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IAgrE is the professional body for engineers, scientists, technologists and managers in agricultural and allied landbased industries. Click the icons to find out more.

IAgrE Technical Specialists

IAgrE has, within its membership, leading specialists in a variety of fields, some of which are detailed below. The members listed below have agreed to be media contacts within their subject areas. Contact should be made, in the first instance, via the IAgrE Secretariat unless a direct line of contact is shown.

Power and Machinery - Agricultural Vehicles on the road - Dr Andy Scarlett
Education and Training - Christopher Whetnall / Peter Leech
Energy and Landbased Systems - Chris Plackett
Food Engineering - Daniel Hefft
Health & Safety - Alan Plom
Pesticide Application - Professor Paul Miller
Post Harvest - Professor Leon Terry
Precision Farming - Professor Simon Blackmore
Protection of Natural Resources - Michael Woodhouse / Professor Mark Kibblewhite
Soils & Water - Dr Tim Chamen / Professor Dick Godwin / Dr Abdul Mouazen / Professor Jane Rickson
Sports Turf - Dr Richard Earl

Agricultural Vehicles On the Road

Dr Andy Scarlett
Dr Andy Scarlett has been engaged in agricultural engineering research since 1985, the last 20 years mainly concerning agricultural vehicles.  He spent 16 years at Silsoe Research Institute (formerly NIAE), latterly responsible for management of tractor and field machinery-related research and testing activities within the Field Machinery Group.  Scarlett Research Ltd was formed in 2005, following the closure of Silsoe Research Institute.  The company specialises in delivery of engineering-related research, development and technical services regarding agricultural tractors, machinery and self-propelled vehicles to public and private sector customers in the land-based industries. 

Education and Training

Christopher Whetnall
Past CEO of IAgrE, Chris has had a long career covering both education and consultancy, much of it gained overseas. He is passionate about ensuring that the technicians of tomorrow have the ever widening breadth and depth of knowledge required to keep up the impetus required for the sustainable intensification of the worlds agriculture.

Peter Leech
Peter Leech was, until 2013, regional training manager for John Deere’s agriculture & turf division covering Europe, CIS, North Africa, Near & Middle East. working from the UK Branch at Langar, Peter Leech was responsible for the region’s training delivery operations, including the sales branch training centres, covering the key areas of parts, sales, service and dealer development training. During his 42 years with John Deere, Peter was responsible for the development of the company’s award-winning apprentice technician training programmes (Ag, Parts and Turf Tech), and the industry wide LTA technician accreditation scheme. He has also been chairman of the AEA (Agricultural Engineers Association) training & education committee, and is currently President of IAgrE.

Peter is now working as an independant consultant.

Energy and Landbased systems 

Chris Placket
Chris is Commercial Director of Farm Energy, an energy and environmental consultancy that specialises in agricultural and horticultural work.  Following training and an early career with Silsoe Research Institute, ADAS and East Midlands Electicity, he joined Farm Energy in 1992.  He has worked in most areas of agricultural business, energy efficiency, including housing systems for livestock, crop drying and storage, dairy processes and horticulture.

He works closely with the NFU on energy and climate change issues and the development of efficient practices on farms.  Chris is particularly involved in the NFU Climate Change Levy Discount Schemes, and this involves him in both day to day scheme operation and discussions with the Government on future targets and scheme rules. 

Food & Drink Engineering

Daniel Hefft
Daniel is a German born food engineer who works at the University of Birmingham within a research group called Advanced Measurements for Industrial Application. He is a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Agricultural Engineers, has a Master’s degree from the University of Reading (UK) and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Applied Sciences Ostwestfalen-Lippe (Germany). He is also a Chartered Scientist with the Institute of Physics.  Daniel is the co-inventor of a novel technology that delivers live rheology measurements in situ and on industrial scale. Daniel has published his work in several internationally and peer reviewed journals in engineering and food disciplines. He is also a long serving member of the Association of German Food Technologists (GDL. e.V.) and founding member& chairperson of the Food and Drinks Engineering special interest group in the Institution of Agricultural Engineers. Daniel worked for leading, multinational food manufacturers, both in the UK and Germany. He has years of practical industry experience in process development, quality assurance and product development.

Health and Safety

Alan Plom
Until his recent retirement, Alan Plom was Head of Safety Section in HSE’s Agriculture & Food.  He led nationally on safety issues in agriculture and the land-based industries, including forestry, arboriculture, amenity/landscaping and aquaculture.  He joined HSE in 1979 as an Agricultural Inspector and has since worked around the country in various posts, including in HSE’s London and Bootle HQ’s e.g. on European Machinery Directives, pesticides and environmental legislation and also liaison with local authorities. Prior to joining HSE Alan worked in the ministry of Agriculture’s Chief Scientists’ Group, where he was involved in commissioning research in agricultural engineering.  He obtained a BSc (Hons) in Agriculture from Aberystwyth in 1974 and subsequent post graduate Diplomas in Agricultural Engineering and Occupational Health and Safety. 

Post Harvest

Professor Leon Terry

Professor Leon Terry is Head of the Plant Science Laboratory at Cranfield University and heads Food Security and Environmental Health within Cranfield Health. In addition, Professor Terry leads the plant science research within Cranfield Health where the Plant Science Laboratory is one of the largest university-based groups dedicated to research, consultancy and education in postharvest technology of fresh produce in the world.

Professor Terry’s main research interests are:
• Fundamental postharvest physiology and biochemistry of fresh produce
• Postharvest pathology and disorders
• Chemometric and textural profiling for chemical data
• Shelf-life and vase-life extension and quality evaluation
• Sensor and product development (including packaging)

The plant science laboratory undertakes strategic research centred on development of techniques including sensors for improved plant diagnostics and postharvest technology of fresh produce and ornamentals. The laboratory services all sectors of the fresh produce supply chain including most of the major multiple food retailers. The research group also conducts research for the EU, UK Government and it’s agencies (viz. Defra, AHDB (Potato Council, Horticultural Development Company), Commonwealth commission, EPSRC and TSB) and various grower levy bodies.  Contact by Email or see Cranfield website entry.

Pesticide Application

Professor Paul Miller
Professor Paul Miller 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.  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.  Professor Miller is a visiting Professor of Cranfield University. He has been working with agricultural pesticide application since 1984 and has a wide experience of both research approaches and the link to commercial development.  Paul is the author of many refereed and conference papers and is recognised as the leading international authority in his field. 

Precision Farming

Professor Simon Blackmore
Simon Blackmore is a key figure in the development of Precision Farming and agricultural robotics.  He has worked in Greece, Denmark, the UK and spent several years in Africa.  He owns a company called Unibots Ltd  ( that connects existing university designs and prototypes around the world into the commercial sector.  In 2011 he joined Harper Adams University College (now Harper Adams University) as Head of Engineering.  He is a visiting Professor at the following universities: 

Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan
The Precision Agriculture Centre, China Agricultural University, China
University of Thessaly, Greece
Bristol Robotics Laboratory, UK
The Precision Agriculture Research Centre, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia 

And has the Ying Ding Chair at the South China Agricultural University, China.  Simon is also the Project Manager of Future Farm

Protection of Natural Resources

Michael Woodhouse
Michael is a Chartered Surveyor and Chartered Environmentalist working for Natural England.  His career has mainly been with government organisation.  He also had a seven year secondment from the then English Natural to the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group.  His present role at Natural England is contract manager for the Farm Advice, Training and Information programme.  His current role is linked to Natural England’s major advice contract, using external consultants to work alongside Natural England to deliver training to farmers on Environmental Stewardship and Catchment Sensitive Farming.  He is also the lead in Natural England’s Campaign for the Farmed Environment.  Other work has included a review of the capital grant available under catchment sensitive farming, a review of the Energy Crop Scheme and liaison with the Department of Energy and Climate Change over delivery of the scheme. 

Mark Kibblewhite
His research is on soil resource policy and monitoring and understanding soil degradation processes.  He is focused on the implications of global change including climate change for landbased natural resources and on how the scientific and engineering communities can contribute to effective adaptation strategy development and delivery.  He has 35 years experience in environmental and agricultural sciences and more than 25 years expertise in the management of science and is now running the Cranfield Programme in Science for Environmental Policy.  

Soil and Water Care

Tim Chamen
Tim Chamen has spent most of his career in soils and tillage research and has used the information gleaned to create and impart simple messages and ideas that will help farmers achieve their goals in terms of soil management. His particular expertise centres on compaction management and the liberation of soils from their annual cycle of damage and repair. Soil damage costs farmers an enormous amount in machinery, time and fuel, which with clever thinking and appropriate technology, can largely be avoided. Doing so adds to crop yields whilst improving soil health, function and sustainable use. CTF Europe Ltd, a company he set up in 2007, provides advice and contacts for those wishing to acquaint themselves with a new and more efficient way of farming. Membership and further information from

Professor Richard Godwin
Professor Godwin holds Emeritus, Honorary and Visiting Professorships in agricultural engineering from Cranfield University, Czech University of Life Sciences and Harper Adams University respectively.  In this role he supervises research student programmes and provides academic leadership.  A former Director of Research, Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, Food Production and Rural Land use and Pro Vice Chancellor of Cranfield University, he is an internationally recognised researcher and educator in the field of soil-implement mechanics, soil and waste management and precision agriculture.  His research has helped to improve the efficiency of food production and reduced the environmental impact of agriculture, through improved production systems, increased quantity and quality of food production.  He has taught numerous courses in agricultural engineering, soil mechanics and soil and water management.  In addition to developing ‘masters’ courses in agricultural engineering, precision farming and soil management, he has developed and delivered many practical short courses for manufacturers, advisors and farmers.

Dr Abdul Mouazen
Abdul is leading the Agricultural Systems Engineering group at Cranfield University.  He has 16 years experience in measuring and modelling in soil dynamics and 8 years experience in soil sensing and precision agriculture.  His main research interests are:  finite element modelling of soil-tillage tools interaction, soil dynamics, development of sensors and measurement systems, near infrared spectroscopy and chemometrics tools, soil management in controlled and non-controlled traffic systems, soil tillage and soil compaction, mechanical weeding, soil engaged equipments.  He started his career as a university assistant at Aleppo University, Syria.  After completing his PhD in Hungary, working on finite element modelling of soil tillage tool interaction, he has developed an on-line soil bulk density sensor at the Katholieke University in Belgium.  He then worked as a senior researcher at KUL, leading a group on soil technology.  During this period he developed an on-line Vis-NIR soil sensor to measure soil properties. This tool was internationally patented.  Abdul has a strong track record of publishing high quality research papers and communicating his findings to wider audiences and delivering interim/final reports of project findings.  He is an associate editor of soil and tillage research and is a reviewer of 12 peer reviewed international journals.  He is currently senior lecturer in agricultural and environmental engineering at Cranfield University.    

Professor Jane Rickson
Jane has over 25 years experience in soil and water management and engineering, specialising in soil erosion, soil conservation and land management.  She began her teaching and research career, specialising in the study of the processes, impacts and mitigation of land degradation, with particular emphasis on soil erosion, soil conservation and land management.  Currently Jane is leader of the Soil Conservation and Land Management Group within the National Soil Resources Institutive, Department of Environmental Science and Technology at Cranfield University.  The Group is a multi-disciplinary team, including environmental, civil and agricultural engineers, soil scientists, geomorphologists, ecologists and hydrologists.  Professor Rickson’s research and consultancy experience includes the EU LIFE/Syngenta funded SOWAP project which assesses the environmental, technical, economic and social costs and benefits of conservation tillage, compared to conventional soil management practices.  Working with farmers and land managers, field demonstration plots in the UK, Belgium, Hungary and the Czech Republic were set up to measure losses of soil, water, nutrients, pesticides and carbon from different tillage practices.  Jane was also involved in the ‘Sustainable Agriculture and Soil Conservation (SoCo) project which addressed soil degradation processes, practices, policies and control relating to EU agriculture.

Sports Turf

Dr Richard Earl
Dr Richard Earl is Managing Director of TGMS, a company applying fundamental scientific principles to the management of soils. Dr Earl joined the academic staff of Cranfield University in 1987 where he became Leader of the Engineering Group and Director of the Cranfield Centre for Sports Surfaces.  His research career has developed in the inter-related areas of Soil Mechanics and Soil Environment Engineering.  He is a Visiting Fellow of Cranfield University, has published widely in the academic press, is a Chartered Engineer and has over 20 years of consultancy experience relating to land drainage and soil environment engineering.

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