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Dr. Gene A. Giacomelli, Director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center [CEAC] at University of Arizona

Giacomelli 150Doctor Gene A. Giacomelli is the Director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center [CEAC] at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, and he is a professor in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department, an adjunct professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, and a member of the Bio5 Institute. He recently completed Sabbatical leave in Italy with aerospace companies, Aero-Sekur and Thales Alenia Spazio, and with several universities, with focus on Bioregenerative life support food systems for Moon, Mars and Earth.

Dr. Giacomelli has B.S [Rutgers University] and M.S. [University of California-Davis] with degrees in engineering, and a PhD in Horticultural Engineering [Rutgers University], with advanced study in plant science and controlled environment production horticulture. This mix of technical expertise with crop production experience provides an application of engineering design to the horticultural production problems within intensive controlled environment plant production systems. He developed the Horticultural Engineering degree program at Rutgers University, the first of its kind in the US.

Dr. Giacomelli has designed, constructed, instrumented and operated various types of environmentally controlled greenhouses utilizing hydroponic-based crop production systems, including NFT, Ebb and Flood and aeroponic systems for greenhouse lettuce, tomato, strawberry, and numerous other crops. His professional activities have focused on Controlled environment plant production systems [greenhouse and growth chamber] research, design, development and applications, with emphases on: crop production systems, nutrient delivery systems, environmental control, mechanization, and labor productivity. He has designed and provided operational support with Sadler Machine Co., Tempe, Arizona for the first automated food growth chamber at the NSF South pole Station in Antarctica (2004 – 2013).

He has developed and taught a 1-day greenhouse hydroponic crop production short course for 10 years, and has taught a greenhouse environmental control short course for 29 years.

Dr. Giacomelli has lectured and studied in numerous countries around the world, including Abu Dhabi, Australia, Canada, Chile, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan. He has chaired or organized international symposia or workshops in the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Italy and the Netherlands. He is an active member of numerous scientific and professional societies, serving as an officer and on technical committees for the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS), International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), American Society for Plasticulture (ASP), and American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).

He is the co-developer of two patented devices.

His long-term efforts include the continued development of the Controlled Environment Agriculture program at University of Arizona, which includes: educating undergraduates and graduate students in engineering, Plant Sciences and Ag. Education; researching controlled environment plant production systems; outreach through cooperative extension to the citizens of Arizona and the world; and collaborating with programs for economic development.