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Lawrence Recipient of Superior Paper Award 2011 From ASABE

Lawrence Recipient of Superior Paper Award 2011 From ASABE

Dr. Matthew LawrenceAlfred State College Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology Dr. Matthew Lawrence recently was the recipient, along with his co-authors, of a Superior Paper Award 2011 from the American Society of Agricultural & Biological Engineers (ASABE).

Lawrence, James Garthe, a lecturer in the Penn State Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, and Dennis Buckmaster, associate professor in the Purdue Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, submitted a scientific paper, “Producing Solid Fuel from Non-Recyclable Agricultural Plastics,” to a peer-reviewed journal administered by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

The paper was a detailed energy balance analysis of a machine used to reclaim energy from the waste plastics that accumulate on nearly all farms. The machine used a complex hydraulic system to force plastics such as round bale wrap, greenhouse trays and pots, and greenhouse coverings through a heated die. The extrudate was then cut to a designated length. These fuel pellets could be burned cleanly in conjunction with coal to produce heat for industrial use or electricity generation. The machine was designed, constructed, and analyzed by the research team, and the research was funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Papers published by ASABE during 2010 were eligible for 2011 Paper Awards. The ASABE Paper Awards Committee selects up to 2.5 percent of the published papers for Superior recognition. Based on a total of 325 published papers, nine received Superior recognition. Another 2.5 percent of the ASABE publications earn Honorable Mention.

Superior winners were recognized during the Annual International Meeting “General Session Recognition Program,” where they received an ASABE certificate.

Lawrence joined the Alfred State faculty in 2007 as an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department where he teaches courses in manufacturing processes and machine design. Prior to joining the ASC faculty, Lawrence served as a graduate assistant at Penn State University; an engineer for Cisco Systems, Herndon, VA; and a territory manager for Parker Hannifin, Clovis, CA.

Lawrence holds a PhD and an MS in agricultural and biological engineering from Penn State University and a BS in agricultural engineering, also from Penn State University.

About Alfred State College

Alfred State, a college of technology within the SUNY system, offers outstanding educational opportunities in its 19 bachelor degree and 52 associate degree program options. ASC is particularly known for its learning-by-doing philosophy and hands-on education. Of course, the College’s technology-rich programs also teach students the critical thinking skills that help them succeed throughout their lives.

Because Alfred State possesses a strong sense of community, ASC students typically feel right at home within a few days of their arrival. Additionally, students can choose to participate in more than 90 clubs and organizations as well as intercollegiate sports and intramurals.

Alfred State is located in the beautiful Southern Tier of New York state: 15 miles north of the Pennsylvania border, 70 miles south of Rochester, and 90 miles southeast of Buffalo.

For additional information call 1-800-4-ALFRED.


The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers is an educational and scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food, and biological systems.

Founded in 1907 and headquartered in St. Joseph, Mi, ASABE comprises 9,000 members in more than 100 countries. ASABE membership is open to all (engineers as well as non-engineers) who are interested in the knowledge and application of engineering in agricultural, food, and biological systems. Contact ASABE for further information about the Society, its activities, and membership.