Prof Richard Godwin

Visiting Professor in Agricultural Engineering 

Contact details

Academic Department: Engineering

Professor Richard (Dick) Godwin holds Emeritus, Honorary and Visiting Professorships in agricultural engineering from Cranfield University, Czech University of Life Sciences and Harper Adams University Colleges respectively and in this capacity he supervises research student programmes and provides academic leadership.  A former Director of Research, Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, Food Production and Rural Land Use and Pro Vice Chancellor of Cranfield University he is an internationally recognized researcher and educator in the field of agricultural soil mechanics, soil and waste management and precision agriculture.  His contributions have resulted in improved fundamental understanding of soil dynamics and force prediction methods; the development of improved soil engaging tools and methods; and the transfer of principles to machine designers, extension advisors and practicing farmers.   He led the Home Grown Cereals Association, Agco Ltd and Hydro Agri funded project in Precision Farming the results of which are beginning to have significant effects on agricultural production and nitrogen management internationally.

His work has improved the efficiency of food production and reduced the environmental impact of agriculture.  The transfer of this technology through teaching students from approximately 100 countries has helped in the application of his work and that of many others toward improved production systems, increased quantity and quality of food production, ‘the sustainability of soils’, and the improvement of the environment.  In addition to agricultural applications of soil dynamics, Godwin has led his team’s investigations into the placement and retrieval of buried telecommunications cables from the sea bed, improved tines for the lifting of mines by battlefield tanks, the support mechanisms for reinforced soils along airport runway margins, the estimation of the rolling resistance and lateral forces encountered by aircraft undercarriage wheels landing on soil surfaces and the improvement of buckets for hydraulic excavators.

As an educator, Godwin has supervised or is currently supervising, over 60 doctoral student theses.  He has taught numerous courses in soil mechanics/dynamics, precision farming and soil and water management.  In addition to developing masters’ courses in agricultural engineering, precision farming and soil management, he has developed and delivered practical short courses for manufacturers, advisors and farmers.  He has served as an external examiner in a number of International universities. He has held short term appointments/fellowships in the USA, Canada and Australia and led the development of a distance learning programme in agricultural and plantation engineering in Sri Lanka.

His publication record includes more than 100 refereed journal publications, 130 conference proceedings, and numerous Keynote presentations.  His work received four patents for soil implements and soil strength sensing systems.  Other honors include Awards for papers from the Douglas Bomford Trust and the ASABE, the former for papers in a complete volume of the Journal of Biosystems Engineering devoted to precision agriculture, and individual papers on manure injection and the prediction of mouldboard plough forces.   In 2005 he was awarded the John Deere Gold Medal Award for outstanding contributions as a researcher, educator and extender of agricultural engineering knowledge specifically for his Distinguished Achievement in the Application of Science and Art to the Soil. Godwin was awarded the ECPA/AGCO award for his Exceptional Achievements and his Lifetime Contribution to the Development of Agricultural Engineering in 2007 and the IAgrE Award of Merit for contributions to agricultural engineering in 2008. He was awarded the degree of Dr Honoris causa by the Slovak Universi

Research projects

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Academic Department: Engineering

Contact Richard via the main switchboard on +44 (0)1952 820280