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NDSU professor, Extension agricultural engineer named society fellow

Posted on 8/20/2013

Ken Hellevang, Extension agricultural engineer and professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, has been named an American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers fellow.

Being named a fellow is the society's highest honor. No more than 0.2 percent of the organization's active members are granted the recognition.

The society defines a fellow as a member of unusual professional distinction with outstanding and extraordinary qualifications and experience in or related to the field of agricultural, food or biological systems engineering. A fellow must have spent a minimum of 20 years of active practice in the profession of engineering or a related field, or in teaching engineering.

The society honored Hellevang for his educational and Extension contributions worldwide in crop postharvest engineering, structures and indoor environmental engineering, flooding preparation and recovery, energy efficiency and service to the society.

Hellevang joined NDSU as an Extension agricultural engineer and assistant professor in 1980 and became an associate professor in 1991 and a professor in 1999. He has conducted research on grain drying and storage topics, including moisture content changes in stored grain during the summer, drying and storing dry edible beans, air temperature increases due to grain drying and aeration fans, and aeration duct design.

He is co-chair of the national Extension Disaster Education Network's flooding team, which provides and coordinates education and assistance to university personnel across the U.S.; chair of the national eXtension group that provides educational technical assistance to the public on flooding-related topics; and NDSU Extension's resource person for mold topics and structural flooding.

In addition, he led a task force of representatives from agencies and organizations interested in biomass for energy in North Dakota. The task force's work led to the creation of the Renewable Energy Council, $5 million in funding for renewable energy grants and the creation of NDSU's Bio Energy and Product Innovation Center. He also has written or co-written more than 150 technical publications.

A 34-year member of the society, Hellevang has provided leadership to the organization's Food and Processing and Structures and Environmental division committees, served a term on the board of trustees and chaired the Meetings Council. He has received several society honors, including three Educational Aids Blue Ribbon awards, Presidential Distinguished Service citation and Young Extension Worker award.

Hellevang earned bachelor's and master's degrees from South Dakota State University and his doctorate from NDSU.

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