With the advancement of information and communication technology, a lot of changes occur in our society that influenced various fields such as economy, science, and education. The advancement in technology and scientific discoveries affect the lives of people in two different ways. First of all, it makes new policies and regulations that can provide broad national direction. The other is the new products and services that will help improve our lives and communities. The purpose of engineering and technology is nothing but translating scientific knowledge into action. However, thorough research into processes, materials, and devices is required for technological innovations.
What is it?
NIFA is an organization that conducts programs aimed at supporting engineering research and the development of new technology. They also support technology transfer and academic training. As a result of these efforts, we get higher-quality and safer foods and more efficient as well as environmentally friendly agricultural practices that will make the community better educated and economically sound.
With the rapid progress in chemical, biological, and physical sciences, the knowledge of food, agricultural and environmental systems is expanding. This knowledge will be helpful to solve a wide variety of national problems such as safe and high-quality food, sustainability, rural economics, and ecosystem, etc. But, we have to formulate the knowledge into workable products, processes, devices, and technologies in order to apply them for solving the problems.
Here comes the significance of engineering research, which is a scientific investigation with a companion activity. With the aim “advance knowledge” NIFA means to promote, develop and spread knowledge such as useful technologies. So, NIFA conducts the programs with an aim to support and engage the communities of engineers.
NIFA uses the engineering skills and their applications in several current research areas including animal systems, plant systems, natural resources, environment, economic systems, and food and fiber systems. Some common areas where we can use the skill of engineering are food and feed processing, waste treatment and its use, automated inspection system, pest management, farm security, controlled environments, biosensors, instrumentation, and its controls, soil properties, management of machinery, robotics and Mechatronics, industrial products with biological materials and chemical applications, etc.
eThe expanded specializations of agricultural engineering with the NIFA support is spread across many programs of education, research, and extension. Agriculture and its related industries even in the rural areas depend on information technology and so the NIFA programs make the youth able to compete in advanced information technology.
As all these new technologies are more capable and widely accepted, the members of the workforce require proper training in them. The importance of technology in civil engineering is very high and no one can underestimate it.
The traditional programs in agricultural engineering conducted by universities are changed into wider biological engineering programs that have close connections to electrical and chemical as well as food engineering technology. Civil engineering and software engineering programs also provide cross-disciplinary links. The instrumentation developed by biological or biomedical engineers is helpful for fundamental research programs in genomics and biotechnology. In short, technology advancement and engineering research have given widespread and noteworthy contributions in all areas.
The main national programs such as biological and agricultural engineering, information technology education, nanotechnology, and sensor technology constitute the national emphasis areas.