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 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 at Silsoe, 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. Working with colleagues, he coordinated the early projects in Precision Farming at Silsoe, 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 investigations into the placement and retrieval of buried telecommunications cables from the sea bed, 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 held short - term appointments/fellowships in the USA, Canada, Australia and Sri Lanka.

His publication record includes more than 110 refereed journal publications, 200 conference proceedings, and numerous Keynote presentations. 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.

He was awarded the:

  • ASABE John Deere Gold Medal Award for his Distinguished Achievement in the Application of Science and Art to the Soil
  • ECPA/AGCO award for his Exceptional Achievements and his Lifetime Contribution to the Development of Agricultural Engineering
  • IAgrE Award of Merit for contributions to agricultural engineering

Godwin is an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers and the Royal Agricultural Society of England and Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies and the Royal Academy of Engineering. He received honorary Doctoral degrees from both the Slovak University of Agriculture and Harper Adams University.

Research projects

Harper Adams University supports OpenFields, the online land-based library.


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  • Misiewicz, P. A., Richards, T. E., Blackburn, K. and Godwin, R. J. (2016) Comparison of alternative methods of estimating the carcass stiffness of agricultural tyres on hard surfaces. Biosystems Engineering 147:183-192
  • Misiewicz P. A., Blackburn. K., Richards T.E., Brighton J. L., Godwin R. J. (2015) The evaluation and calibration of pressure mapping system for the measurement of the pressure distribution of agricultural tyres. Biosystems Engineering 130: 81-91
  • Godwin R. J. and Spoor G. (2015) Choosing and evaluating soil improvements by subsoiling and compaction control. In: Visual soil evaluation: realizing potential crop production with minimum environmental impact. CABI, Wallingford
  • Godwin R. J. , Misiewicz P. A., White D. R., Smith E. K., Chamen W.T., Galambošová J., Stobart R. (2015) Results From Recent Traffic Systems Research And The Implications For Future Work Acta Technologica Agriculturae 18, 3, 57–63
  • Smith, E. K., Misiewicz, P. A., Girardello, V., Arslan, S., Chaney, K., White, D. R., Godwin, R. J. (2014) Effects of traffic and tillage on crop yield (Winter Wheat Triticum aestivum) and the physical properties of a sandy loam soil. ASABE Paper No 1912652
  • Godwin R. J. (2014) Potential of “No-till” Systems for Arable Farming The Worshipful Company of Farmers, London, 2014.
  • Smith, E. K., Misiewicz, P. A., White, D. R., Chaney, K., Godwin, R. J. (2013) An investigation into the effect of traffic and tillage on soil properties and crop yields. ASABE Paper No 1597846
  • Hathaway-Jenkins, L.J., Sakrabani, R., Pearce, B., Whitmore, A.P. and Godwin, R.J. (2011) A Comparison of Soil and Water Properties in Organic and Conventional Farming Systems in England Soil Use and Management 27: 133-142
  • Godwin, R. J. (2010) Minimising the impact from dynamic vehicle systems on soil conditions. American Society of Agronomy. Long Beach, CA, USA.
  • Godwin, R. J. (2009) Precision management of soil compaction and alternative approaches. Precision in arable farming - current practice and future potential
  • Godwin, R J. (2007) A Review of the Effect of Implement Geometry on Soil Failure and Implement Forces. Soil and Tillage Research. Vol. 98
  • Godwin, R J., and O’Dogherty, M.J. (2007) Integrated soil tillage force prediction models. Journal of Terramechanics. 44, 3-14
  • Ansorge, D., Godwin R J. (2007) The effect of tyres and a rubber track at high axle loads on soil compaction, Part1: Single axle-studies. Biosystems Engineering 98(1), 115-126
  • Godwin, R J., Richards, T E., Wood, G A., Welsh, J P. and Knight, S. (2003) An economic analysis of the potential for precision farming in UK cereal production. Biosystems Engineering 84(4). 533-545
  • Godwin, R J., and Miller P C H. (2003) A review of the technologies for mapping within-field variability. Biosystems Engineering 84(4), 393-407
  • Blackmore, B.S., Godwin, R.J. Fountas, S. (2003) The analysis of spatial and temporal trends in yield map data over six years. Biosystems Engineering 84(4). 455-466
  • Earl, R., Wheeler, PN., Blackmore, B S. and Godwin R J. (1996) Precision farming - the management of variability. Landwards 51(4), pp. 18-23
  • Spoor, G and Godwin, R J. (1978) Experimental Investigation into the Deep Loosening of Soil by Rigid Tines. Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research Vol 23(3) p 243 258
  • Godwin, R J and Spoor, G. (1977) Soil Failure with Narrow Tines. Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research Vol 22, No 3, p 213-228
  • Godwin, R J. (1975) An Extended Octagonal Ring. Transducer for Use in Tillage Studies. Journal of Agricultural Engineering Research 84(4), 393-407

Academic Department: Engineering

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