Frederick Davies wanted to challenge himself after completing a vocational course and thought that studying MEng Agricultural Engineering at Harper Adams would be the perfect next step.
“At college I had no idea that university was even an option for me…but a recent engineering graduate from Harper visited us as part of a delegation from Kuhn UK and I spoke to her about the course and the possible careers a degree would offer me.
“I looked at multiple universities but after visiting the campus on an Open Day and speaking to lecturers and seeing the facilities, I had my heart set on coming to Harper,” says the fourth-generation dairy farmer.
The 24-year-old has this to say about his five years at Harper Adams:
“The engineering courses at Harper are better put together than other institutions. I’ve had so many opportunities to apply my knowledge and to specialise in what I find interesting.
“The staff are fantastic, in my five years here they have been very willing to give up their time for students who want to know more or need some additional support.
“At Harper an Engineering degree isn’t just engineering – we get taught by guest lecturers from all the different departments of the university.”
Fred cites placement year and the ‘Strategic Management’ module, which helps engineers see the industry from a business perspective, as just two of the many opportunities of cross pollination available to engineering students at Harper Adams.
The David Lawson Scholarship winner’s favourite part of his degree has been working on a dynamic control system for Hands-Free Farm’s autonomous combine harvester for harvest operation control as part of his Master’s Engineering Project.
“For my placement I worked for CLAAS UK within the technical department. I had to learn fast and enjoyed the scope of my work and opportunity to travel as part of the company including to AgriTechnica. My placement was crucial to helping me find the direction I wanted my career to take.
“I have a major interest in Agri-Robotics and Autonomous Agriculture, and I hope to progress this area in the industry, as I really envisage autonomous robots taking on bigger and bigger roles in agriculture.”
Frederick adds: “I hope to work abroad after graduating, there is some fantastic work being done in autonomous agriculture across the globe and I would love to be a part of that.”
It’s not all work for the former Men’s Rowing Club captain, as he explains that many an evening in the pub with friends and the Harper Balls have been the social highlights of his four years in Shropshire.
“Harper is very much work hard and play hard. I love my degree, it can be challenging, but there is plenty of fun to be had in between!”