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ֱ’s Thomasson joins elite international ag engineering academy

Alex Thomasson portrait
Alex Thomasson (Submitted photo)

Contact: Meg Henderson

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Alex Thomasson, professor and head of Mississippi State’s Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, is joining the prestigious International Academy of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.

Alex Thomasson, professor and head of Mississippi State’s Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, is honored at July's International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering conference in South Korea. (Submitted photo)
Professor and head of Mississippi State’s Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering Alex Thomasson, right, is honored at May's International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering conference in South Korea. (Submitted photo)

Thomasson, also ֱ’s William and Sherry Berry Endowed Chair, was elected to the IAABE at the International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, or CIGR, conference in South Korea last month. A scientist in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, he is among a small cohort of fellows distinguished by their exceptional international reputations for scientific accomplishments and leadership in agricultural and biosystems engineering, science and technology. In addition to honoring leading scientists, the academy promotes international collaboration, education and training in these areas.

“Alex is very deserving of this recognition. He is an exceptional leader and innovator in agricultural autonomy,” said Scott Willard, dean of ֱ’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and MAFES director. “He has brought in exceptional faculty members whose research will help Mississippi producers increase yields in a sustainable way and improve production efficiency in the future.”

Thomasson is known for his groundbreaking innovations in precision agriculture, remote sensing and robotics, and helping establish and lead the nation’s first Agricultural Autonomy Institute at ֱ. With more than 25 years in the classroom, he has taught more than 2,000 undergraduate engineering students and served as major advisor to approximately 40 graduate and postdoctoral students—many of whom are now faculty members at universities across the world.

“This is a great honor and a validation of my international work and whole career. I believe being a member of the academy will expand my opportunities to collaborate with other scientists, which is a significant aspect of what we want to do in the Agricultural Autonomy Institute and Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering,” Thomasson said.

Thomasson’s greatest contribution to his profession is his students, he said.

“I’m seeing what they’re accomplishing now in their own careers, and I’m proud to have played a role in their success,” he said.

Thomasson expressed his gratitude to colleagues and IAABE fellows—Qin Zhang, a recently retired professor from Washington State University, and John Schueller, a professor at the University of Florida—who nominated him for entrance into the academy.

“The academy has a very limited membership and is typically reserved for scientists approaching the end of a stellar career,” Schueller said. “Alex was elected for his exceptional research in drones, remote sensing and cotton engineering, and I hope to see him continue to lead the profession for many more years.”

Founded in 1930, CIGR is an international, nongovernmental, nonprofit organization consisting of a network of regional and national societies of agricultural engineering as well as private and public companies and individuals worldwide. To learn more, visit .

The Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering is a distinctive department at ֱ, led by both the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Bagley College of Engineering. For more information about the department and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, visit  and .

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