Honour for precision agriculture researcher
GroundCover™ Issue: 125 Nov - Dec
The University of New England (UNE) has conferred the inaugural title of McClymont Distinguished Professor (Research) upon precision agriculture expert David Lamb. The title is in honour of Gordon Lee ‘Bill’ McClymont, who established rural science at the university.
UNE Chancellor James Harris says the McClymont title was awarded to Professor Lamb for his leadership and outstanding contribution to agricultural research.
“Professor Lamb is an international industry leader in the application of precision agriculture technology to the cropping, pasture and livestock industries. He has helped develop UNE’s SMART (sustainable, manageable, accessible rural technologies) Farm facility, as well as building the research reputation and outcomes for the university,” Mr Harris says.
Professor Lamb is a physicist whose research interests include applied optics and precision agriculture. He has been working in precision agriculture since the early 1990s, and works on sensors and sensor networks for crop, pasture, livestock and soil monitoring.
Professor Lamb leads UNE’s SMART Farm – a 2800-hectare commercial farm and ‘landscape laboratory’.
With its award-winning innovation centre, SMART Farm acts as a test site for new technologies. With a farm-wide telemetry system to link up whatever stakeholders want to deploy on the landscape (plant, soil and animal sensors), the farm takes advantage of high-speed internet connectivity to showcase what is possible in commercial agriculture.
Professor Lamb also heads the university’s Precision Agriculture Research Group, which is engaged in the development and application of new technologies and processes in support of precision agriculture. PARG projects currently span grains, beef and sheep, as well as intensive horticultural agricultural systems.
The Distinguished Professor title is the pre-eminent honorary award available to serving members of UNE’s academic staff and is an honorary title for four years. It recognises academic leadership, a significant contribution to teaching or research and an outstanding record of research publication, and is an acknowledgement by peers as a researcher leader in their discipline.
“It is truly gratifying to receive this acknowledgement, bearing in mind my non-agricultural background – I’m actually a physics graduate of UNE – and the profound impact that Bill McClymont had on the way we look at agriculture,” Professor Lamb says.
“It also acknowledges the critical importance of science and technology in helping meet our farming future.”
‘Game changer: the role of broadband connectivity in Australian farms and why we need to get this right’ – GRDC Research Update paper
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