Posted 25 November 2013
More than 300 people with an interest in agricultural engineering attended a special careers event at Harper Adams University, recently.
“Worldwide opportunities in engineering for agriculture”, organised by the Douglas Bomford Trust and the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE), and supported by Harper Adams, attracted delegates from around the world.
The aim of the event was to inspire and encourage the next generation of engineers to play a key role in agriculture and food production. School leavers, students considering a career in engineering, and engineering graduates looking for rewarding careers, were all encouraged to attend.
Head of Engineering at Harper Adams, Professor Simon Blackmore, spoke at the event and introduced a series of live demonstrations during the afternoon. He said: “Harper Adams is the only higher education institution in the UK to offer agricultural engineering at degree level.
“Therefore we were delighted to work with the Douglas Bomford Trust and IAgrE to showcase what the industry has to offer in terms of careers and prospects.”
Delegates were welcomed to the new Agricultural Engineering and Innovation Centre, with presentations taking place in the Douglas Bomford Trust lecture theatre – a facility officially opened on the day by Douglas Bomford Trust Chairman, Malcolm Crabtree.
Key speaker and former UK Government Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir John Beddington, spoke about the change in attitudes towards agriculture. He also informed the audience of the predicted population boom and the need to feed nine billion people in the future.
Clive Blacker of Precision Decisions presented ‘The View from the Field’. He said: “The whole event had a very positive feel about it and I particularly enjoyed the cross section of people at the event, which from meeting and talking to opened up numerous conversations and discussions on all aspects of agriculture.”
Amy Gray, NFU Assistant Adviser – Science and Regulatory Affairs, added: “I couldn’t help but come away from this event inspired and hopeful.
“Yes, global populations are likely to explode in the coming decades and that’s a scary fact. We will have more mouths to feed on this planet than we would realistically know what to do with at the moment. But that means that agricultural engineering has an unprecedented opportunity to come into its own – it has never been more needed and if that does not inspire the young engineering hopefuls of the future, I don’t know what will.”