Joel L. Cuello, PhD, University of Arizona
Joel L. Cuello, PhD, University of Arizona



Joel L. Cuello is a Professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and Director of the Global Initiative for Strategic Agriculture in Dry Lands (GISAD) at The University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.

A globally recognized expert in the engineering of sustainable biological and agricultural systems, his technical expertise in both engineering and biology provides the platform for engineering designs in various agricultural and biological systems with emphasis on optimizing biological and agricultural productivities while fostering resource sustainability and environmental protection.

Prof. Cuello has designed, constructed and implemented varied types of engineered agricultural or biological systems, including those applied in bioregenerative space life support, crop hydroponics, plant tissue culture, micropropagation, industrial mass production of algae and plant cell and microbial cultures for production of biomass, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, etc. He is the Principal Inventor of the patented algae photobioreactor series — the Accordion photobioreactors — and is the creator of the Minimally Structured, Modular and Prefabricated Vertical Farm design (the Vertical Greenbox┬« Solution) that is considered an archetypal design for Vertical Farming 2.0.

He earned his Ph.D. in Agricultural & Biological Engineering, with Minor in Chemical Engineering, from The Pennsylvania State University in 1994. He also earned two M.S. degrees (Agricultural & Biological Engineering;  Plant Physiology) from The Pennsylvania State University. He obtained his B.S. in Agricultural Engineering (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines at Los Banos. He is a lifetime Visiting Professor at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China and a Faculty Fellow at the Innovation Center of the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines.