This year we welcomed Alireza (Ali) Pourreza as our new affiliated advisor. Pourreza, hired in June 2016, is the UCCE agricultural engineering advisor stationed at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center. His current research program focuses on two main areas: improving spray coverage and reducing aerial spray drift, and developing site-specific, nondestructive and real-time sensing methods for generating prescription maps as an essential component of precision farming. Pourreza is collaborating with researchers at UC Davis, University of Florida, and Texas A&M University.
Pourreza won the 2016 Giuseppe Pellizi Prize (first place) from the Club of Bologna and the Accademia dei Georgofili, which is an international prize awarded every two years for the top PhD dissertation in agricultural machinery and mechanization. Pourreza's doctoral dissertation focused on interdisciplinary research in citrus diseases detection. He developed several real-time, vision-based sensors for laboratory and field experiments that detect citrus diseases such as huanglongbing. In 2015, he published a patent, Method for Huanglongbing (HLB) Detection (WO 2015/193885, 2015), for the polarized imaging technique that he developed when at the University of Florida. Additionally, Pourreza developed high-throughput plant phenotyping and spectral analysis for yield monitoring/forecasting, grading/sorting, and early disease and insect pest detection.
Pourreza completed his graduate studies at the University of Florida and obtained his PhD in agricultural and biological engineering in 2014. He also received an interdisciplinary certificate in geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing. Pourreza holds a MS degree in mechanics of agricultural machinery and a BS degree in farm machinery engineering from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran.