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Agricultural Engineers Will Highlight Accomplishments In Daytona Beach

Allen Overman, (352) 392-7906

DAYTONA BEACH — Agricultural engineers from Florida and Georgia will link the past to the future May 10-13 in Daytona Beach.

The theme of “Building on the Past to Engineer the Future” will be presented in two keynote speeches during the annual conference and trade show of the Florida and Georgia sections of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers. Discussing the past will be Allen R. Overman, a professor of agricultural and biological engineering with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Eldon R. Muller, an agricultural engineer with the Walt Disney Corporation in Orlando, will discuss future developments.

Overman, who will present a decade-by-decade summary of the greatest engineering and social accomplishments of the last century, said electrification of the nation tops his list of the most important accomplishments, along with a list recently released by the National Academy of Engineering. The mechanization of agriculture ranked seventh on the academy’s list.

Other achievements in Overman’s list include: and the Wright brothers flight in 1903, women getting the right to vote in 1920, the discovery of penicillin in 1928, the first generation of electricity by the Hoover Dam in 1935, the Marshall Plan for the restoration of Europe in 1948, the introduction of string theory in physics in 1980 and the explosion of the Russian nuclear reactor at Chernobyl near Kiev in 1986.

For the future, Overman said he sees progress driven by advancements in quantum physics, computer technology and biomolecular engineering. In addition, he said the Internet will become the dominant means of communication.

The program will include educational sessions for agricultural engineers on soil and water resources; power and machinery; instrumentation, controls, remote sensing and mapping; and animal waste management. A trade show will run concurrent with the conference.