28 August 2015 | Careers Advice | thomas thomas
There has never been a better time to be an agricultural engineer. Global food security is at the forefront of government thinking and more and more resources are being channelled into research and development.
The population is growing, farming land is shrinking and climate change is impacting upon primary food production. We are at great risk of running out of food, something needs to be done and engineers and technologists are fundamental to providing the solutions to these challenges. Think of Agricultural Engineering and the first thing that comes to mind is likely to be tractors, farm machinery, and big combine harvester working across the prairie.
There is a range of wonderful career opportunities with global companies such as AGCO, John Deere, Claas, Lely and Case New Holland. As machines have become bigger and ever more complex, the need for new technologies is greater.
With autonomous vehicles, robotics, the use of sensors to monitor all aspects of machine operation, there is a wide range of jobs and careers for engineers at all levels. What makes Agricultural Engineering unique is the way it brings biology and engineering together.
The term Biosystems engineer is now used around the world to describe technologists who work in this important field of work - You could be one of these!
Visit www.iagre.org to read about the jobs people do in this specialism.
Agricultural Engineering is a very multi-disciplinary field attracting mechanical, chemical, electronic, civil and computer engineers.
Perhaps you are one of these. If you are graduating as an engineer, you may be thinking of a career in the automotive industry, aerospace, or perhaps transportation engineering.
However, Agricultural Engineering offers many wonderful career opportunities and in many cases, the technology exceeds, or is every bit as exciting, as the technology you will find in the automotive aerospace and wider technology industries.
Why don’t you do your own research to find out – you will be amazed. Electronics engineers might find themselves writing computer code to link sensors on machines with satellite technology to map yields, monitor soil condition, or measure the position of the machine through GPS.
The precision farming agenda is growing in importance and brings many career opportunities for electronic engineers to use their skills in computer application. There will always be a need for design engineers. Farm machinery is very complex and requires skilled design. The weight of these machines need to be reduced as they are often too heavy and have a negative impact upon the condition of the soil across which they travel.
Lighter and more efficient machines are needed. Innovative design engineers will help to develop these. There truly is a world of opportunity available to those engineers and technologists who would like to work with the land producing food. There never has been a more exciting time to get involved. Governments are putting in money to support research and development so now is the time to consider a career in Agricultural Engineering. This is a career choice you will never regret.
Download the following booklet on Landbased Engineering, published by the Landbased Education and Training Committee (LE-TEC), here.
Written by Alastair Taylor, Chief Executive Officer at Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAGRE). You can find out more about Alastair, by connecting with him on LinkedIn.