2024 Keynote Speakers


The Ohio Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (OHCEAC) is proud to announce our 2024 conference keynote speakers:

Dr. Dimitrios “Dimi” ApostolopoulosCarnegie Mellon University

Dr. Silke HemmingWageningen University & Research

Dr. Erik RunkleMichigan State University

Dr. Eldert J. Van Henten | Wageningen University & Research

Learn more about our keynote speakers below:

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Dr. Dimitrios “Dimi” Apostolopoulos | Carnegie Mellon University

"Robotics for Agricultural Applications at the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University"

Dr. Dimitrios "Dimi" Apostolopoulos is a Principal Systems Scientist at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University and the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC). His work focuses on using robotics for discovery and exploration, and as a workforce for hazardous duty and in demanding applications. Since 1998, he has led applied programs and produced robotics systems and autonomous technologies for discovery of meteorites in Antarctica, forward surveillance and reconnaissance Marine missions, Army operations in urban environments, mobility on planetary surfaces, and specialized process automation for platinum, gold, and copper mines around the world. His research interests are in unmanned ground vehicles, robotic mobility, mechatronics, and innovative methods for the design, engineering, and field validation of robotic systems.


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Dr. Silke Hemming | Wageningen University & Research

“Can We Reach Autonomous Greenhouses in the Future?”

Dr. Silke Hemming is head of the Greenhouse Technology research team at Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands. She is an expert on the field of novel greenhouse design concepts and modern greenhouse coverings for different climate zones world-wide with focus on resource efficiency. Her research is related to greenhouse covering and screen materials increasing light transmission, changing light spectrum, the effect of diffuse light, NIR-reflecting or low emissivity coatings and screens. The WUR LightLab is a unique facility with the most modern measurement equipment for optical and physical properties of greenhouse materials. Silke initiated research on the field of artificial intelligence and greenhouses control including three international challenges on Autonomous Greenhouses. Her research group has expertise on the field of energy saving, greenhouse climate, modelling, data science, sensors and AI for greenhouse and indoor farming applications.


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Dr. Erik Runkle | Michigan State University

"Keys to Successful Application of Horticultural Lighting"

Dr. Erik Runkle is a professor and extension specialist in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University. Since Erik joined the faculty in 2001, he and his graduate research team have developed research-based information on the effects of light, temperature, and other environmental parameters to control the growth, quality, and development of floriculture crops and leafy green vegetables. He also investigates the opportunities and challenges of new greenhouse technologies, such as LEDs, spectral-shifting films, and transparent photovoltaics. Erik is a partner of the Floriculture Research Alliance and director of OptimIA, which focuses on improving the profitability and sustainability of indoor leafy-greens production.


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Dr. Eldert J. Van Henten | Wageningen University & Research

"Why Robots Are Not Yet Abundantly Used in Protected Cultivation"

Dr. Eldert J. van Henten is personal professor of Biosystems Engineering at the Agricultural Biosystems Engineering Group of Wageningen University since 2005. Covering applications in the whole agri-food chain, his technical research interests include sensing, modelling, design and (optimal) control of bio-systems, robotics and high-tech automation and company logistics. In his talk, Eldert will share his more than 25 years of experience in the field of agricultural robotics. A short state of the art overview of (high-tech) mechanization and robotics in protected cultivation will be complemented with the identification and discussion of a range of technical and non-technical challenges and opportunities for future progress in this field.


Hosted by the Ohio Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (OHCEAC)

2024 Scientific Committee Members: Peter Ling and James Altland

2024 Organizing Members: Chieri Kubota and Carly Becker

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