WSU Ag Research Center Director Named ASABE Fellow

PULLMAN, Wash. – Ralph Cavalieri, associate dean for research and director of the Agricultural Research Center at Washington State University, has been named a fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, an honor bestowed on just 2 percent of ASABE members worldwide.

Cavalieri, who is also a professor of biological systems engineering in the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, is being honored for his “outstanding leadership as an educator, administrator and researcher in the field of food and biological engineering,” according to the ASABE.

Considered an expert in bioenergy issues and food processing and instrumentation, Cavalieri holds his doctoral degree in chemical engineering. His early research focused on processing carbon-based chars, particularly through gasification and combustion. He has become a national leader in planning biofuels research programs and is an advisor to federal agency administrators.

At WSU, he was influential in the transition from agricultural engineering to biological systems engineering. As department chair, he negotiated among three colleges to secure funding for new faculty positions and developing appropriate curriculum and research emphasis for the transition to bioengineering.

AS ARC director, he has led the state’s agricultural experiment station to increase its emphasis on graduate education and the acquisition of extramural grants and contracts as sources of revenue to support research. Grants and contracts won by ARC scientists consistently total more than those of any other college or research unit at WSU.

Cavalieri is a prolific researcher, who has authored or co-authored numerous refereed journal articles, conference proceedings and technical publications. Currently, he serves as editor-in-chief of Postharvest Biology and Technology; he is a member of the editoral board for the Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Food Engineering.

Cavalieri is a 25-year member of ASABE. He also is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute off Chemical Engineers, the Institute of Food Technologists and the western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors.