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LAURELS: Bio-Ag Engineer Giles Elected to Inventors Academy

By Dateline Staff on December 11, 2018 in University

Quick Summary

  • Giles is an expert in agricultural and industrial spray applications, holds 16 U.S. patents and 17 international patents
  • Abigail Thompson elected VP of American Mathematical Society
  • Lauren Lindstrom, dean of the School of Education, appointed to Fulbright Specialist Program
  • California History-Social Science Project shares national K-12 teaching prize
  • Carolyn Chantry and Anthony Philipps win Dickson Emeriti Professorship Awards

Professor D. Ken Giles, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, an expert in agricultural and industrial spray applications, has become the ninth member of the UC Davis faculty to be elected a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

He is among 148 academics who comprise the academy’s 2018 class of fellows, as announced today (Dec. 11). The academy states: “Election as an NAI fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made tangible impacts on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.”

Collectively, the fellows of 2018 are named as inventors on nearly 4,000 issued U.S. patents. Giles holds 16 U.S. patents and 17 international patents with most of them licensed and commercialized. He has created 10 projects under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Small Business Innovation and Research, or SBIR, program, and serves as manager of the review process for USDA SBIR grants.

Professor D. Ken Giles mugshot

Giles created the pulsed-width modulation spray control system that is now the industry standard for environmental protection and other sensor-based spray systems for crops, leading to significantly reduced pesticide use. He is a fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

He has published more than 200 papers, articles and presentations and served as divisional editor for the Transactions of the ASABE and Applied Engineering in Agriculture.

In 2015, he received the Cyrus Hall McCormick-Jerome Increase Case Gold Medal, given by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and named after the inventor of the self-rake reaper and the developer of the “reliable” threshing machine, respectively.

The McCormick-Case gold medal recognizes “exceptional and meritorious achievement in agriculture that has resulted in new concepts, products, processes or methods that advanced the development of agriculture.”

Giles also is the recipient of the UC Davis College of Engineering Innovators Award and the University of Georgia’s Graduate Alumni of Distinction Award.

The National Academy of Inventors’ newest fellows are due to be inducted in a ceremony at Space Center Houston in April during the academy’s eighth annual meeting.

Professor Abigail Thompson, chair of the Department of Mathematics, has been elected to a three-year term as vice president of the American Mathematical Society. Thompson, who specializes in knot theory and low-dimensional topology, is a fellow of the society. The UC Davis Academic senate honored her in 2010 with a Distinguished Teaching Award at the graduate level.

Lauren Lindstrom, dean of the School of Education, recently received an appointment in the Fulbright Specialist Program, part of the federal government’s flagship international educational exchange program.

Established in 2001, the specialist program enlists U.S. faculty and professionals to go abroad, to other academic institutions, to serve as expert consultants on curriculum, faculty development, institutional planning and related subjects. Assignments run for two to six weeks, which allows the specialists to continue their work in their regular academic positions.

Lindstrom’s appointment as a specialist is in education, naturally. Her areas of research include career development, autism and developmental disabilities, and employment and education for youth with disabilities.

Fulbright specialists are selected through a highly competitive process. Their appointments last three years, during which time they may work on multiple projects.

The School of Education’s Nadeen Ruiz, lecturer-supervisor in the Multiple Subject Credential Program, has a Fulbright specialist appointment that runs until 2019.

Read more in this article on the School of Education website.

The California History-Social Science Project, headquartered at UC Davis, and the California Department of Education have been named the recipients of a national K-12 award for their work on the state’s new framework for history-social science instruction in the public schools. 

The Beveridge Family Teaching Prize is given by the American Historical Association and will be presented during the association’s next annual meeting, scheduled for January in Chicago.

Personnel from the California History-Social Science Project, or CHSSP, served as primary writers of the framework: Nancy McTygue, director; Tuyen Tran, assistant director; and Shelley Brooks, Shannon Hutton and Beth Slutsky, program coordinators. Four of them are UC Davis alums: McTygue ’88, Cred. ’89 and M.A.Ed. ’96; Brooks, Ph.D. ’11; Hutton, Ph.D. ’06; and Slutsky, M.A. ’04 and Ph.D. ’08. Tran earned a Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in 2007.

Read more in this article on the College of Letters and Science website.

The UC Davis Emeriti Association recently announced the recipients of Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professorship Awards for 2018. The recipients, both emeriti of the School of Medicine, are listed here with the projects the professorship awards will support:

  • Carolyn Chantry, Department of Pediatrics (general pediatrics), “Strengthening Babies Through Mobile Health” 
  • Anthony Philipps, Department of Pediatrics (neonatology), “Pediatric Heart Disease Training in Haiti”

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About the author(s)

Dateline Staff Dave Jones, editor, can be reached at 530-752-6556 or Cody Kitaura, news and media relations specialist, can be reached at 530-752-1932 or