Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

MAE 297 Seminar

Development of 3D CAD modeling tools for agriculture

Brian Bailey

Department of Plant Sciences

University of California, Davis

Bio: Brian Bailey received his PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Utah, where his dissertation work focused on fluid mechanics and heat transfer in plant systems. After graduating, he moved to the USDA in Corvallis, OR, where he worked primarily with plant physiologists and pathologists to develop and validate 3D models of crops. He was hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis in 2016. His research interests are centered around using interdisciplinary approaches to better model and understand plant systems.


The advent and adoption of three-dimensional (3D) computer modeling tools has revolutionized engineering design and analysis in many industries.  These tools allow for rapid iteration through proposed designs before prototyping, and examination of very complex systems that would be impossible to thoroughly analyze using traditional laboratory testing. The agricultural industry, however, does not have such computational tools, although the benefit of such tools would be substantial. Innovation in agriculture is typically slow, particularly in the perennial cropping systems that dominate California (e.g., grapes, nuts, citrus). Field trials to test new ideas are expensive and can take many years to collect results.  Even after trials lasting 10 years or more, results are not always clear due to the complexity and high variability in the system. We are working to bring together skill-sets from engineering, computer science, and biology to develop the next generation of 3D simul!

ation tools for agricultural systems that can allow for rapid evaluation of proposed designs and management techniques in a simulated environment. By combining a 3D, plant-resolving description of the geometry and mechanistic models based on physical conservation laws to describe environmental transport processes, we are able to reduce dependence on empirical relationships that are likely to break down when applied across differing cropping systems. This seminar will focus on the development and usage of several state-of-the-art “engineering” models that comprise the 3D simulation system, namely models of radiation transport, the energy budget, and turbulent momentum and particle transport.

Date(s) - 03/15/2018
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

1062 Bainer Classroom

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