As a faculty member in the Departments of Biological & Agricultural Engineering and Food Science & Technology, Dr. Bornhorst’s research will focus on quantitative methods to understand material transport, breakdown, and absorption in the gastrointestinal tract to improve food safety and quality, increase consumer health benefits, and optimize food processing operations. Specifically, she plans to work on the development of dynamic in vitro models, which, coupled with in vivo approaches, can be used to further our understanding of the relationship between food processing, food breakdown during digestion, and nutrient absorption. Additionally, she plans to investigate methods to utilize food process engineering to optimize food functional properties, such as nutrient absorption or allergenicity. To enable fundamental understanding of the digestion process, Dr. Bornhorst’s research will also investigate mixing and particle dynamics during peristaltic flow.
Postharvest engineering, handling (storage, drying, etc.), traceability, and processing of agricultural commodities with a goal of reducing energy consumption while ensuring food quality and safety. These are critical issues for the fresh market fruit and vegetable, dried fruit, tree nut, and rice industries in California and the World.
Marc T. Facciotti
Systems biology, synthetic biology, structure, dynamics and function of gene regulatory networks, protein engineering.
Zhiliang (Julia) Fan
Advancing technologies for production of fuels and chemicals from renewable resources, including metabolic engineering and biocatalyst development; fermentation process development and modeling; biological and chemical process design and economic evaluation. Current research is focused on novel processes for ethanol and isobutanol production from cellulosic materials.
Exposure assessment and development of interventions for the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders among agricultural workers; basic understanding of the effects of stooped postures and stooped work on the spine; biomechanics of ladders in agriculture.
D. Ken Giles
Spray applications, including pesticide spraying and industrial spray coatings. Reduction of spray drift and environmental contamination.
My primary research efforts are driven by practical environmental problems facing land and resource managers and discovery of the underlying processes affecting derivation of development of applicable methods or solutions to these problems. My focus remains largely directed at gaining a better understanding of hillslope hydrology, wetland and irrigation/drainage processes in the field.
Energy systems in agriculture, biomass fuel production, thermal conversion, and environmental impacts; combustion and gasification of biomass fuels; properties of fuels; system models.
Microencapsulation of bioactives
Direct Measurements of Biological Membrane-Membrane Interactions, Ligand-Receptor Interactions, Polymer Thin-Films, and Small Angle Scattering Studies of Interfacial Films.
Emerita Kathryn L. McCarthy
Food engineering; theoretical and experimental evaluation of transport processes in food processing and quality control applications, focus on rheological characterization and mathematical modeling of transport processes in food and personal care products.
Michael J. McCarthy
Development/evaluation of novel magnetic resonance equipment to enable process analysis and control of industrial processes. Real-time noninvasive measurement of food quality attributes. Experimental and physics-based modeling investigations of transport phenomena relevant to food products and food processing.
Using a combination of interdisciplinary approaches encompassing biomolecular engineering, mathematical modeling, material science and molecular imaging to develop technologies for addressing key issues in areas of food safety and food for health initiatives, and to develop molecular imaging technologies from a single cell level to a whole body imaging.
Physics of fibrous soft materials; biophysics and biomechanics in human-textile interactions; heat, mass and energy transport phenomena in porous media, nanotechnology in energy storage; and thermodynamics in heat transfer optimization
Professor Pan studies infrared heating technology for various food processes, including blanching, peeling, roasting, drying, disinfection and disinfestation. He also uses ultrasonic and pulsed electric field technologies for improving food processing efficiency.
Teaching Applied Biological Systems Technology (ABT) courses at Western Center for Agricultural Equipment (WCAE)
Instrumentation and postharvest engineering for biological materials; packaging, handling, storage and transportation of agricultural commodities; nondestructive measurement of the quality and composition of biological materials; robotics, control and vision systems.
Vivek J. Srinivasan
Biophotonics technologies for basic and translational research and clinical diagnostics , neuroimaging, neurovascular coupling, cerebral blood flow and metabolism, in vivo functional optical imaging, light-tissue interactions.
Shrini K. Upadhyaya
Precision agriculture or SSCM, Sensor development, Instrumentation, Machinery design, Variability and mapping, GIS, Mathematical Modeling of biological and physical processes, Soil dynamics, Tillage, Traction, Soil compaction, and Infiltration and irrigation management
Dr. VanderGheynst’s research addresses problems that involve the transformation, decomposition and conversion of plant biomass to products. Plants include dedicated crops and algae, food processing residues and urban and agricultural wastes.