Bruce Llewellyn from Queensland’s Lockyer Valley, is starting his career in the Agricultural industry. He is currently completing a Master’s Degree of Philosophy as a science research student.
“I was on the edge of the Agriculture industry for a long time,” Bruce said.“I grew up in the market garden region of Western Sydney. My grandmother was a cattle breeder and several relatives are graziers and orchardists.
Prior to studying his Masters, Bruce worked in the aviation industry as an engineering consultant. As a consulting engineer in aviation, he worked with Agricultural aviation operators and aircraft maintenance organisations. His family’s company was involved in innovations in aerial application, which required new equipment to be installed and engineering approvals. However, changes to the civil aviation regulations made the business non-viable.
In early 2017 wanting a career change, Bruce enrolled at the School of Agriculture and Food Science at the University of Queensland. He is now a research student and research technician at the University’s Centre for Pesticide Application and Safety(CPAS).
“I am studying the effect of ground based‘smart’ spraying equipment on vineyards as part of a Wine Australia project,” he said.
“There is also interest in investigating the suitability of drones for spraying, which has some interesting aerodynamic problems that suit my background and experience. It is my background experience which lends itself to innovation and problem solving in this field.”
Bruce believes the best part of working in Agriculture is the people he meets, and he likes that problems can be solved through innovation. He finds the challenges of the industry very similar to those in the aviation industry- the weather, long distances and working with machinery– and he has been able to bring his past aviation skills to his new career.
“My mother is a historian so I learned very early about Agriculture as a foundation of civilization, but it is also an area of constant change and technical advances.”
“My past training has included a lot of technical skills from fixing motor cars and building houses, but it’s the experience of building, calibrating and using test equipment and instruments for flight testing aircraft that is proving useful. CPAS does a lot of work in a wind tunnel, and I have already been able to make technical and theoretical contributions to existing research programs,” Bruce said.
After completing his Master’s degree, Bruce aimsto complete a PhD. While his long term goal is to teach the next generation of students.
“The future is a great unknown and I’m looking forward to finding out what it may hold,” he said.“A career in research shares a lot of the attractions with what I’ve been doing in my career until now: I see challenges that will resolve through the changing technology in the agricultural industry.”