Richard Gates has been named director of the Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University.
Gates, currently a professor of agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will start his new duties with the center on January 1, 2020.
He also will be the holder the Iowa Egg Council Endowed Professorship at Iowa State.
“Dr. Gates is a well-respected scientist and engineer with a strong track record of working with livestock and poultry industries,” said Daniel J. Robison, holder of the Endowed Dean’s Chair in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State. “Under Dr. Gates’ leadership, the Egg Industry Center will build on its excellent programs that address important issues for the nation’s egg producers.”
“It’s a distinct honor to have been selected as director of the Egg Industry Center,” said Gates. “I am excited by this opportunity to further advance the center’s core mission of globally relevant research and education, and to again work at Iowa State, where I spent a productive and enjoyable sabbatical year in 2000-2001.”
Gates has been a faculty member at University of Illinois since 2008. His research has focused on controlled environment systems in agriculture, with an emphasis on biological and physiological responses and interactions between animals and the environment. He also has studied animal welfare, precision livestock farming and post-harvest loss measurements.
His extension work has focused on the application of research to air emissions and their mitigation, odor and siting issues, livestock environmental control systems, and livestock heat stress reduction. Gates also has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in probability, statistics, thermal environmental engineering, controlled environment systems and more.
Gates’ past experience with the egg industry includes serving as chair of the United Egg Producers’ environmental research subcommittee and working on the American Egg Board’s project on the social sustainability of U.S. egg production.
Before joining the University of Illinois, Gates served 24 years on the faculty of the University of Kentucky’s Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, including five years as department chair.
Gates is a fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.
Gates earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering at the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in agricultural engineering and a doctorate in biological engineering, both from Cornell University.
Susan Lamont will continue to serve as the center’s interim director through December. Lamont, a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences in the Department of Animal Science, was named interim director in March 2019.
The Egg Industry Center works to add value to the nation’s egg industry by providing research and education for egg producers, processors and consumers through national and international collaboration. The center is committed to ensuring that the current and future needs of the egg industry can be answered through developing and promoting sound science-based information. The Egg Industry Center has funded more than $1 million in research since 2013. This research has helped advance knowledge on disease transmission, genetic resistance, keel bone abnormalities, new market development and more.