BAE welcomes new CE Specialst, Dr. Irwin Donis-Gonzalez

Dr. Irwin Donis-González’s passion for agriculture and postharvest technologies began 10 years ago in his native Guatemala, workiirwinng as an independent agro consultant upon earning his Bachelor’s and Licentiate degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Del Valle University of Guatemala.  Wanting to pursue advanced training in postharvest management, he came to the United States, at Michigan State University (MSU), as a Fulbright Scholar. Using chestnuts as a model, he was instrumental in reducing the microbial contamination in fresh and processed foods by directly overseeing the postharvest management/storage of chestnuts throughout the state of Michigan. He then went on to earn his Ph.D. in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at MSU to further the use of non-destructive sensing technologies to assess the internal attributes of fruits, chestnuts, and vegetables.  Dr. Donis was previously working as a postdoctoral associate at MSU addressing challenges for agro-based industries in the State of Michigan. Just recently, Dr. Donis accepted a position as an Assistant Postharvest Systems Engineering Specialist in Cooperative Extension, in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at UC Davis. At UC Davis he will focus his work in postharvest engineering, handling (storage, drying, etc.), traceability, and processing of agricultural commodities with a goal of reducing energy consumption while ensuring food quality and safety. These are critical issues for the fresh market fruit and vegetable, dried fruit, tree nut, and rice industries in California.

During Dr. Donis’ career, he has had the good fortune of publishing his work in high tier journals, including the Journal of Food Engineering, Biosystems Engineering, Applied Engineering in Agriculture, and Postharvest Biology and Technology. He has also collaborated with both industrial and academic multidisciplinary partners, involving the Diagnostic Imaging Service at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at MSU, horticulturalists, pathologists, material scientist, and others. External partnerships have included merging knowledge in postharvest attributes with hardware development groups such as General Electric, Carl Zeiss, and the Dresden Technical University (Germany). Long term, Dr. Donis envisions working together with growers, agro-food scientists, industry partners and laborers in topics related to postharvest technology, engineering, management, storage operations, food quality, and safety.

Area of focus: Postharvest engineering, handling (storage, drying, etc.), traceability, and processing of agricultural commodities with a goal of reducing energy consumption while ensuring food quality and safety. These are critical issues for the fresh market fruit and vegetable, dried fruit, tree nut, and rice industries in California.