-USDA.
4. Title: Automated orientating and capping of strawberries for processing.
Agency: California Strawberry Commission.
5. Title: Integrated Systems Research and Development in Automation and Sensors for Sustainability of Specialty Crops.
Agency: USDA-NIFA.

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