Three University of Illinois graduate students have been named as PHL Scholars for the 2019-2020 school year.
Ruben Chavez is a master’s student in food science and human nutrition. He has been working with Professor Matthew Stasiewicz over the past year to develop a multi-spectral sorter to detect and remove mycotoxin infested kernels from maize samples. With the PHL Scholar funding, he will continue that work in cooperation with a team already on the ground in Guatemala, connected to the Post Harvest Loss Innovation Lab.
Loren Steinman is an incoming master’s student in the agricultural and biological engineering program. He will be working with faculty members Richard Gates, Kent Rausch, and Neslihan Akdeniz on a continuing project to develop a maximum allowable storage time (MAST) chart for soybean in tropical harvest conditions.
Gowthami Venkateswaran is a doctoral student in applied economics. She will be working with Professor Kathy Baylis researching the feasibility of certification and storage technology interventions in India to determine if certification of good storage and handling practices and absence of mycotoxins improves the prices that millers, traders, and farmers receive for their crops, and if that, in turn, affects hermetic storage bag adoption.
These new PHL Scholars join continuing PHL Scholar Amir Jafari, who will begin his second year in the agricultural and biological engineering program.