Through an exciting research portfolio N8 AgriFood’s newly appointed Professorial Chair in Agri Sensors & Electronics, Bruce Grieve, is helping shape the farms of the future.
Bruce and the e-Agri Sensors Centre at the University of Manchester aim to help food production become much more cost-efficient. One of the major problems faced by farmers are crop diseases. If not detected early enough (or diagnosed incorrectly), the fungal pathogens can quickly take their toll on the crops. Solution? A smartphone.
“This camera in the middle here is capable of operating into wavelengths beyond what our eye can see”, says Professor Grieve holding a tiny device that will one day transform farmers’ lives. “Your eye can see light with wavelengths from 400 to 700 nanometres . That camera can see from 400 to 1100 nanometres”, he explains.
One of the goals of e-Agri’s research is developing a very low-cost sensor system for close-proximity hyperspectral imaging of the early onset of crop diseases. The idea is simple: the earlier the detection, the smaller the losses.
“What we’re trying to do is help make farming a bit more smart”, explains Professor Grieve. “We bring in sensors and new ways of getting information to farmers and to the agricultural supply chain all way through to the consumer so that we can actually produce more food with less input.”
About Professor Bruce Grieve
Professor Grieve is a chartered engineer and a Fellow of both the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE). He has spent 20 years of his career in the field of on-line analysis, measurement and informatics R&D within pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Bruce spent time based in Syngenta’s New Business Development unit working in collaboration with the company’s commercial managers to determine how sensors and diagnostics systems may be deployed within new agribusinesses. Professor Grieve has previously been awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Senior Fellowship to progress his sensors research and has been identified by the Science Media Centre as the spokesperson for e-Agri. N8 AgriFood is delighted to have him as an integral part of the team and the University of Manchester Academic Lead for the Programme.