Kansas State University


Biological and Agricultural Engineering

STORM (Sustaining Terrain and Off-Road Machinery) 2050 – Latest BAE Initiative

Since 1914, machinery systems have been a core strength of BAE. Machinery systems and sustainability of our natural resources will be vital in meeting the increasing global food demands projected between now and 2050. During the past six months, the department has developed K-State STORM 2050, which stands for Sustaining Terrain and Off-Road Machinery. This vision focuses on excellence in education, research and outreach. STORM 2050 creates an engineering and technology learning experience where creativity and professional growth in the field of off-road machinery are a foundation in meeting the global grand challenges related to food security.


The long-term goal of STORM 2050 is to become recognized for excellence in futuristic machinery systems, testing and evaluation of equipment, and workforce development of undergraduate and graduate students pursuing careers related to the off-road machinery industry. Kansas State University recognizes the importance of emphasizing off-road machinery, and Drs. Dan Flippo and Ajay Sharda have added depth and breadth to the BAE machinery systems program. STORM 2050 integrates multiple subjects while focusing on the long-term sustainability of our natural resources and productivity of our land.

To advance STORM 2050, the learning environment in Seaton 142 must be improved. With its lack of natural lighting, poor acoustics and inadequately designed HVAC systems, the space is underutilized for research. But with its prime location near the center of campus, Seaton 142 could be a great place to promote how off-road machinery impact global food security and bio-based alternative fuels.

 The renovation of Seaton 142 focuses on improving the learning environment with modern equipment and technology applications. Part of celebrating our tradition of excellence is establishing a Walk of Fame for displaying all of our trophies in a common hallway. The Walk of Fame will be a place for alumni to share their memories with the next generation of engineers and technologists, and will serve as a reminder to current students of BAE’s heritage.

Seaton 142 also will include a teaching area that may serve as a conventional or design classroom; designated cubicles for design teams, senior projects or study areas; vertical stacked storage space; and research laboratory area. Ample room is available for permanently mounted educational exhibits for classroom or industry displays.

The 3-D rendering of the north end of the space shows space for off-road machinery research or laboratory exercises, as well as some of the dedicated research space. Installation of energy-efficient windows in the northeast corner will provide natural light in the lab and showcases to the exterior world some of the research being conducted in BAE.

Phase 1 of STORM 2050 begins with creating an off-road machinery learning environment for excellence and opportunities for educational engagement and exchange. Recently the president’s cabinet approved moving forward with the project, stating that funds must be secured before the renovation begins. The anticipated cost of renovating Seaton 142 is at least $500,000. We would like to thank our industrial partners who have generously made available equipment and components to be used in the educational displays and research opportunities. We will have hired an architecture to finalize the construction plans and details by September 2014, with a goal of starting construction in spring/summer 2015. We have full confidence our alumni and allied industry partners will help provide the balance of the renovation funds necessary to have Seaton 142 ready to showcase as part of the Phase IV Engineering complex opening in fall 2015. If you have questions, are interested in naming opportunities or would like more details on how you may become involved, please contact Joe Harner at jharner@k-state.edu or 785-532-5580.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *