Dr. Larry Huggins
Dr Huggins came to Purdue for his PhD (’66), after which he became a full-time faculty member until retirement. His research focused on watersheds, drainage, and runoff related to water quality, as he integrated budding computer technology into his work. He was involved in the establishment of computing resources and data acquisition systems on Purdue campus, including the Engineering Computer Network (ECN) and the advent of computer-controlled experimentation. He also worked on early patents for onboard sensors and controls for agricultural equipment. Dr. Huggins served as the ABE Department Head from 1981 – 1994, during which time many research programs in the department today began to take shape. He left the department to serve as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 1994 – 2005, when he retired as Professor Emeritus in ABE.
Dr. Bernie Engel
Dr. Engel has been a part of the ABE family since 1985, when he started his PhD in Agricultural Engineering. Since joining faculty in 1988, he has been a Professor in ABE, as well as served as the Head of ABE from 2004 to 2019, and the Associate Dean for Agricultural Research and Graduate Education from Jan 2019 to present. He has been a leader in the national effort to integrate GIS and information technologies with watershed modeling. As a result of his research, he has designed powerful user-friendly modeling tools that reduce complex information into a model that can be used for evaluating research hypothesis or making design decisions. The tools he invented shaped a new approach to water quality modeling.
Dr. Jane Frankenberger
Dr. Frankenberger has been with the ABE department since 1996. Before joining Purdue faculty, she let small-scale irrigation projects with women’s cooperatives in northern Sengal for five years. At Purdue, she leads active extension and research programs in drainage, watershed management, and water quality. Among her extension work, some key areas include her responsibility in the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service program in soil/water engineering and water management, and numerous projects working with communities and public water systems throughout Indiana. Highlights from her research program include model development for variable source area runoff to determine critical watersheds for pesticide contamination, and her lead on the Transforming Drainage Project that advances water storage in the landscape to increase resilience in drained agricultural land.
Dr. Dan Ess
Dr. Ess was a member of the ABE faculty for almost 25 years. He conducted research in Agricultural Systems Management, precision agriculture, and sustainable agricultural production systems. During his time at ABE, he taught multiple ASM courses from introductory undergraduate classes, to graduate level studies as an Associate Professor. He was a recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award in the School of Agriculture in 2002. Dr. Ess officially retired in 2019, after teaching thousands of hours and mentoring/advising thousands of Agricultural Systems Management students. Since then, as an Emeritus Professor of ABE, he has taught as an Agricultural Instructor at Moberly Area Community College.
Dr. Michael Ladisch
Dr. Ladisch joined Purdue University in 1973, obtaining his masters (’73) and doctoral (’77) degrees in Chemical Engineering. Today, he is the director for the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering (LORRE) and a distinguished professor of ABE, with a joint appointment in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. His research applies principles of biological and chemical engineering to the study of proteins, enzymes and therapeutic molecules at interfaces and their fractionation, purification, and characterization using bio separation techniques. His research has resulted in new industrial bioenergy processes and systematic approaches for scaling-up laboratory purification techniques and biopharmaceutical manufacture. He was Chief Technology Officer of Mascoma, a biofuels company, from 2007 to 2013, and was elected to the National Academy of Inventors in 2014 and has 20 patents granted.