ECU’s Randall Etheridge receives honor from ASABE

East Carolina University engineering professor Dr. Randall Etheridge, left, has been named to the American Society of Agricultural and Biological New Faces of 2020 list. (Submitted photo)

Dr. Randall Etheridge, assistant professor in East Carolina University’s Department of Engineering, has been named one of the New Faces of 2020 by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).

The ASABE releases its New Faces list annually just ahead of National Engineers Week, scheduled for Feb. 16-22. The goal of the New Faces list is to inspire peers, the public and future engineers, while recognizing the professional and personal achievements of those who are making a difference.

Etheridge was among 10 people in the country recognized in the professionals category for those age 35 or younger.

Etheridge teaches environmental engineering courses and core engineering courses in the College of Engineering and Technology. His recent research has focused on flooding and water quality issues of Lake Mattamuskeet and its impact on the surrounding area.

He is also part of a team of researchers that is looking at the impacts of sea level rise on rural communities. The group, which also includes the Department of Anthropology and the Coastal Studies Institute, received a two-year, $299,454 grant from the National Science Foundation to explore and design possible solutions to flooding in the Lake Mattamuskeet area and to develop a process with community input that could then be used to help other similar areas dealing with the effects of sea level rise.

Dr. Randall Etheridge tows a device that measures water flow and surveys the bottom of a canal at Lake Mattamuskeet. (Submitted photo)

Etheridge’s research interests also include agricultural and ecological engineering, with a goal of increasing the sustainability of the agriculture industry by reducing water use and improving the water quality leaving agricultural operations. He, along with Dr. Natasha Bell, are serving as co-faculty advisors for a senior capstone project designed to help Greenville Utilities improve its method of handling tertiary treated effluent — or water — from the wastewater treatment plant. The goals are to help wildlife, benefit the environment and extend the life of the plant, thus delaying the need for what would be costly upgrades.

Etheridge says his goal is to provide real-world experience to engineering students by connecting them with communities facing unique challenges in an effort to develop solutions that meet the needs of those communities.

Founded in 1907 and based in St. Joseph, Michigan, the ASABE is an educational and scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food and biological systems. The organization includes members from more than 100 countries.