Angela Singleton, Constant, David
You can access a PDF version of the Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering Profile below.
Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering Office
149 E. B. Doran Building, LSU campus
Open: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
W. David Constant, Ph.D.
Humphreys T. Turner Professor and Head
B.S. in Biological Engineering; M.S. in Bio & Ag Engineering; Ph.D. program in Engineering Science for students interested in medical, industrial, environmental consulting, government and academic careers.
Biomechanics; nano- and micro-scale applications toward human, plant and animal environments; water resources; bioprocessing; coastal systems; biofuel production, processing and management.
Water resources engineering; precision agricultural production, processing and application systems; building better, stronger, smarter housing; hazard mitigation; land management planning; support of 4-H University, AgMagic and other extension initiatives.
Bioengineered coastal reef development can reduce coastal storm surge, enhance coastal wetland ecology and jump-start oyster production in areas where salinity has changed because of diversions. Work on coastal reefs by Steve Hall (BAE) and others shows that using a small framework that encourages native species such as eastern oysters to develop reefs can serve a number of functions, including producing oysters, reducing or reversing erosion and protecting coastal areas.
Controlling RNA function of cells plays a critical role in gene expression and governs many biological processes. No RNA-based drugs are currently on the market, but the total annual RNAi therapy market is expected to reach $580 million by 2012. Engineers in the BAE department (Todd Monroe and others) are using photosensitive chemicals that inactivate selected genetic material until exposed to light. By controlling small regulatory RNA molecules using light-sensitive “photocaged” chemistries, the desired applications can be targeted and pinpointed through laser activation within particular cells. This reduces effects on surrounding cells and the overall effect on impacted organism (whether a human or an animal).
Research on aerial and ground-based chemical delivery systems for agriculture fields indicates spray quality and uniformity are significant issues. Skyrocketing aviation and high diesel fuel costs require improved efficiencies. BAE engineers (led by Roberto Barbosa) are developing improved measurement techniques, while advancing the effectiveness of application approaches that use less carrier material (primarily water). Less water means less energy to transport and apply the desired materials.
The Louisiana House and the Sustainable Landscape Program are fundamental resources that help Louisiana residents understand and improve their resource use (energy, water, etc.) in the home. Claudette Reichel, Pat Skinner, Matthew Keppinger, Kyle Huffstickler and a host of others are involved in creating demonstration resources on innovative building and management practices. Demonstrated building systems to withstand hurricane and flood issues are also a part of the LaHouse program. Sustainable landscape systems (turf and landscape plants) that employ native plants and other efficient landscape systems are also demonstrated within this program.
Significance of Programs
Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering Facts