Basildon New Holland Plant hosts The Institution of Agricultural Engineers Annual Awards Ceremony

  • New Holland manufacturing facility plays host as The Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) celebrate their member’s achievements
  • CNH works in partnership with IAgrE and sponsors the Student Awards to encourage the next generation of engineers in the industry
  • University students encouraged to apply for this year’s awards
  • Attendees join the celebration as the Basildon Tractor Plant celebrates its 60th Anniversary this year

The New Holland Tractor Plant in Basildon, Essex played host to The Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) Annual Awards Ceremony on 24th April.

IAgrE is a professional membership organisation with grades for all those working, or with an interest in, engineering, science and technology within agriculture and the environment. Their Annual Awards celebrate excellence, where members come together to honour those who have made their mark in Agricultural Engineering.

Winners were presented their Awards to thank them for their contribution to the industry, then headed inside for a tour of the CNH Basildon factory, which is currently celebrating 60 years of British Manufacturing Excellence. The day concluded with product walk rounds of the award-winning Methane Powered New Holland tractor, and a Case IH Puma 260 CVXDrive tractor with latest precision technology.

They were also shown the New Holland state of the art ‘Intellicentre’ demonstrating the value of connected services, where Dealers remotely support farmers in the field by pre-planning maintenance, acting on technical alerts, and ultimately keep machine down time to a minimum.

Each year, IAgrE hand out a dozen Awards to their members, and CNH have sponsored the two Student Awards for over a decade. David Rapkins, CNH Business Director UK & ROI, said: “It’s incredibly important for us to support and encourage young talent into our industry; we’ve held this partnership for over a decade as we see the true value in celebrating the innovative ideas from the next generation. CNH leads the way in alternative fuels, and we offer plenty of opportunities for the younger generation - there’s no better time to be an Agricultural Engineer”.

Aled Beech, a 23-year-old from North Wales, won the undergraduate Award whilst studying Agricultural Engineering at Harper Adams University. Born and raised on his family’s upland beef and sheep farm, his passion for engineering started at a young age – he stated, “My dad has always been a competent mechanic and when things went wrong, we had to fix them, so it has always been a part of my life!”

Aled’s winning project was the concept development of a control traffic farming bale chute to fit a large square baler. The chute used a hydraulic system to offset bales to the side of tramlines to accommodate a baler chaser pickup system, located on the right-hand side of the machine. Aled said: “I’d like to extend my greatest thanks to those at CNH and IAgrE for selecting me to win the under-graduate award for my dissertation/thesis demonstrating innovation and practical application in the land-based industry. I am extremely grateful and proud to be selected.”

When asked whether he had any advice for future students applying for the Award, Aled commented “Recognise something you find interesting, and do it – ignore the barriers! Even if you lack some of the skills for the project, grab it by the horns and develop yourself as you go through it. Nothing is impossible, especially in agriculture where adaptability and working under pressure are part of day-to-day life”.

Every year, the student winners are welcomed for a visit to the CNH Plant, rewarded with a cash prize, and provided with an opportunity for an internship within CNH. One of last years’ winners now works within the Precision Technology team in Basildon.

The Student Awards (one undergraduate and one postgraduate) are open for all Universities in the UK and Ireland and are awarded to students whose dissertation/thesis best demonstrates innovation and practical application in the land-based industry. Any University students currently working on a final project that they think might be suitable for an award can contact IAgrE now – Sarah McLeod Secretary@iagre.org. For more information about IAgrE Awards, please visit https://iagre.org/awards

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