Perspectives Newsletter Spring 2021
Vol. 44, no.1 / Posted on June 15, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

I hope this message finds you safe and in good health. We all are affected by the onset and spread of COVID-19, as it has led us to alter our professional and personal lives. However, the scientific community has demonstrated resilience against this unprecedented situation, as it continues to make progress. It is my pleasure to share with you the recent developments within our community. I gratefully acknowledge contributions of many members to this newsletter. My special thanks to Dr. Ashutosh Singh and Dr. Jaskaran Dhiman.

I wish you all good health and a very successful rest of the year.

Dr. Pradeep Kumar Goel

Ontario Regional Director

Awards and Professional Achievements

Dr. Ramesh Rudra Honoured with ASABE Fellowship

Dr. Ramesh Rudra, Professor at the University of Guelph’s School of Engineering, will be inducted as an American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Fellow during the 2021 ASABE International Meeting. Dr. Rudra possesses extraordinary qualifications and experience in watershed modeling, nonpoint source pollution control engineering, drainage engineering, water resource management, and hydrology. He has been recognized for his unusual professional distinction and great contributions, and will be honoured with this prestigious recognition.

Dr. Prasad Daggupati Awarded the 2021 Young Engineer of the Year Award

Dr. Prasad Daggupati, an Associate Professor at the University of Guelph’s School of Engineering, was recognized as the 2021 Young Engineer of the Year at the recently held CIGR 5th International Conference. His major contribution to research aims to solve the emerging water quality and quantity issues with GIS, hydrological modeling, machine learning, and field experimentation studies. Dr. Daggupati was honored for his outstanding contributions to research and teaching at a young age.

Dr. Pradeep Kumat Goel Awarded the 2020-21 MECP Illuminators Team Award

Dr. Pradeep Kumar Goel, Research Scientist, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), was recognized for his contributions in conducting the Multi-Watershed Nutrient Study (MWNS). The study was designed and conducted to investigate the relationship between land use and phosphorus transfer from agricultural watersheds.  The findings of the study would help in developing strategies to reduce phosphorus loads to the Lake Erie.

Dr. Prasad Daggupati Promoted to the Rank of Associate Professor

Dr. Prasad Daggupati from the University of Guelph’s School of Engineering has secured his tenure and has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. Our scientific community congratulates Dr. Daggupati on his promotion.

 

Research Highlights, School of Engineering, University of Guelph

Water Resources Engineering Group

The Water Resources Engineering group is actively involved in several projects related to field-scale and watershed-scale hydrological modeling. Two of the projects funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) deals with modeling phosphorus losses from the Canadian side of the Lake Erie Basin to assess management scenarios and climate change, as well as identifying the factors influencing phosphorus loads during peak loading periods to improve modeling estimates for Lake Erie. Some other projects that the group is involved in are as follows:

  • Evaluating the effect of BMPs on phosphorus losses from Jeanette and McGregor creek watersheds - funded by the Lower Thames Conservation Authority
  • Quantifying Ephemeral Gully Erosion in Lake Erie Basin using Field Experimentation and Modeling - funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)
  • Development of Interactive Table-Top Tools and Digital-Products to Illustrate the Principles of Water Movement and Soil Function in Natural/Tile Drained Lands - funded by OMAFRA
  • Real-Time Flood Forecasts using Parallel Cloud Computing and Intelligent Algorithms- funded by Smart Computing for Innovation (SOSCIP) and Mitacs

Post-doctoral fellows Dr. Rituraj Shukla and Dr. Jaskaran Dhiman, along with research associate Ms. Baljeet Kaur and other members of the group, are actively working on the abovementioned projects. The group has published more than 20 research papers related to the above and other projects in peer-reviewed journals since last year.

Food Processing and Engineering Group

The Food Research lab headed by Dr. Ashutosh Singh, an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph, has been involved in several studies varying from agri-food waste valorization, design, modeling, and optimization of novel food processing techniques to the development of nano-biosensors. Last month (May 2021), one of the lab’s graduate students, Ms. Saipriya Ramalingam successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis on the “Development and evaluation of nano-biosensors for the detection of contaminants in food”. The developed biosensors provide viable point-of-care solutions to food safety concerns, by reducing assay time and bridging the gap between the consumer and lab.

Other Ph.D. Candidates, Ms. Gaganjyot Kaur and Ms. Prabhjot Kaur are working on an ongoing research project “Bioconversion of agricultural waste into value-added products to reduce carbon footprint and diversify product offerings”. This project involves the utilization of novel technologies for food product development and extraction of nutraceutical components from the out-graded produce. The research findings are expected to benefit both the producers and processors, by providing an economically beneficial and sustainable utilization option of out-graded produce. The research work has resulted in six research articles, recently published in peer-reviewed journals.