Verma begins term as engineering society president

Aug. 21, 2013
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Dr. Lalit Verma, Department Head, Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Fred Miller, Agricultural Communication Services

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Lalit Verma
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Dr. Lalit Verma, head of the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering for the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, has begun a term as 2013-2014 president of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

Verma’s term began July 24 during the ASABE 2013 Annual International Meeting in Kansas City. His term ends in July 2014.

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers is a scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food and biological systems. Founded in 1907 and headquartered in St. Joseph, Mich., ASABE has members in more than 100 countries. ASABE members serve in industry, academia and public service, and are uniquely qualified to determine and develop more efficient and environmentally sensitive methods of cultivating food, fiber and timber for an ever-increasing world population.

Verma has been at the UA since 2000. He has provided leadership in the development and promotion of biological engineering as a science-based discipline. Verma served as interim dean of Bumpers College and associate vice president for academic programs of the UA System Division of Agriculture from 2008-10 while also serving as the program director of the M.S. degree program in biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering.

“Agricultural and biological engineers are engaged in designing solutions to problems in sustainable food, water and energy systems,” Verma said. “I am excited about leading ASABE and promoting our profession in the global arena. Biological and agricultural engineering will continue to play a vital role in meeting societal challenges such as global hunger, climate change, sustainability, energy independence, human health and safety, and environmental stewardship. Our own BAE faculty have crafted a biological engineering degree program of ‘Healthy Planet-Healthy People’ to educate, train and develop such engineers.”

Verma is a fellow of ASABE, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and the Institute of Biological Engineering. A charter member and past president of IBE and a member of the American Society for Engineering Education, he has served on the board of directors and the board finance committee of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology representing ASABE.

“It is an honor for the University of Arkansas to have Dr. Verma serve in this key leadership position determining future directions for the discipline of biological engineering,” said Mike Vayda, dean of the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences.

Verma is internationally recognized for his research in rice and forage post-harvest engineering and technology. He has served as principal or co-principal investigator on various sponsored research projects with numerous publications, refereed articles, proceeding papers and book chapters to his credit.

“Professional societies play a key role in the success of all of our disciplinary programs,” said Mark Cochran, vice president of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “We are pleased and proud that Dr. Verma has been honored by his colleagues to serve in this leadership role for the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. It is a strong reflection on his talents and on the national reputation of the program at the University of Arkansas.”

Before joining the UA staff, Verma was at Louisiana State University where he served as head of the department of biological and agricultural engineering. He was responsible for program planning, development, implementation and administration of biological engineering education, research and extension programs in the biological and agricultural engineering department.