Devin Mangus Kanorado, Kan. / 24 Agricultural Engineering, concurrent BS and MS, 2015 Kansas State University ASABE Student Member Advanced Technical Support John Deere, Des Moines, Iowa Whether old or new, I enjoy troubleshooting and restoring mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical systems on our farm equipment, which formed my early interest in power machinery. In high school, I wanted to be a calculus teacher, but when my catapult design won first place at a state Science Olympiad, I decided my desire to work around farm machinery, apply learned science, and face new challenges was better served as an engineer. I knew I had made the right decision to become an ag engineer when I was offered an internship with John Deere as a field test engineer because of my practical knowledge of hydraulic and electrical troubleshooting. As a freshman and with only three weeks of engineering classes behind me, John Deere saw potential in me. My engineering abilities developed with five separate John Deere internships in product design, testing validation and verification, manufacturing systems, product marketing and business development, and customer support. Initially, I worked in Augusta, Ga., on compact utility tractors as a field test engineer, testing design improvements made to components for the next model year. My second summer in Augusta, I developed a hitch assist control to raise and lower the three-point hitch from outside the tractor to make coupling of implements and trailers to the tractor quicker, easier, and safer. Once unveiled, the hitch assist was awarded a silver medal at the world’s largest trade fair for ag machinery and equipment in 2013—Agritechnica in Hannover, Germany. My third internship was very different: I worked as a manufacturing engineer in Waterloo, Iowa, on four-wheel-drive tractors, developing a tool crib inventory system, where tools and replacement parts could be checked out, that automatically notified the crib superintendent when supplies needed to be reordered. For a role “outside” of engineering, I took an internship in global dealer development in Des Moines, Iowa, where I developed a standardized assessment to measure dealer performance that was used in all product markets. Creating a standard for measuring dealerships was a global collaborative effort between cross-functional groups, various countries, and cultures. My last internship in Olathe, Kan., was in customer support, conducting new software training and new product awareness in every dealer region from the Texas panhandle to the northern Nebraska border and from eastern Colorado to the Mississippi River. Now, more than ever, is an exciting time in agriculture. Precision ag has become a focused discipline as farmers are turning to advanced technologies to increase machinery uptime and performance while decreasing operation costs with fewer inputs. While technologies help producers save money, these advanced systems require a high level of understanding to fully utilize their proven potential because of the very complex interactions between the soil, crops, and machinery, which agricultural engineers understand. Nothing beats farm work with Mother Nature on speed dial. And personally, an antique tractor can run all the apps I need. But I am eager to continue working with sensing platforms to capture data in ways not previously studied and possible in agriculture. R&D is stimulating and challenging!
Published by ASABE. View All Articles.