The Nick Bird Award 2019 was awarded to Olivia Hartshorn, 22, for her Final Year dissertation. The annual award is given to those whose dissertations are of a high academic standard and include data collection and analysis that has potential value for wider use by farmers, farming companies or agricultural business.
Olivia’s dissertation focused on energy consumption and sustainability in the UK pig industry. By identifying a knowledge gap, Oliva was able to study the correlation between ventilation and animal performance through remote and producer direct data.
Olivia was presented with her award by Hugh Crabtree, Owner and Director at Farmex. She undertook her third year placement with Farmex which informed aspects of her research.
Dr Simon Woods, Senior Lecturer, said “Following industrial placement with Farmex, Olivia acknowledged that intensive UK pig industry are large energy consumers to maintain a suitable environment to support efficient pig production.
“Olivia’s study used a sample finisher room from each site for winter and summer batches. This study identified variables, such as fan area, pig number, could be used to inform a predictive model for pig Comfort Zone. Further to the identification of fan area having a significant influence on maintenance of Comfort Zone, a key message from the study was that designers should maintain consistent fan area and placement for pig performance purposes rather than pleasing their customer’s aesthetic demands.”