Feb. 24, 2021

NDSU engineering team wins international video contest


A team of NDSU graduate students has won the American Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineers’ One-Minute Video Competition. The video introduces “The New Faces of ASABE,” giving an international perspective on how agriculture and biological engineers help feed the world as they use cutting-edge technology to solve problems in agriculture.

The team won the grand prize of $2,000. The competition was open to all society members age 35 and under. Entries were judged on content, strength and clarity of message, creativity, production quality and effectiveness of time used.

Team members are students in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. They include:

• Billy Graham Ram, doctoral student from Gwalior, India

• Nitin Rai, doctoral student from Varanasi, India

• Diego J. Gris, master’s degree student from Palotina, Brazil

• Harsh Pathak, master’s degree student from Prayagraj, India

• Bleck Tita, master’s degree student from Limbe, Cameroon

“Winning this competition means showing our faces to society as the new generation of agricultural engineers, who are ready to deal with the current and future challenges we face in agriculture,” Gris said.

“The grand prize of $2,000 has encouraged all of us to keep sharing our love for agricultural engineering with the world,” Ram said.

According to Kenneth Hellevang, interim department chair, the honor brings recognition within the profession for NDSU’s department, programs and students.

“Our graduate students come from around the world, drawn by our academic programs that are tailored to individual student needs, and an opportunity to conduct research with faculty distinguished not only nationally but internationally,” said Hellevang, professor and Extension engineer. “They are premier students gaining skills and expertise that will help them solve engineering problems related to food, feed, fiber, energy production and processing, and natural resource management.”

Team members are quick to point out that NDSU provides an inspiring, educational environment.

“Diverse research activities at NDSU’s ABEN department are pushing me to create an effective, yet simple, technology to solve complex issues in agricultural domain. By this, I should be able to help farmers, who are the backbone of our country,” said Rai, who is focusing on precision agriculture in his research.

“Since childhood, I was fascinated by remote-control planes and cars,” said Pathak, whose goal is become a professor. “During my master's program at NDSU, I got the opportunity to work on some amazing projects involving Unmanned Aerial Vehicle imagery data processing for various tasks. The inter-disciplinary courses helped me to create custom functions for processing the field data collected using drones.”

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers is an educational and scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food and biological systems. The society has members in more than 100 countries.

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