Five Receive Dairy Faculty Fellowships

The UW-Platteville recently awarded five faculty research fellowships to help increase dairy-related research through the Dairy Innovation Hub.

Known as the Dairy Industry Impact Innovation Faculty Fellowships, or “DI3 faculty fellowships,” the faculty members will tackle research projects in the Hub’s four priority areas. These are: stewarding land and water; enriching human health; ensuring animal welfare; and growing farm business and communities. 

UW-Madison, UW-Platteville and UW-Rivers Falls are the three Hub campuses getting research funds through a $7.8 million per year investment. The Hub has funded more than 160 projects across the three campuses. 

A faculty research fellowship is a temporary position for permanent faculty members. Furthermore the goal is to provide support for a specific research project. This includes making sure that the faculty member will have time to conduct the research. 

DI3 Faculty Fellowships aim to leverage existing UW-Platteville expertise to provide timely results supporting the goals of the Dairy Innovation Hub. This is done with an emphasis on addressing recommendations generated by the state’s Dairy Task Force 2.0, which completed its work in 2019. 

UW–Platteville faculty fellows selected for funding are: 

Mohammad Ashrafuzzaman, Computer Science and Software Engineering

Ashrafuzzaman is an assistant professor of computer science and software engineering in the College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science. His research focuses on security analytics in systems such as communication networks as well as power grids. Ashrafuzzaman’s project is “Towards optimized usage of the milking robot using data analytics.” It is an exploratory endeavor to uncover and better understand the correlations between cow behavior and physiology aspects and robot performance in terms of milk collection and other performance goals. Read the full profile.

Krista Eiseman, Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences

Krista Eiseman

Eiseman is an assistant professor of animal and dairy science in the School of Agriculture. Her research interests include weaning management strategies, health and performance of beef calves, and also supplementation strategies for improved animal health. Eiseman’s project “Evaluating trends in female to male ratios in dairy science and related programs throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest region and the translation into post-secondary employment” will evaluate trends in female to male ratios in dairy science, animal science, as well as ag business at UW­–Platteville over the last 10-15 years. Read the full profile. 

John Obielodan, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering


Obielodan is a professor of mechanical and industrial engineering in the College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science. His research focuses on novel materials development using additive manufacturing processes. Obielodan’s project is “Dairy protein biocomposites development using selective laser sintering 3D printing process.” The project will investigate the use of casein in a 3D printing process which can make higher-quality products compared to other 3D printing processes. He will also further develop research on effectively using casein in 3D printing. Read the full profile. 

Ryan Pralle, Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences 

Pralle is an assistant professor of animal and dairy science in the School of Agriculture. His research is focused on developing data-driven management tools and strategies to optimize the metabolic health of individual cows. His project “Exploring high liver triglyceride content heritability and genetic architecture in early lactation Holstein cows” hypothesizes that bovine fatty liver syndrome (bFLS) is a heritable disorder. He will also investigate the genetics of cows who have been tested by a blood biomarker panel to potentially find genetic traits associated with high liver triglyceride, which may be an indicator of bFLS. Read the full profile. 

Zifan Wan, Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences

Wan is an assistant professor of animal and dairy science in the School of Agriculture. Her primary research interest is in the application of non-thermal technologies for enhanced food safety as well as quality to achieve sustainable manufacturing goals. Wan’s position is funded by the Dairy Innovation Hub. Her project is “Enhancing the safety and growth of alfalfa by using non-thermal technology – High voltage atmospheric cold plasma.” Specifically she will investigate the application of plasma-activated water treatment on alfalfa seeds for microbial decontamination and enhancing alfalfa growth. Read the full profile.