Award of Merit: This award is the highest honour that the Society bestows and although offered every year it takes two complementary forms:
Award of Merit –Scientific Understanding and
Award of Merit- Innovation into Practice.
In both cases it will be made to a leading individual for their major contribution to the success of engineering for agriculture and the rural sector in Europe.
Award of Merit – Innovation into Practice to Tim Chamen
The EurAgEng Award of Merit – Innovation into Practice is granted to an individual for his or her major international contribution to commercial practice and engineering innovation for the benefit of agriculture, environment, industry and/or the rural sector in Europe.
This year at LAND.TECHNIK-AgEng conference in Hanover, Germany, the EurAgEng Award of Merit – Innovation into Practice was provided to Dr Tim Chamen for developing and promoting controlled traffic farming (CTF) as a practical farm-scale tool for avoiding compaction damage to soils. Dr Chamen has more than four decades of involvement in applied research covering aspects of soil tillage, soil compaction and equipment design and development with much of it particularly targeted at ways of avoiding compaction. This was initially through a 25-year research and development career at Silsoe Research Institute leading to Dr Chamen running a project to develop a 12 m wide experimental tractor before he left in 1996. Since then, he has worked independently for a range of organizations including machinery manufacturers, the EU and other public and private funders and organizations, but always with the thread of avoiding compaction damage to soils. Following an increased demand for his expertise, he established CTF (Europe) Ltd in 2007. It was Dr Chamen’s work, and his active personal advocacy, that enabled and supported this phenomenal network of researchers and practitioners from all around the world to investigate and implement CTF systems.
Whilst researchers have investigated impacts on soils and the wider environment, often using non-standard machinery systems, such as gantries, to obtain research results, Dr Chamen’s focus was resolutely on ensuring that the benefits seen in the research were able to be adapted to practical systems and readily transferred to commercial farms. He therefore deliberately sought to maintain a boot in both camps and to provide a bridge to transfer and translate research information to farmers and explain the issues facing farmers to researchers. This approach has supported effective research in practice as well as implementation by farmers and equipment suppliers.
Dr Chamen’s contributions to the role that CTF has to play are manifold in showing reduced compaction and combining this with the associated reduction in input costs for time, machinery and fuel while improving crop production and increasing profit. Dr Chamen has ensured that there is a sound scientific underpinning to the technique and has thought through various CTF techniques so that CTF is practical and that farmers will enthusiastically adopt it when they decide that their equipment and farming system can be repositioned for economic and environmental advantages. Without his enthusiasm, passion, and inspiration, there would not be Controlled Traffic Farming in practical use at so many farms and fields across Europe.
Professor Arno Ruckelshausen was presented with a EurAgEng Award of Merit for Scientific Understanding during the AgEng Land.technik 2022 in Berlin. Professor Arno Ruckelshausen is connected to the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences since 1991 and is considered a pioneer in Germany and Europe in the field of digitization of agricultural technology, especially in the areas of imaging sensor technologies and autonomous field robotics.
The field robot platform BoniRob was developed under his coordination, in cooperation with the company Bosch and awarded with the 2015 EURobotics Technology Transfer Award, and his team and students are involved in the international Field Robot Event.
He was a founding member of the cross-manufacturer "Competence Center ISOBUS e.V. (CCI) in 2009. Prof. Ruckelshausen advocates a stronger institutionalization of knowledge and technology transfer in the agricultural sector. As such, he is co-founder of the interdisciplinary research competence center COALA (Competence Centre of Applied Agricultural Engineering). COALA has developed into a synonym for innovative agricultural system technologies with international appeal.
He is a co-founder of the regional network AgritechNet Northwest, which is intended to promote cooperation between companies and scientific institutions and to promote networking with upstream and downstream sectors of agriculture and related economic and research areas. A corresponding association for institutionalization is currently being founded.
We should also not forget his commitment to the promotion of young scientists and his various expert and association activities. Prof. Ruckelshausen was awarded the Lower Saxony Science Prize 2019 in the category "Scientist at a Lower Saxony University of Applied Sciences".
Award of Merit - Scientific Understanding 2021
|Professor Richard Godwin was presented with a EurAgEng Award of Merit for Scientific Understanding.
Professor Godwin’s research has been a major component relating to identifying major issues concerning the health of arable soils, a subject that is now attracting considerable interest. His work has underpinned approaches to, for example, controlled traffic farming, improved tillage methods, and cultivations aimed at maintaining soil structure, conserving and enhancing organic matter content, and minimizing emissions of greenhouse gases. A major strength of his approach has been relating research findings to practical methods of addressing issues relevant, mainly, to agricultural engineering problems but also in wider applications. The already existing work on vehicle/soil interactions has been extended to the off-highway vehicle and equipment design with specialist facilities developed initially at Silsoe and now at Cranfield University. At Harper Adams University, Godwin has led the team that has established an experimental site for examining tillage/traffic interactions. The long-term (>10 years) nature of this site means that it is now, being used to examine the environmental effect of such interactions alongside the agronomic and crop production implications.
Award of Merit - Innovation into Practice 2019
Michael and Cornelia Horsch have contributed greatly to the European farming and manufacturing community in many ways ever since Horsch Maschinen GmbH was founded in the mid ‘80s. Better, healthier soils, combining efficiency gains with minimum impact on the environment is part of the success story of Horsch. But there is also their innovative way to deal with customers. Their direct approach to reach out and communicate with farmers is a model for many other companies today. Their success did not prevent them to still dedicate part of their time to voluntary activities in several organisations to bring their vision to the global scene and to provide support to the agricultural machinery industry overall.
Award of Merit - Scientific Understanding 2018
|Prof Gerard Bot certainly fulfils the award criteria in his and his team’s influential work, addressing the urgent problems of saving energy in protected crop production and in controlling the climate of animal accommodation. He has done this through scientific analysis, measurement technology and dynamic modelling over a number of years. The integration of scientific and practical innovations has led to the idea that production in greenhouses will, by 2020, use solely sustainable energy rather than fossil fuels; and he has been a leader in moving from “energy saving” to energy producing with innovative materials for greenhouses. His reputation is international and is as well known by industry as he is by academics. Although he “retired” some years ago, EurAgEng wishes Professor Bot many congratulations for his exemplary efforts in understanding the science behind these important agricultural engineering topics and receiving this prestigious award.|
Award of Merit - Innovation into Practice 2017
|Norbert Rauch is highly respected by the agricultural and agricultural machinery community in Europe as an individual, inventor and entrepreneur.
After studying mechanical engineering at the University Fridericiana Karlsruhe and founding his own enterprises, Norbert Rauch joined the family owned Rauch Landmaschinenfabrik GmbH in 1979 and was appointed as Managing Director of Engineering in 1987. Under his leadership, with the support of his brother and other family members, Rauch Landmaschinenfabrik expanded into a modern, technology orientated, and highly specialized manufacturer of seeding and fertilization equipment. The factory is an efficient, worker friendly, sustainable and state of the art workplace.
Rauch products are recognized for their quality, operational accuracy and precision as well as for safe and comfortable handling in Europe and worldwide. The highly sophisticated fertilizer distributors contribute to environmentally friendly and cost-efficient production processes in agriculture. The company holds 150 patents and has won 18 gold and silver medals at international trade fairs.
Norbert Rauch is involved with the local industrial economy at the manufacturing base and serves on agricultural and agricultural machinery associations at national, European and international level. He is a member of various economic and technical committees who value his continuous commitment and expertise. Norbert Rauch applied the principle of sustainability long before this term came into vogue and inspires others to act in the same way.
Award of Merit - Scientific Understanding 2016
Dr Paul Miller has over 40 years’ experience in research and development relating to agricultural machinery and led the Chemical Application Group at Silsoe Research Institute – a group involved with many aspects of agricultural chemical application, including the management of spray drift from boom and air-assisted sprayers, nozzle performance, dose control and patch spraying (now known as variable rate application). He went on to hold the senior role of Director of Technology at the Silsoe Research Institute before leading his spray applications Group into commercial research and consultancy as part of The Arable Group.
He has worked with agricultural pesticide application since the early 1980’s and was a visiting Professor at Cranfield University. He has a wide experience of both research approaches, relevant to academia and has a deep understanding of the link to commercial development of equipment and systems.
Paul is the author of many refereed scientific and conference papers that have helped others understand the science involved, and he is recognised as the leading international authority in the field of chemical application and spraying technology and is indeed a very worthy winner of this prestigious award.
Award of Merit - Innovation into Practice 2015
|Heinrich Müller, founder of Müller-Elektronik company in Salzkotten, was honoured at Land.Technik AgEng 2015 in Hannover for his ground breaking work which has helped to make Precision Farming a reality. His company has won awards at AGRITECHNICA going back to 1985 when he won a gold award for UNI-Control, a new product with a flexible hardware interface and menu driven operation. Since then he has contributed to the success of ISOBUS and been an active participant of KTBL and developed many new products with the needs of farmers clearly at the forefront of his work|
Award of Merit - Scientific Understanding 2014
|Professor Margarita Ruiz-Altisent was applauded by family and colleagues alike, as she received the Award of Merit on the shores of Lake Zurich during AgEng2014 in Zurich. It was in recognition of her work as a pioneer in the development of applications of physical science and technology principles to solving problems related to the instrumentation and automation of biological materials. She is founder and lead researcher at LPF-TAGRALIA (Advanced techniques in Agri-Food at the Technical University of Madrid) and has been involved in many international projects, with 150 articles published and 5 patents to her name.|
Award of Merit - Innovation into Practice 2013
|Like a musician with perfect pitch, Sepp Knüsel has a perfect feel for engineering. In almost 10 years on the market, the Rigitrac has proved its high quality and perfect suitability for hillside farming. That Sepp Knüsel and his small team were able to produce such a tractor, with its unique features, is an outstanding achievement and EurAgEng is very proud to present its highest award, the Award of Merit - Innovation into Practice to Sepp Knüsel.|
Award of Merit - Scientific Understanding 2012
|This year the Award went to Prof Jos Metz, of Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Once again this Award, supported this year by Petersime NV and Fancom BV, has been given to an engineer who is incredibly enthusiastic about his work and an inspiration to all. He was professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Wageningen University where he inspired young engineers and the international community alike. Professor Metz is still involved in international projects and has been dubbed the founding father of Precision Livestock Farming.|
Award of Merit 2011
|For the first time the EurAgEng Award of Merit was presented at LAND.TECHNIK AgEng2011 in Hannover, Germany just before Agritechnica. This year's winner was Franz Grimme, Managing Director of Grimme, well known for potato, sugar beet and vegetable technologies.|
Award of Merit 2010
|Jacques Burel of Sulky-Burel, France was presented with the EurAgEng Award of Merit for 2010 during AgEng2010 held in Clermont-Ferrand, France|
Award of Merit 2008
|The Award of Merit was presented at AgEng2008 to Dipl Ing Michael Teich, an engineer who had recently retired after 39 years of service from the leading tractor company, John Deere. In the picture, we see Dipl Ing Michael Teich (right) receiving the “Earth Man Tool and Sky” replica statuette from EurAgEng President Prof Florentino Juste (left).|
Award of Merit 2006
|At AgEng2006, Ray Clay, recently retired from JCB, was the inaugural recipient of the Award of Merit for his work on JCB’s Fastrac. The picture shows Award of Merit winner Ray Clay (right) with Prof Bill Day (left) the outgoing EurAgEng President, and Prof Aad Jongebreur (centre) the incoming EurAgEng President.|