Posted 10 March 2011
Precision farming and ‘smart machines’ expert Simon Blackmore has been appointed Professor of Agricultural Engineering at Harper Adams University College.
Professor Blackmore has earned a worldwide reputation as a key figure in the research and development of agricultural technology systems. This includes investigation of how satellite and information technologies can be used to improve farming practices and the design of mobile outdoor robots. Simon is a long-term advocate of appropriate and innovative technology, both high-tech and low-tech. He ran his own agricultural business in the UK and worked in agricultural and rural development in Africa (Nigeria, Lesotho and Sierra Leone) before starting his academic career. He now collaborates with universities, farmers and businesses across the globe.
Most recently Simon has been leading the EU-funded Future Farm Project which involves 15 universities, research institutes and private companies from 10 European countries. Previously, after helping to pioneer Precision Farming research at Silsoe College, Cranfield University, he headed the AgroTechnology group at what is now Copenhagen University. He also co- founded the Nordic School for Biosystems Engineering and has served as a visiting professor in Japan, China, Greece and Saudi Arabia.
Prof Blackmore is taking over the role of Head of Engineering at Harper Adams.
He said: “Both agriculture and engineering face many challenges at this time, often associated with their economic, environmental and social contexts. Research, education and partnerships with business and industry have very important roles to play in rising to these challenges. I’m excited to be joining Harper Adams University College as it is in a unique position in the country to work in Agricultural Engineering, especially for the benefit of such a vital industry. Our work will lead to more sustainable agricultural production systems and help feed a growing world population”
Harper Adams Principal Dr David Llewellyn said: “I am delighted that Prof Blackmore has joined us at Harper Adams. His expertise in cutting edge technologies in agricultural engineering and his keen interest in ensuring that the University College’s Engineering Department remains closely connected with industry will be a great asset to Harper Adams. Prof Blackmore has a wealth of experience in research and many connections within industry and the world of academia. His experience encompasses roles in agriculture, at home and overseas.”
Harper Adams University College, is the UK’s only university institution offering degrees in Agricultural Engineering. To find out more, visit www.harper-adams.ac.uk