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Lakshman Velupillai

Dr. Lakshman Velupillai has over 25-years experience in international agricultural project design and development. He retired in 2012 as Associate Vice Chancellor overseeing all international programs and activities on two campuses of the Louisiana State University System.  In that position, he had overall responsibility for international students, scholars and faculty participation in international programs, and international development and outreach programs and projects of the university. 
 
Previously, as Director of International Programs at the LSU Agricultural Center, he managed numerous international training and research projects, including programs in Jamaica, Senegal, Mali, Indonesia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Honduras, Moldova, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Armenia, Romania, Togo, Liberia, Ghana and Zambia. Working with donor agencies, Dr. Velupillai has brought over $25M in extramural funds to the university. Reporting directly to the Chancellor at the LSU AgCenter, and the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at the LSU and A & M campus, Dr. Velupillai had close ties with a number of high-level contacts.
 
Dr. Velupillai led a team of professionals, including specialist faculty from numerous departments at LSU to design, develop, successfully receive funding and implement development assistance programs funded by USAID, USDA, the USA Rice Council and other donor agencies.  These efforts of the university were often strengthened by the strategic partnerships that Dr. Velupillai developed with agencies and the U.S. private sector.  Through these efforts, areas of expertise that were developed and focused by the university under Dr. Velupillai’ s leadership include agricultural extension development and training [Ukraine]; food safety and food industry development [Ukraine, Moldova, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Armenia]; rice processing and rice hull use for energy [Iraq, Vietnam, Senegal, and Mali]; and beef cattle breeding technologies [Indonesia].
 
Dr. Velupillai has technical qualifications at doctoral level in agricultural engineering and is recognized in the field of crop processing and grain post-harvest technology. He has authored and contributed to several books and scientific articles. He has extensive experience in developing, teaching and conducting/coordinating training in grain post harvest technology and crop processing. His main expertise include rice processing machinery evaluation, rice parboiling and drying, use of microwave energy in agricultural processing, grain quality evaluation, rice hull utilization and agricultural processing. He has worked as a specialist in several projects and carried out country assessments.
 
In 1987, Dr. Velupillai was principal investigator of the "Rice residue utilization" project for one year under a grant awarded by the Tennessee Valley Authority/USAID.  This grant was followed by two additional projects, “A Study of the Market for Rice Husk-to-Energy Systems and Equipment” completed in  early 1997 involving assessments in China, and “The Use of Rice Hulls for Energy – A Study of the Vietnamese Potential” completed in late 1997.  He also completed an evaluation of the rice milling industry in Mali as part of a USAID funded Rice Husk Study. He has developed and taught numerous short courses in rice storage; drying, milling and quality control to participants from countries including Iraq, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Trinidad, and Surinam. He has an M.S. (1981) and Ph.D. (1984) in Agricultural Engineering from Louisiana State University.
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