Agricultural Technology Research Program (ATRP)

 

Overview

Since 1973, the Georgia Tech Agricultural Technology Research Program (ATRP) has provided innovative engineering research and development for the poultry industry in particular and the food-processing industry at large. The program's staff has studied the challenges facing this important industrial sector in Georgia, the nation, and abroad, developing a number of innovative technologies for improving processing efficiency and effectiveness. The program's outreach activities focus on issues and challenges that affect the industry today.

The Agricultural Technology Research Program is an integral part of the Georgia Institute of Technology and administratively headquartered within the Electro-Optics, Environment, and Materials Laboratory of the Georgia Tech Research Institute. Our work also is supported by the State of Georgia and conducted in cooperation with the Georgia Poultry Federation.

Experience

Research staff members have complementary backgrounds in a variety of fields, including:

  • Mechanical engineering;
  • Electrical engineering;
  • Computer engineering;
  • Energy systems engineering;
  • Environmental engineering;
  • Safety engineering;
  • Physics;
  • Microbiology; and
  • Communications technology.

On average, engineers and scientists working on the program have more than seven years of experience in food-processing technology research and service.

Innovations

Georgia Tech has a history of developing innovative technologies that eventually reach the commercial marketplace. Some of these developments are released through special licensing agreements, while others are offered for unrestricted use by commercial developers. A sampling of recent successful innovations includes:

  • A patent-pending, state-of-the-art computerized broiler-house management system for monitoring and controlling growout activities;
  • One of the first computer-vision systems developed specificially to size and identify poultry parts;
  • An ingenious thermally enhanced dewatering system for quickly and affordably removing more than half of the water in dissolved-air flotation (DAF) skimmings on-site;
  • One of the first electronic bird-counting systems for providing real-time, continuous tracking of processing plant line speeds and capacity utilization;
  • A USDA-approved sound-absorbing panel for effectively reducing noise levels in processing plants; and
  • One of the first designs for covering a scalder to reduce heat loss and conserve energy.

The Food Processing Technology Division (FPTD) is a division of the Georgia Tech Research Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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