Dean of UT AgResearch Honored with ASABE Award for Global Engagement

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Hongwei Xin Recognized for Leadership in Global Initiatives


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Hongwei Xin, who leads the agricultural research program of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, has been recognized for his global leadership skills.

Xin, a biosystems engineer who serves as Dean of UT AgResearch, is the recipient of the 2020 Lalit and Aruna Verma Award for Excellence in Global Engagement presented by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). The award, which recognizes leadership in global initiatives concerning animal production environment, welfare, and sustainability, was presented July 15 at the society’s annual international meeting, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An ASABE Fellow since 2008, Xin has earned an international reputation for research and academic leadership. His work has had major impacts on U.S. and global animal agriculture and has produced significant contributions to scientific literature and engineering practices related to animal production systems. Throughout his prolific career, Xin has published more than 600 refereed journal articles, book chapters, conference proceeding papers, or technical papers.

In acknowledging the award Xin says, “It is such an honor to be recognized with this professional award. Like all other awards and honors bestowed, this one too is attributed to the numerous outstanding individuals—faculty, staff, graduate students, postdocs, administrators and industry stakeholders, both in the U.S. and abroad—with whom I have had the fortune to work over the years. It is truly a culmination of team efforts. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. and Mrs. Verma for their generosity of sponsoring this inspirational award.”

Xin is also known for his collaborative work in facilitating linkages between academics, research, and economic development, and building global academic partnerships. He regularly serves on scientific advisory committees for academia, industry organizations, and government agencies at state, national, and international levels. For instance, he is a founding member of the Global Expert Group on Avian Influenza and the Global Roundtable on Sustainable Egg of the International Egg Commission.

At the UT Institute of Agriculture, Xin is responsible for the research programs of approximately 140 agricultural and natural resource scientists that study disciplines spanning eight academic departments. He also oversees the management of ten research and education centers that conduct field research, demonstrations and education programs in strategic locations across Tennessee.

Among his many honors and awards, Xin was selected for the Outstanding Achievements in Research Award and the ISU David R. Boylan Eminent Faculty Research Award while on the faculty of Iowa State University. Xin is also a recipient of the ASABE’s Cyrus Hall McCormick Jerome Increase Case Gold Medal and the Henry Giese Structures and Environment Award.

In 2018, his alma mater, the University of Nebraska, inducted him into the Biological Systems Engineering Hall of Fame. Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.

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Hongwei Xin, UT AgResearch