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Student engineer wishes to be at the forefront of new tech innovation

Posted 29 June 2017

“I’d like to thank the Douglas Bomford Trust for supporting me and providing the means for me to further my studies and university experience.”

Alan with the other Douglas Bomford Trust scholars and representatives Professor Paul Miller and David White

An agricultural engineering student at Harper Adams University was awarded a Douglas Bomford Trust Scholarship this year to help him in his ambition to be at the forefront of the agricultural engineering industry designing new and innovative equipment.

Alan Mobbs,19, hopes to use the financial support of the award towards his starting project of designing, manufacturing and building a drone to be used on the family farm.

The MEng Agricultural Engineering student from Halesworth, Suffolk, said: “I’ve always had an interest in all things mechanical and electrical which was first kindled on my grandparents' small family-run mixed farm in the heart of Suffolk.

“When I was growing-up, the highlight of my week used to be going out on the farm with my dad and grandad.

“Although I enjoy agriculture greatly, my real passion has always been with how things work and the machinery and technology that is fundamental to modern farming.

“As a teenager, I developed my interest further through a fascination for vintage farm machinery; this was developed over many hours spent with my uncle who has a collection of vintage tractors and stationary engines.

“Spending time with him helped to inspire me to realise engineering could be a career, as he was a design engineer. He encouraged me to extend my knowledge and understanding of mechanical principles.

“During my BTEC Engineering course at college, my interests became more focused on electronics, hydraulics and design as I was able to study specialist modules in these disciplines.

“I chose to study Harper Adams University as the combination of its excellent partnerships with industry and their cutting edge facilities, IT systems and software made it stand out.

“Mechanisation and electronics continue to be my preferred specialisms because the advances in these areas, such as precision farming and autonomous machinery, will be the future for agriculture.

“After university my ultimate goal is to become a Chartered Design Engineer.

“While it’s early days for me regarding the future, the automation and use of electronics is where I see myself and I know that I want to be involved with advances at the forefront of the food production sector.

“I believe the future of agriculture as an industry is in the use of drones, precision farming and autonomous machinery.

“With the support of the Douglas Bomford Trust Scholarship, I hope to complete two of my goals. The first is to design and build myself a computer that is capable of running powerful CAD and analysis software such as Solid Works and MATLAB.

“The second is to design, manufacture and build a drone using the Arduino platform. I hope to then explore the use of this drone on my family’s farm as another tool in helping to grow crops as efficiently and sustainably as possible.

“I’ve already acquired an Arduino and am teaching myself how to both design and build the hardware and how to programme the device.

“I’d like to thank the Douglas Bomford Trust for supporting me and providing the means for me to further my studies and university experience.”

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