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What we do

The Crop Biomechanics Lab uses tools and techniques from engineering biomechanics to solve problems in agriculture. Much of our research focuses on maize stalk lodging (i.e., structural failure of the stalk). We perform structural tests of maize stalk, measure mechanical properties of maize tissues, and create computational models of the maize stalk. Our work is focused on helping plant scientists identify the key factors that determine stalk strength. We also create portable measurement devices, and develop methods for non-destructive evaluation of pest/disease infestation.

Dr. Cook awarded the prestigious NSF CAREER Award

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Dr. Douglas Cook of the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award award on March 26, 2021. A description of the award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) can be found on their website here. The award will assist in funding the lab for five years. This CAREER award will combine modern tools from the fields of biomechanics, structural engineering, and genetics to provide new understanding of the factors that contribute to stalk strength of grain crops. The grant is co-sponsored by programs from both Engineering (Biomechanics and Mechanobiology) and Biological Sciences (Plant, Fungal and Microbial Developmental Mechanisms).

Research Sponsors

Our work has been supported by the following organizations.

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