Modenbach receives ASABE's Gale A. Holloway Award

Engineer Associate for Academics Dr. Alicia Modenbach, Ph.D., EIT, a master's and doctoral student and now staff member in the department, received the prestigious Gale A. Holloway Professional Development Award at the ASABE annual meeting in Orlando. “She has shown her dedication and support for ASABE throughout her journey as a biological engineer, taking on leadership roles as an undergraduate and graduate student and continuing on into her post graduate career," Dr. Crofcheck, BAE's Director of Undergraduate Studies, said. 

ASABE describes award recipients as someone who encourages and recognizes outstanding leadership and active involvement in ASABE for early career members, to become active members and work diligently to enhance the quality of meetings, technical information, and professional development within ASABE at both the national and sectional level. "I believe her professional growth is due in no small part to her active involvement with ASABE," said her long-time supervisor and mentor, Department Chair Sue Nokes.

Dr. Modenbach's professional achievements are detailed in the ASABE announcement below:

Alicia A. Modenbach is the recipient of the 2016 Gale A. Holloway Professional Development award for exemplary achievement of career development and membership activities for ASABE Preprofessional members. Modenbach is an engineer associate for academics in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. She has been instrumental in developing the ASABE Young Professionals Community by recruiting students and mentoring the next generation of biosystems engineers. In addition to advising many undergraduate and graduate students, Modenbach works closely with the director of undergraduate studies in preparing materials for an ABET self-study and review. Modenbach is also developing curriculum for the new University of Kentucky technical systems management major.

Modenbach's success is evident in her ability to grow the University of Kentucky academic programs and retain those students in biosystems engineering. Her excellence has extended to her contributions in ASABE, through her service on the executive committee of the Young Professionals Community. 

Modenbach's postdoctoral research focused on the pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis unit operations of the lignocellulosic conversion process. Prior to that, she was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship that supported her PhD work at the University of Kentucky; that research investigated the use of high-solids loadings in pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis unit operations and the use of sodium hydroxide as a pretreatment reagent. She is coauthor of five refereed journal articles.

Modenbach's approach to ASABE activities mirrors her professional work: She helps young professionals realize their goals and leads by the example of hard work, dedication, and professionalism. As an 11-year member of ASABE, Modenbach has been very involved in ASABE communities and councils. Modenbach supported and organized activities associated with ASABE's co-chairing of the 2015 National Engineers Week, working to develop partnerships and coordinating volunteers. She also served as a judge for the Future City competition national finals, held during Engineers Week in Washington, D.C. She is currently chair of the Membership Development Council. 

Modenbach is also a member of the American Society for Engineering Education, Institute of Biological Engineers, and honor societies Gamma Sigma Delta and Alpha Epsilon. She was inducted into the Order of the Engineer in 2011. She was also featured as a New Face of ASABE in 2011.