The Claas Foundation has awarded its annual prizes, totalling around €50,000, to students from agricultural and engineering faculties in recognition of their final theses.
The winners received their prizes at the Claas Greenhouse in Harsewinkel on the 19th of October. The main winners gave brief presentations to outline their work.
Cathrina Claas-Mühlhäuser, chair of the Board of Trustees since 2021, was delighted to welcome another batch of young professionals from seven European countries and Africa. “Talented youngsters from the areas of agriculture and engineering are vital to overcoming the challenges we are currently facing and will continue to face going forward.”
The individual prizes were awarded as follows:
- 1st prize: Patricia Ulbricht was awarded the leading prize for her Bachelor’s thesis on regenerative agriculture, which she wrote at the University of Leipzig. She will receive financial support totalling €7,200.
- 2nd prize: Paul Speitelsbach from the University of Hohenheim worked on the design of a tine-based traction system for lightweight robots used in the field. His thesis took second place with prize money of €6,000.
- 3rd prize: A student at Harper Adams University in the United Kingdom, Richard Geary, won the third prize. His thesis entitled “Maize Belongs to the Farmer, Not the Field” investigates the optimisation of harvesting technology and earned him a grant of €4,800.
- 4th prize: Lasse Clausen analysed the use of a Claas combine harvester in the field. The graduate of Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences received €3,600 in prize money.
Bonus prizes – Four bonus prizes, each worth €1,500, were awarded in addition to the annual scholarships.
- A student of Harper Adams University in England, John David Kendal Morgan, received the prize in the category of Technical Solutions to Improve Animal Welfare. His thesis explored the development of a low-cost imaging system to analyse the behaviour of poultry in small Kenyan pens.
- James Patrick Nicol Shaw, also a graduate of Harper Adams University, won in the category of Improved Nutrient Management for Food Production. His thesis investigated the mechanical durability of digestate pellets.
- Coming first in the Technical Engagement category, Nathanael Ebertshäuser used field testing to determine and compare the rolling resistances of three tractors. He is a graduate of the University of Hohenheim.
- Jessica Emminghaus – also from the University of Hohenheim – won in the Innovation category with her thesis on electrification in agricultural technology.
AgTex Doctoral Thesis Prize (Agricultural Engineering Doctoral Prize)
Malte von Bloh received this year’s inaugural doctoral prize in the field of agricultural engineering, which is endowed with €5,000. Von Bloh researches the digital monitoring of plants in his doctoral project at Technische Universität München. Dr Hermann Garbers, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees, is patron of the award.
International Student Prizes
The International Student Prizes worth €2,000 each were awarded to Henk Nap from Wageningen University (Netherlands), Christian Ciocirlie from the University of Life Sciences “King Mihai I” Timisoara (Romania), Benjamín Zvara from the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (Slovakia), János Péter Jakus from Budapest BME University (Hungary) and Maciej Kubicki from Poznan University of Life Sciences (Poland). The Weihenstephan-Triesdorf scholarship went to Ibrahima Traore from Guinea.
The Claas Foundation was founded in 1999 and has awarded scholarships, bonus prizes and international prizes on an annual basis. It works with an international jury of experts from agricultural sciences and cooperates with universities in Germany and abroad.