AN Aberystwyth engineer who was inspired to develop a smart slurry pump after 'countless hours' on his family's dairy farm has scooped a national award for his invention.

Ieuan Evans – inventor of the Smart Slurry Pump – has been named winner of the Young Engineer Award at LAMMA 2024.

The idea for the Smart Slurry Pump came from ‘countless hours’ operating a tractor driven umbilical slurry pump on his family’s dairy farm at Rhiwarthen Isaf, Capel Bangor.

He developed a prototype as part of research towards his Masters in agricultural engineering at Harper Adams University.

After graduating he took up a role as engineering and technical manager for Storth Machinery where he continued to develop the pump.

The Smart Slurry Pump is a real time telemetry system that monitors key information from a remote-controlled tractor and umbilical slurry pump, and then relays this information to the remote operator at the applicator end of the umbilical pipeline (dribble bar/trailing shoe etc).

By providing more information to the remote operator of the Smart Slurry Pump, the system provides several financial and environmental benefits.

These include a reduced labour requirement, better utilisation of the existing tractor fleet, increased fuel economy per m3 of slurry pumped and closer monitoring of pumping operations to prevent slurry bursts or leaks.

Ieuan says the invention was inspired by countless hours on the family farm near Aberystwyth (Supplied)

Ieuan said: “It is a brilliant feeling to be recognised within the industry. A lot of hard work over many years went into creating the Smart Slurry Pump, but the journey has really helped me progress my career in a short space of time.

“The project started during my time at Harper Adams, where a lot of the novel work was done, and I continued to develop it at Storth Machinery, where the full vision was realised.

"There is still lots of work to do though. We are aiming to increase the system’s monitoring capability to reassure the user that the pump is working as intended, as well as helping them to manage fuel efficiency and observe any anomalies.”

Presenting the award, Toby Whatley, Head of Machinery and Farm Technology at Farmers Guardian commended Ieuan’s perseverance. “We were impressed by your determination in developing the Smart Slurry Pump, seeking a solution right through from your education to your start in the industry.”

The smart slurry pump has scooped Ieuan a national prize (LAMMA)

Charlie Nicklin, Chief Executive of the Institute of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) said the award showcases the entrepreneurialism among young engineers in the industry to inspire others.

“Obviously, the big benefit is giving the award winner a boost – it validates their efforts and affirms they are on the right track. Necessity is the mother of invention, and for budding agricultural engineers seeking to fix a problem they have encountered themselves can be a rewarding challenge.”

This year’s Award was sponsored by another event in the Agriconnect portfolio, the Low Carbon Agriculture Show. Agriconnect’s Olivia Midgley said: “Agriculture has enormous challenges ahead – not least the increasing need to improve sustainability and achieve net zero emissions. The development of new technologies like those created by our young engineers is helping farmers face them head on.

“We look forward to seeing how Ieuan, Joe and Richard take their innovations forward and wish them all every success in their engineering careers.”