A student from Oregon State University is the latest recipient of Ultimation Industries’ annual STEM student scholarship program. For the past three years, the company has awarded a $1,500 stipend to the U.S. college student with the best idea for improving material handling. Ryan Moore is the 2022 scholarship winner for his suggestions to streamline processes in vertical or indoor farming systems.
Ryan outlined a plan for managing an entire rack of plants using only a couple of motors and centralized, powered conveyors to transport plant trays. Each plant platform is oriented to vertically move the plants from the storage position to the loading and off-loading positions. The system further streamlined operations by only requiring one watering and feeding position, allowing plants to be taken care of without the need for a complicated plumbing system. According to Ryan, the entire process is also scalable, from just a few plants to hundreds of platforms for plant trays.
“Vertical farming is quite literally, a growing industry, thanks to innovations that are taking place at a rapid pace,” said Richard Canny, president of Ultimation Industries LLC. “Ideas such as Ryan’s will go a long way toward shaping the future of vertical farming and driving the productivity improvements needed for businesses to thrive.”
Ryan’s entry was chosen by the judges from more than 100 applications from around the country. Entries for the 2023 scholarship are now being accepted. Students have until December 15, 2023, to submit their ideas for conveyors for vertical farming applications.