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Entrepreneurial engineering student receives scholarships

Posted 10 July 2017

"My passion for engineering is the primary reason l chose to undertake the agricultural engineering course at Harper Adams."

Harper Adams University student Chaunce Barrett-Crosdil has been awarded the first David Lawson Scholarship and a Douglas Bomford Trust Scholarship to help with the manufacturing of a product the second year agricultural engineering student has created.

The 22 year-old student from Pulborough, West Sussex, said: “I’ve recently designed an adaptor for cab cameras for John Deere, Fendt and New Holland tractors. Such adaptors are available at a high price from manufactures, but I’ve put them together myself from constituent parts and they now operate on all of the machines in my father’s business. They have also proven to sell very well online and it has turned out to be a lucrative project.

“I’m now negotiating with other manufacturers who are looking to incorporate my design into their products. The scholarships will not only would aid the development of my own capabilities, but also allow me to work towards applying my design to more efficient and cost-effective agriculture.

“I used to make the wiring looms at night after work every day but now I'm getting them made in China in order to free up my time and maintain a competitive price.

“The project has given me an insight into business development and allowed me to develop skills in not only the technical aspects of design and application of technology, but also the commercial side of sales and negotiation.

“My passion for engineering is the primary reason l chose to undertake the agricultural engineering course at Harper Adams. My interest started at a young age, having grown-up on a farm and working for my father's agricultural contracting business.

“I’m the fourth generation of farmers in my family and although I thoroughly enjoy driving large machines, the most interesting experiences that I’ve encountered through my work has always involved mechanical challenges.

“I’m often involved in troubleshooting and changing wearing parts throughout the harvest, and also installing AutoTrac guidance onto the machines. In the summer I’m regularly diagnosing tractor hydraulic problems and finding efficient ways of unblocking balers and foragers.

“I recently spent a few days designing and fabricating a rack that fits on the front linkage of a tractor, to carry silage wrap so that less time, fuel and labour was wasted making additional journeys.

“In 2015, l expanded my knowledge of the industry by travelling to Queensland, Australia, to work the harvest for a large-scale farm. Learning the Australian techniques for baling, and indeed farming on a much larger scale than l was accustomed to, was a fantastic experience. In particular, having first-hand experience of the problems that they had to overcome in order for the balers to perform optimally in their much hotter environment was very interesting and readily applicable at home.”

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