ME graduate program is recently awarded a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The project entitled "Innovation and Entrepreneurship Programs to Train Hispanic Students for Future Agricultural and Food Industry” is led by Professor Jian-Qiao Sun as PI, Professor YangQuan Chen (from the Mechanical Engineering Program) and Professor Theofanis “Fanis" Tsoulouhas (from the Ernest & Julio Gallo Management Program) as co-PIs. This project will develop an innovative modular approach to enrich the Mechanical Engineering curriculum by introducing advanced technologies to Hispanic as well as non-Hispanic students.
We shall prepare them with a broad range of knowledge and skills so that they can serve the agricultural and food industry in the Central Valley and around the country. A summer fellowship program for Hispanic students will be launched early spring 2017. This project, scheduled for September 2016 to August 2020, has already received strong endorsement from the administration, career office and student advisors of UC Merced, USDA Agencies, UC Corporate Extension and local industry.