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    Our US Engineering exchange: what Harper students thought

    5 June 2024

    A trip to America is high on many students’ lists – and a group of our Engineering Masters students not only got to visit this spring – but to begin building an exchange of ideas.

    The students – who are in the final year of their Engineering degrees at Harper Adams – went to Mississippi State University to begin what is hoped to be a long-term collaboration focusing on project and resource capabilities between both institutions.

    Both universities will be drawing upon their respective engineering departments, including the newly founded AAI (Agricultural Autonomy Institute) at MSU Campus.

    You can read about the new link-up here and, in this piece, find out exactly what our students thought of their visit.


    MEng Agricultural Engineering student Rhodri Williams:

    “America was immense, from the moment we landed in Nashville - for a strategic diversion,  with the passion of Country Music to experience - to the moment we left, all the team had a great experience.

    “I personally loved the culture and the different way of life, the more relaxed student life compared to here.

    “Their courses are very different, but the end goal is very similar to here, I personally am very open to looking at further opportunities with MSU and in America itself.

    “I really do appreciate what they do and the opportunities arising now with different challenges to overcome with precision agriculture and autonomy."

    MEng Agricultural Engineering student Harry Rigby:

    “It was brilliant to go and see the challenges farmers were having within the United States, and seeing what solutions would help farmers to become more profitable and productive.

    “It was also great to get involved in some American university socialising and seeing their culture first hand.”

    The Harper Engineering students at the Mississippi State University (MSU) campus in Starkville


    MEng Mechanical Engineering student Kelly Billington:

    “The ability to network with a diverse range of academics from different specialisms was an invaluable experience.

    “Learning about the challenges faced by American farmers and the similarities to our own agricultural challenges was eye-opening. It really solidified the drive for viable autonomous agricultural solutions worldwide, as well as the importance of being a part of its progression and advancement for the future of farming."

    Kelly also spoke to the MSU website about the visit, and noted:

    “Everyone’s mind works differently, and when you’ve been brought up in a completely different environment to another, you can come up with unique solutions with your own perspective.

    “If you share those ideas and work on them together, you can really make something quite interesting.

    “In terms of agriculture, you’re not looking at it from just one worldview – you’re looking at it as a worldwide application.”


    Our US Engineering exchange: what Harper students thought

    MEng Agricultural Engineering student Charlie Jackson:

    “I loved seeing the similarities and differences in the American’s approach to Agricultural engineering compared to ours.

    “Meeting new people and understanding their perceptions on technology like autonomous tractors served as an eye-opener to what future farming looks like in different parts of the world.

    “Experiencing an American university first hand was brilliant, it’s so big! Their university culture definitely lives up to the perception shown in movies and TV, everyone is so nice and welcoming.

    “I’m so grateful that I got the chance to go on this trip, the experience will stay with me forever.”

    Our US Engineering exchange: what Harper students thought


    MEng Mechanical Engineering student Dominic Neal:

    “The trip served as a great opportunity to exchange information and ideas between ourselves and Mississippi State University, and to also develop a relationship between our own Engineering department and the MSU's Agricultural Autonomy Institute (AAI)”

    MEng Automotive (Off-Highway) Engineering student Luke Waldram:  

    “The trip to Mississippi State University was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

    “My favourite part of the trip was the first weekend when we flew into Nashville, the atmosphere there was amazing and I will definitely try to revisit again someday.

    “It was great to engage with the student from MSU throughout the trip and share our cultural differences and experiences!

    "I look forward to keeping in touch with students and faculty I met on the trip throughout my career.”



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