2014 Fellow Award
CSBE/SCGAB FELLOW RICHARD (RICK) P. ATKINS, M.Sc. P Eng, Branch Head, Technology and Innovation Branch, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, is being honored for his leadership, management and contributions to the bioengineering profession through a career in extension, programming, research and development in direct support of sustainable and competitive agriculture.
Being born and raised on a mixed farm in Alberta, Rick has a strong, practical connection to the agricultural industry. As a leader, manager, professional engineer, mentor and educator he has dedicated his career to making significant difference in the industry. His technical expertise has evolved from power and machinery to livestock engineering, farm water, irrigation, on-farm processing, renewable energy, energy efficiency and environmental engineering.
Rick’s ability to adapt to emerging agricultural issues and focus efforts on industry needs has been a key area of success. The on-going development and empowerment of his staff has served his work units well in their ability to adapt and survive the cyclical nature of government programming and budgeting.
A key principle of his leadership has been the importance of extension and follow-through to the end user. This has ensured the relevance of accomplished work and the adoption of new technologies and practices in keeping the industry competitive. Building strong relationships is a key success factor towards achieving outcomes and leveraging resources (expertise, funding and infrastructure). His systems approach to solving problems has led to partnerships with universities, colleges, applied research organizations, industry associations, producer groups, municipalities, federal agencies, and other ministries. As a result of these experiences and his approach, Rick has had successful impact on policy development, development of government strategies and program implementation.
Rick has been a member of CSBE/SCGAB and ASABE for 37 years and has been a participant in many of the CSBE/SCGAB and ASABE meetings and conferences, and ASABE regional meetings. Rick has also served two terms as Alberta Regional Director for CSBE/SCGAB. Previous awards include PNW Region ASABE Engineer of the Year, the CSBE/SCGAB Glen Downing Award and internal ministry recognition awards for his management and leadership abilities. In addition he has been a member of APEGA for 35 years and continues to employ and mentor young engineers in the area of bioengineering.
The CSBE/SCGAB Grade of Fellow is awarded to Rick for his leadership, management and contributions to the bioengineering profession through a career in extension, programming, research and development in direct support of a sustainable and competitive agricultural industry.