The Irrigation Association has named Guy Fipps, PhD, PE, the 2015 recipient of its Person of the Year Award. Fipps will accept the award at the 2015 Irrigation Show & Education Conference, Nov. 9 – 13, in Long Beach, Calif.
Established in 1952, the Person of the Year Award honors individuals outside of the commercial irrigation industry who have made outstanding contributions toward the acceptance of sound irrigation practices or policies. Award recipients receive a lifetime technical membership to the Irrigation Association.
Fipps is a professor and extension agricultural engineer in the department of biological and agricultural engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He joined Texas A&M in 1988 following the completion of his doctorate at North Carolina State University, where he was a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Needs Fellow. While at Texas A&M, he advanced from a non-tenure extension agricultural engineer to a full professor in just 11 years.
Specializing in irrigation technology, water quality and water management, Fipps is a recognized leader in irrigation technology and water conservation not only in Texas but also around the world. Fipps has devoted more than 25 years to improving irrigation efficiency, developing new technologies and promoting water-use efficiency. His research and extension educational efforts have helped make major advancements in irrigation technologies.
“Not only has Fipps been very active in irrigation work in Texas, but he has an impressive record of international work,” wrote Ronald Sneed, PhD, PE, CID,CIC, CAIS, CLIA, in his nomination.
Fipps has worked in Iraq, Rwanda, Libya, Burkina Faso, Afghanistan, China, Jordan, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Russia, Chad, and Upper Volta. The work done in these countries spans all aspects of irrigation, including water management, salinity management, river basin development and water resources. Fipps also acted as the subject matter expert on a $24.5 million civil works, center pivot project in Iraq.
“It’s especially true in the irrigation industry that the professional relationships you develop are really valuable and enjoyable,” said Fipps. “If it wasn’t for that close collaboration, I wouldn’t have done as well as I have in this job. I found irrigation relatively late in my career, but ever since I decided to become an irrigation engineer, I’ve always had beer money.”
Fipps will be honored during the Irrigation Show general session on Thursday, Nov. 12.