University of California

Faculty Directory

Thompson, Jim


M.Sc. (1971), Agricultural Engineering University of California, Davis


Cooling, storage, packaging, and transportation of horticultural commodities and drying and storage of tree nuts and grains.

Phone Number
Cell: 916-213-7821
Home Page
Graduate Groups

My program covers a broad spectrum of engineering issues related to handling crops after they are harvested. I am the only extension engineer in the state working on postharvest issues, so I work with many of the over 250 commodities produced in the state.

Some horticultural commodities are sold as a low moisture product and I have done a great deal of applied research and extension work on increasing the efficiency of drying systems and improving product quality for crops such as walnuts, pistachios, raisins, prunes, and rice.

My work with fresh market commodities has centered around improving the design and operation of cooling systems and cold storage facilities. More recently, I have determined the energy use of various cooling systems and developed recommendations for minimizing energy consumption.  I have also worked on packaging systems for perishables.

My current work as an Emeritus Specialist is developing refrigeration and drying systems to reduce food losses in developing countries.  I’m also part of a team developing methods of reducing methyl bromide emissions from fumigation facilities.  I am also working with a number of California produce companies to improve their postharvest handling procedures.

Selected Publications
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
  • UC Davis Faculty
Extension Specialist

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