2023 Keynote Speakers

The Ohio Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (OHCEAC) is proud to announce our 2023 conference keynote speakers:

James Altland, PhD;  USDA-ARS Application Technology Research Unit (ATRU)

Bruce Bugbee, PhD; Utah State University

Murat Kacira, PhD; University of Arizona

Ricardo Hernández, PhD; NC State University

Learn more about our keynote speakers below:

James Altland Photo






James Altland, PhD;  USDA-ARS ATRU

"New Concepts for Managing Soilless Substrates for Sustainability and Crop Growth"

Dr. James Altland is the Research Leader for the Application Technology Research Unit (ATRU). This unit currently includes 10 scientists and their support staff.  They focus on agricultural spray technologies and all aspects of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) including entomology, plant pathology, irrigation and water quality, plant physiology, energy efficiency, and systems engineering. His specific interests are in the chemical, physical, and biological properties of container substrates and how they can be managed and modified for sustainable crop production. Recent research has focused on chemical amendments to that reduce the amount of phosphorus (P) leached from containers.

Bruce Bugbee Photo




Bruce Bugbee, PhD; Utah State University

"Turning Photons into Food"

Dr. Bruce Bugbee is a professor at Utah State University and President of Apogee Instruments.  He has collaborated with NASA for over 40 years to design food production systems for people living on Mars. In 2011 he was awarded the Utah Governors Medal for Science and is a Fellow of both the Agronomy and Horticulture Societies. He has recorded multiple videos on Indoor agriculture; one has over two million views. In 2015 he recorded a TED talk entitled, “Turning water into food.”

Murat Kacira Photo






Murat Kacira, PhD; University of Arizona

"Advancement of Plant Sensing Technology for Sustainable Crop Production Under Controlled Environment"

Dr. Murat Kacira is the Director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center and Professor in the Department of Biosystems Engineering at the University of Arizona. Murat’s primary focus is on resource-use efficiency of systems through integrated crop and production system sensing, monitoring, alternative energy and environmental control applications. The University of Arizona Urban Agriculture Vertical Farming Facility is an integral part of his research programs on indoor agriculture. He interacts with stake holders through technical consultations, organizing and presenting in crop production and engineering short courses with hands-on educational workshops and grower conferences, and presenting at national and international conferences.

Ricardo Hernandez Photo







Ricardo Hernández , PhD; NC State University

"Indoor Precision Propagation of Horticultural and Industrial Crops"

Dr. Ricardo Hernández is a faculty member in the Department of Horticultural Sciences in Controlled Environment Horticulture at North Carolina State University. Dr. Hernández has 13 years of experience working in the application of CE to produce specialty crops. Dr. Hernández is also the Director of the NCSU-CE-Coalition, comprised of research scientists, engineers and in close partnership with industry, the CEA Coalition aims to develop controlled environment agriculture (CEA) as an economically and environmentally sustainable option for agricultural practices by performing evidence-based, transformative research. In addition to his research program at NC State University, Dr. Hernández is a co-founder of a vertical farm start-up, Grafter Growers, focused on the production of propagation material and also co-founder of Phlora, a start-up focused on developing CE technologies for the propagation of plants indoors.

Hosted by the Ohio Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (OHCEAC)

2023 Scientific Committee Members: Darren Drewry and Uttara Samarakoon

2023 Organizing Members: Chieri Kubota and Carly Becker

Please contact Carly Becker (becker.421@osu.edu) with any questions