The Soil Tech Project team comes from four partnering organisations
Andrea Koch is the project leader for the Soil Tech Project. She wears two hats, one as project manager and process designer, and the other as an action researcher who works ‘on the project’ as well as ‘in the project’.
Her role as project manager involves team formation and making sure that the internal and external communication channels are in place so that everyone in the team can get their part done. Andrea leads the User Experience Design component of each cycle and her marketing skills are used in running the communication and marketing of the project, to build our community of interest and ensure that everyone who wants to keep in touch and be involved is able to do so.
Andrea is also conducting an action research project that involves observing and documenting the process of innovation so that it can be replicated by others in the future.
Tom Batters, Matt Bissett and Kent Wooding are the consulting agronomists for the Soil Tech Project. They provide the end-user perspective and deep knowledge in managing soil in active production systems. These guys are passionate about bringing the correct scientific solutions to key agronomic issues, and this wholistic approach makes their practical experience in managing soil a key part of the Soil Tech Project.
Tom Batters is AGRIVision’s Digital Agronomist, and he works closely with Sam Duncan in providing and interpreting farm scale data sets such as EM38 and yield data for development and testing. Matt Bissett leads AGRIVision’s Digital Agriculture Division, and is extremely well versed in precision agriculture and how the new tools will first with existing PA platforms. General Manager for AGRIVision Kent Wooding oversees AGRIVision’s involvement in the project, and brings willing farmers into the project to field test the tools in the paddock.
Tom, Matt and Kent will take the lead in field testing the applications throughout the development process, ensuring that what gets built makes sense and adds value on (and in) the ground.
Sam Duncan and Shahriar Jamshidi bring entrepreneurial and start-up energy to the Soil Tech Project.
Sam is the Product Manager, focusing on translating the science into each of the six tools and the overall suite of soil management applications. Sam has oversight of each development cycle and works with Andrea on UX Design with a particular focus on translating user needs into wireframes and overall product design. He liaises closely with the soil scientists to understand the science, with the agronomy team to understand and work out how the science needs to be applied in practice and then with Shahriah who will turn the design into code.
Sam has talked with dozens of agronomists, soil testers and soil scientists and has a clear vision of how the science can be integrated into the apps in an accessible way. Sam will work closely with AGRIVision during each cycle, to make sure the apps are usable and useful.
Shahriar is the Developer and will write the code and manage all of the technical development for the project. Shahriah brings deep experience in agile development, and will work closely with the scientists and agronomists to integrate the various data sets that sit behind the tools.
Alex McBratney, Budiman Minasny and Tom Bishop are senior soil scientists with world leading expertise in soil informatics, soil physics and pedology (the measurement of soil characteristics). It is their research that is being translated into applications and they provide invaluable input into helping the team understand the science and working out how it fits in with the user experience.
They work closely with Sam and Tom Batters to ensure that the features for each tool are grounded in the science, and with Shahriar to translate the scientific algorithms into code that can be used in a civilian environment.
Through their leadership in the digital soil mapping arena, these scientists are helping to create a technical platform that marries up private farm data with publicly available soil data, to provide a picture of soil to the land manager that hasn’t been possible before.
Martin King is the Executive Officer for the Sydney Institute of Agriculture at the University of Sydney. Martin plays a key role in coordinating the activities of the Project from the academic perspective.