Posted 16 December 2020
“I have had a brilliant time at Harper Adams and have thoroughly enjoyed every moment."
The 2020 New Holland Trophy has been awarded to Huw Gilchrist for his overall performance as a student agricultural engineer.
The 22-year-old from Gloucestershire achieved the highest grade on the BEng (Hons) Agricultural Engineering degree pathway. Huw showed commitment throughout his studies, particularly in his placement year work as a technical support assistant at CLAAS UK and in writing his dissertation.
His thesis, entitled Design and development of a safe load indicator for a tractor and fore-end loader was particularly successful. Huw said: “My Honours Research Project aimed to create a display to indicate the loader’s load as a percentage of safe working load in relation to a tractor’s stability.
“The display would aid the operator’s understanding of lifting tasks and whether the load would exceed machine capability and cause vehicle instability. This would reduce farm-based machinery accidents and fatalities which are currently unnecessarily high when compared to other industries.
“Preliminary testing of the system showed the design was successful in the field.”
With an interest in helping farmers with new technology, Huw continues to run his farm machinery business that he created before joining Harper Adams.
Huw said: “I love the inevitable rebuilding, repairing and restoring of machinery as well as the sense of pride in completing contracting work in order to help farmers out.”
Reflecting on his undergraduate experience, Huw shared: “I have had a brilliant time at Harper Adams and have thoroughly enjoyed every moment.
“The social side of the university is exceptional and makes it unique, but the highlight of my course was a group enterprise project to solve a real-life engineering problem.
“We worked in conjunction with CLAAS’s Advance Development department to research potential new methods for evaluating the crop residue spread pattern from a LEXION combine during field trials using the latest camera technology. High tech camera equipment and the processing software was a totally new area to all of us and I enjoyed the variety of research and testing that this project involved.”
Looking ahead, Huw commented: “I have no idea what the future holds but would like to work in a farm consultancy role specialising in farm engineering projects utilising my skills and experience from Harper and placement year.”