Graduate Student of the Week: Derek West



Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Previous degrees?

BS in Biosystems Engineering, Oklahoma State University

Who is your adviser and what are you studying?

Dr. Lingjuan Wang-Li is my advisor and my graduate program falls under Controlled Environments in Agriculture with an emphasis towards Agricultural Air Quality. My research investigates the impact of air velocity treatment on ammonia emissions and litter characteristics during heavy broiler production.

What first made you interested in this field?

I have dreamt of becoming an engineer ever since the 3rd grade. In fact, back then I wrote a 1-page paper titled “Why I want to be an engineer when I grow up”. More specifically, I first became interested in BAE after a friend of mine from the department invited me to his lab and showed me a pecan x-ray machine he was developing. I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen and enrolled as a BAE undergrad the following year.

What do you like most about the department?

– BAE is the Swiss Army knife of engineering.

– Our department is full of people that are trying to make the world a better place.

– In Weaver, I like that my office’s proximity to the coffee machine.

What is a little known fact about you?

At the bright age of eleven, I broke my foot while playing freeze tag at a grocery store…