Honour for pioneering scientist

by Anonymous Author

A Lincoln scientist, known for his pioneering work in electronic engineering, has been honoured by the Royal Society Te Aparangi.

Professor Ian Woodhead, chief scientist and group manager of Lincoln Agritech’s Technology Group, received the Scott Medal, an engineering science and technology award, in recognition of the wide range of sensors he has developed for the agricultural and environmental sectors. 

Presented annually the Research Honours celebrate the outstanding achievements and excellence of New Zealand researchers.

Professor Woodhead said he was honoured to receive the recognition from the Royal Society.

“I also wish to share the recognition with colleagues at Lincoln Agritech Ltd who have contributed to the research in microwaves and dielectric properties of materials, and development of derived products to benefit New Zealand industry and agriculture.”

During his almost 40 year career, Professor Woodhead created a number of globally-marketed sensors, including devices to evaluate the performance of electric fences and an electronic soil moisture sensor called Aquaflex, which paved the way for more efficient irrigation systems, allowing farmers to use water more sustainably. 

He also invented a new technique to measure water distribution within materials, such as moisture profile in soil and water distribution in timber. 

Lincoln Agritech CEO, Peter Barrowclough, said he was pleased to see Professor Woodhead recognised by his peers across the scientific community for his career and outstanding advancement to the engineering sciences.

“The best small science company in New Zealand, Lincoln Agritech, is producing world class science and world class researchers who are being recognised on the national stage,” Mr Barrowclough said.