Dr. Manoj Karkee is serving as the director of WSU Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems (CPAAS) since September 2023. He leads a strong research program at CPAAS in the area of sensing, machine vision and #AgRobotics. Some of his major research projects include robotic/automated fruit harvesting, fruit tree and berry bush pruning, and thinning, crop pollination, water and nutrient stress monitoring, weed control in vegetable crops, and Big-data based SMART irrigation system for wine grapes. He has published widely in esteemed journals in his discipline such as ‘Computers in Industry’, ‘Journal of Field Robotics’, ‘Computers and Electronics in Agriculture’, and ‘Journal of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)’, and has been an invited speaker at numerous national and international conferences and universities. Dr. Karkee is currently serving or has served as an Editor-in-Chief for ‘Computers and Electronics in Agriculture’, associate editor of ‘Journal of the ASABE’, as a guest editor for ‘Journal of Field Robotics’, and as an elected chair for CIGR (International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering) Section III – Plant Production, and IFAC (International Federation of Automatic Control) Technical Committee 8.1 – Control in Agriculture. His achievements in the field have been recognized with the ‘2020 Railbird Engineering Concept of the Year’ award by ASABE, and he was honored as the ‘2019 Pioneer in Artificial Intelligence and IoT’ by Connected World magazine.
Dr. Karkee was born and raised in Bhojpur, a mid-hill district of the Himalayan country of Nepal, some 400 km east of the capital city Kathmandu. After completing high school education in his village, he moved to Kathmandu to pursue his associate and undergraduate degrees. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from Tribhuvan University in 2002, then moved to Bangkok, Thailand to attend the Asian Institute of Technology where he earned his master’s degree in Remote Sensing and GIS. Dr. Karkee then spent the following five years in Ames, Iowa, dedicating himself to doctoral research and education, earning his PhD in Agricultural Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction from Iowa State University in 2009. He joined WSU as an assistant professor in 2010 and was promoted to full professor in 2022.