GrowNextGen industry leader

Chris Wiegman

Graduate Research Associate, The Ohio State University, Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Wiegman focuses on utilizing small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) and developing novel sensor platforms for remote image acquisition inside the crop canopy. Additional research efforts include image classification with convolutional neural networks for automated stress diagnosis and wireless communication networks for sensor control and vehicle automation.

What is the benefit of collaboration between industry and education?
The biggest benefit is ability to leverage the skills and perspectives of each to design the best possible solutions to complex modern problems. For example, Ohio State has one of the largest concentration of experts anywhere in the country; however, the best application of that expertise is not always clear. Industry provides crucial insight into what is needed in our communities. The combination of these perspectives results in better understanding a problem and enables the relevant experts to design the best possible solution. This collaboration is again needed to disseminate the proposed solution, whether it is commercialization of product or a new extension educational program. Both industry and academia have complementary skill sets that together accelerate the development and launch of new products that advance agricultural productivity and sustainability.

What value/assistance can you and your company provide to teachers and classrooms as they connect with you?
Being a graduate student in an engineering field, I can offer my perspective on both technical or general college topics. I would be happy to discuss the latest developments in artificial intelligence (AI), sUAS, computer vision systems, wireless communications or, 3D printing; or what it is like to pursue undergraduate and graduates degrees in engineering. I can discuss or answer questions as to what it is like being a student at Ohio State or offer suggestions for students beginning their own college search.