Welcome to Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering!


Feeding 9 billion people by 2050! The Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering Department is addressing this world-wide challenge through cutting-edge technology, sustainable practices, and the drive to make a difference in the world. The tools we use range from satellites, to drones, to nanotechnology, to big data science. We’re working on

  • Optimizing growth conditions in controlled environment agriculture
  • Finding alternative fuel and feed sources
  • Irrigating crops sustainably
  • Analyzing big data sets generated from using sensors and controls and looking at metagenomics

Learn how you can help feed 9 billion people by 2050!


Congratulations to our 2016 spring graduates!

Check out this awesome video made by BE graduate, Kenneth Hickman:



Graduate Research Highlights

Jesus Rodgriguez, ABE PhD Student

Downscaling MODIS Evapotranspiration via Cokriging in Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District, Yuma, AZ

Jesus Rodriguez is working to downscale ET data from 1-km-MODIS scale to 250-m-spatial resolution using a geostatistical approach (cokriging) in the Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District. The auxiliary variables are Land Surface Temperature (LST) and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI). Jesus hopes to characterize the spatial variability of ET in the study area (structural analysis) and to validate the downscaled ET with the original data to realize if the results are coherent. So far, all the resulting variograms and cross-variograms were anisotropic and the downscaled ET is coherent. Jesus has found that 250m resolution, while still coarse for many agricultural applications, is a reasonable and practical scale and that it is possible to downscale ET for farm-level applications using remote sensing and geospatial techniques.



Soohee Cho, ABE PhD Student

Smartphone-Based Biosensors for Detecting Pathogens on Microfluidic Platforms



The early detection of pathogens is crucial for preventing illnesses, and can ultimately secure world health. The fast growing mobile phone market in the developing world greatly potentiates the use of smartphone-based biosensing for the delivery of rapid and point-of-care diagnostics. Soohee uses smartphone biosensing to enable rapid diagnostics on two platforms, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) system & Microfluidic Paper Analytical Device (µPAD) to specifically and sensitively detect low concentrations of pathogens. The fabricated PCR system thermocycles Escherichia coli (E. coli) rapidly, compared to conventional thermocyclers, and can immediately detect the presence of E. coli with a devised smartphone-based fluorescent microscope. Fast results enable remote communication in the field and may prevent disease outbreaks among food and water supplies. In regards to µPADs, superiorly low concentrations of E. coli and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (N. gonorrhoeae) are detected from undiluted human urine by smartphone image analysis. Such rapid and easy developed tool can be used for diagnosing or even preventing onset of UTI (caused by E. coli) and gonorrhea (caused by N. gonorrhoeae).


ABE News

Bench Top Growing System as Outreach for NASA Steckler Grant

Phil Sadler (UA-ABE Designated Campus Colleage, Collaborator on the Lunar Greenhouse) has been working on this Bench Top Growing System.  Currently it's on its way to Nuiqsut School in Alaska...

Yuma, AZ - UA Researcher Working to Improve Mechanized Weeding

Dr. Mark Siemens (UA-ABE) and his research in Yuma on using camera based applications in lettuce cultivation was highlighted in California Vegetable Magazine. The technology he's working on gives...

Chapingo University Award goes to ABE Masters Student

Please join us in congratulating Rocio Guadalupe Reyes Esteves, who was awarded the prize for the "Best Senior Thesis in the Irrigation Department" at the Chapingo Autonomous University for her...

ABE Alumni Receives Mexican National Award for Youth

One of Agriculture & Biosystems Enigeering MS graduates from 2013, Tania Eulalia Martinez Cruz, received the Mexican National Award for Youth – 2016 in the Category of Academic Achievement. ...

Feature in Resource Magazine

 Kenneth Hickman’s (Biosystems Engineering Graduating Class of 2016) picture of Marko Obradov welding his senior design project made the front cover of the Special Issue on “Celebrating the...

Dr. Slack joins IDDC Board of Directors

Our very own Dr Donald Slack was recently elected to the Board of Directors if the International Desert Development Commission.  He's an everywhere man, and this should mean more trips for him to...

Alfalfa: High cutworm damage, gains made in TRR control in Arizona

"Mostafa is conducting field trials on another threat to Arizona alfalfa growers in the low desert – Texas root rot (TRR). This pathogen, caused by the fungusPhymatotrichopsis omnivore,  ...