Food, Energy and Water

Proof-of-Concept Grants Awarded to Advance Innovations to Commercial Opportunities

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Vinod Narayanan and Assistant Professor Jonathon Schofield and Biological and Agricultural Engineering Adjunct Professor Zhongli Pan are among nine groups of UC Davis faculty to receive a proof-of-concept grant this year, which helps scientists advance compelling research and innovations toward commercial applications.

Agriculture Goes Digital

Irrigating an entire orchard or vineyard with the same level of water and nutrients may make some plants excel at producing nuts or fruit, while others might be getting more than they need. Not knowing this can lead to disappointing crop yields, wasted water, high costs and long-term damage to both the plants and the environment—all of which can devastate a grower.

Researchers Poised to Revolutionize Renewable Energy Storage

Renewable energy is great for the Earth, but can be an intermittent source of power. We need electricity even when it’s dark and when the wind’s not blowing, and energy storage remains difficult. Engineers at UC Davis have risen to that challenge and prototyped a phase-change latent heat battery to store and release solar or wind energy as electricity whenever needed.

UC Davis Engineers Fight Food Insecurity through Sustainable Agriculture

As the world’s population is expected to reach 9–10 billion by 2050 according to the U.N., the world must double food production to meet demand while using and reusing the resources we have left in a sustainable manner. Ruihong Zhang and Isaya Kisekka at UC Davis are rising to meet the challenge by finding new ways to sustainably produce food, while conserving resources by using microbes to produce new sources of protein and managing and irrigating crops with pinpoint precision.

UC Davis to Lead New Artificial Intelligence Institute for Next-Generation Food Systems

The University of California, Davis, has been awarded $20 million as part of a multi-institutional collaboration to establish an institute focused on enabling the next-generation food system through the integration of artificial intelligence, or AI, technologies. The award is part of a larger investment announced today (Aug. 26) by the National Science Foundation, or NSF, in partnership with several federal agencies — distributing a total of $140 million to fund seven complementary AI research institutes across the nation.

The Power of Nighttime Solar

When you think of solar power one of the first images that comes to your mind is most likely a bright sun shining down on a group of black cells on your neighbors’ rooftops. You think of the power of the sun saving you money during the day, but probably not saving you much once it sets. What if there was a way to run your house on solar power all day long, even at night? Electrical and computer engineering professor, Jeremy Munday, and his team are working to develop photovoltaic cells that can do just that.

Solving Agricultural Challenges With Engineering and Robotics

From creating fragile crop harvest-aiding mobile robots (FRAIL-bots) for strawberry harvesting to developing an automated robotic orchard platform designed to optimize fruit pickers’ performance, Stavros Vougioukas is addressing agricultural challenges and making an impact on California agriculture.

Food, Energy and Water

Engineering Research: Food, Energy and Water

Some of the most important challenges facing humanity today surround the environmental impact we are having on the earth. The problem is complicated and multi-faceted.