The Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) honours members at awards ceremony

  • Three IAgrE members, who are experts in their own field, have received awards for their outstanding contribution to the land-based sector at a ceremony held at the Claas UK headquarters in Little Saxham, Suffolk

Professor Jane Rickson was made an Honorary Fellow of IAgrE for her work which focuses on understanding soil functions and their role in the delivery of ecosystems goods and services, including water regulation, agricultural production and carbon storage.

Professor Rickson was President of the Institution from 2018 to 2020, which coincided with an important government focus on reform of agricultural policy with the concept of farm subsidies being linked to ‘public good.’

“Jane has been committed to supporting IAgrE in its work to promote the wider agricultural engineering discipline, as it relates to food security.  Her passion for the topic was undoubtedly influential in shaping government thinking and public awareness of soil and the need for protection,” said Charlie Nicklin CEO of IAgrE.

Dr David Lewellyn who is a Fellow of IAgrE received an award for his contribution to the land-based sector.  “Dr Llewellyn has made a huge contribution to work in the land-based sector, which was recognised when it was announced in the 2022 New Year Honours list that he was to be made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his service to higher education, agriculture and rural industries,” said Mr Nicklin.  “During his leadership Harper Adams University has become regarded in the UK as the leading provider of higher education for the land-based sector,” Charlie added.

Director of Tillett and Hague Technology Ltd, Dr Nick Tillett received an Award of Merit for his work relating to in-field guidance and the control of systems for plant scale husbandry.

Dr Tillett joined Silsoe Research Institute as a research engineer in 1984 where he worked on a range of projects including those concerned with robotic milking and the automated harvesting of cauliflowers.  Following the closure of Silsoe Research he formed Tillett and Hague Technology with Tony Hague in 2005 to continue the successful line of research using computer vision to guide field machinery.  Their idea of using a synchronised rotating blade in regularly spaced crops to remove weeds between crop plants  in the row was developed collaboratively and the first commercial in-row weeding machines were sold in 2008.

The awards were made by the new President of IAgrE Steve Constable, who is the Managing Director of Spaldings Limited.