Katimbo joins BSE faculty as assistant professor, irrigation engineering management specialist

Calendar Icon Jan 05, 2023      Person Bust Icon By Emily Case

Abia Katimbo
Abia Katimbo

On January 3, Abia Katimbo joined the Biological Systems Engineering department as an Assistant Professor and Irrigation Engineering Management Specialist. His appointment is 60% extension and 40% research.

For his extension appointment, Katimbo will be serving as an irrigation management specialist at West Central Research, Extension, and Education Center (WCREEC) in North Platte, Neb. He will be responsible for developing and conducting research and extension programs in irrigation/agricultural water management in western Nebraska.

“As an irrigation management specialist at Panhandle Nebraska, I am thrilled that Dr. Katimbo has accepted the position at western central REC,” said Xin Qiao, BSE Assistant Professor, Panhandle Research & Extension Center. “I know his extensive knowledge in sensor-based irrigation management, as well as in advanced computational space, will serve the research and extension missions well.”

Katimbo earned his Ph.D. in Biological Engineering with a specialization in irrigation engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2022. His thesis was “Use of close-canopy remote sensing tools mountable on ground-based platforms to support irrigation water management in water-limited settings,” with advisor Daran Rudnick, BSE Associate Professor and Irrigation Management Specialist.

Katimbo has already made connections with WCREEC since the center was an integral part of his dissertation work, said Kelly Bruns, WCREEC Director.

“Dr. Katimbo has been engaged in conducting his dissertation work at WCREEC for the past four years and is very familiar with the needs and challenges producers face in the region,” Bruns said. “We are looking forward to Dr. Katimbo’s new and innovative ideas to help producers make better decisions in irrigation management.”

Katimbo has been a recipient of various awards, including 2017 MasterCard Scholar at University of British Columbia in Canada and a 2021 Black Trailblazers Fellow in Engineering at Purdue University.

His research interests include smart irrigation using wireless sensor networks and data visualization with dashboards or mobile apps, sensor-based irrigation management, and application of precision technologies, digital imagery, and machine learning in crop water use and water stress monitoring.