Chittaranjan Ray

Chittaranjan Ray


BioWRAP Team

Meet Chittaranjan Ray

Director, Nebraska Water Center

Institution: University of Nebraska - LincolnDepartment: Civil and Environmental EngineeringEmail: [email protected]

In August 2013, I joined the leadership team of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute as permanent director of the Nebraska Water Center. Previously, I was a Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where I was also interim director of the Water Research Center at UH, which like the Nebraska Water Center, is part of a network of more than 54 water resources research institutes that were established by Congressional mandate in 1964. Most of these centers are located at Land Grant Universities. In Hawaii, I was also director of the university’s Environmental Center and was Chief Environmental Engineer for the Applied Research Laboratory, a U.S. Navy-sponsored facility at UH. Before joining the UH faculty in 1997, I held multiple positions in industry and at the Illinois State Water Survey. I have extensive experience in many facets of managing both water and quality issues as a result of my Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Illinois.



Frequently Asked Questions

We understand there are many questions you may have in regards to BioWRAP. Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions that we receive.

The long-term goal is to create a locally-sourced, customizable, spray-on biopolymer-based films to serve as soil cover that can be synchronized to crop growth cycles under differing climatic conditions and applied using precision agricultural equipment. The system would also support socioeconomic resiliency, positive bioeconomic cycles, biotechnology adoption, sustainable crop production, and soil health in EPSCoR states.

Transforming biopolymers into a local material will equitably distribute the costs and benefits of biotechnology adoption by crop producers and support rural workforce development. Creating a protective, but permeable spray-on biopolymer cover will provide physical weed suppression, enable crop producers to reduce herbicide use, protect soil ecosystem diversity, effectively manage field edges, help conserve natural resources, buffer waterways from agrochemical runoff, enhance land productivity, and increase crop production resiliency.

We hypothesize that adoption of BioWRAP technology will vary by region and producer characteristics, climate conditions, soil type, and underlying preferences will lead to differential adoption across regions and cropping systems. Our team plans to assess the potential market for BioWRAP using structured group discussions in locations where producers and purchasers/retailers to gain the most accurate assessment of the market potential of biodegradable biofilm technology.

Initial testing will include corn and soybeans. Application of the product may include autonomous spray platforms as well as field scale commercial sprayers.

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