My name is Santosh Pitla and I was born in the city of Hyderabad, located in the State of Telangana in India. I am a mechanical engineer by training and obtained my undergraduate degree from Osmania University, India. I received my M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural engineering from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky.
What is your position at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln?
I am an assistant professor of advanced machinery systems, with a 60% teaching and 40% research appointment, in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering.
What drew you to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln?
After my Ph.D. I was ready to embark on a research and teaching career. UNL had the perfect teaching and research career opportunity for me. Given my machine systems and automation interests, the world renown Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory (NTTL) located at UNL was a huge draw for me and I feel lucky to be a part of UNL and NTTL. I want to contribute to the development of the next-generation robotic tractor testing facility in Nebraska.
What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?
“When you enjoy what you do, you don’t work a day."
This is very true in my case, I enjoy teaching and developing innovative solutions through research to address technology and automation challenges in agriculture. I am so glad to be a part of an educational setting such as UNL as it provides a perfect environment that promotes and encourages lifelong learning, research and discovery.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The opportunity I have to research and develop next-generation agricultural robotic machines and to train future agricultural engineers and technology workforce gives me immense satisfaction. I consider helping current and future agricultural producers, and students through both my professional and personal service to be my greatest achievement.
What is something most people don't know about you?
Most people don’t know that I am very good at kite flying and kite fighting.
What is your life like outside of work?
I like barbequing, cooking (meat most of the time), riding my motorcycle and working on technology projects at home.