David Arthur wanted to find a degree that blended science and agriculture and he found that at Texas A&M University in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. While here he was a leader in the ASABE student club and AggiePullers. The cotton industry called his name after graduating from TAMU where he has been involved in developing the largest gin in production.
What degrees have you obtained from Texas A&M University?
Bachelor of Science in Biological & Agricultural Engineering
What drew you to Texas A&M University?
A combination of factors; the two most influential being the scholarships available to me at the start of my collegiate experience and that Texas A&M remains one of the few universities to offer an engineering degree with an agricultural focus. Numerous members of my family have attended Texas A&M and while it was not my Panhandle home, Texas A&M was not an unfamiliar place.
What was your time like at Texas A&M University and the department?
“Interesting” is the first thought that comes to mind. During my time at Texas A&M, it seemed as if the university was constantly expanding and building. The Memorial Student Center was still under renovation my freshman year, Kyle Field was scheduled for a massive overall, and Scoates Hall was privileged to receive some spectacular restoration and modernization. My final two semesters would see the beginning of an increase in the size and footprint of the Engineering College. As students, our academic exposure to and cross-education from the many unique sources on campus benefited us for sure. Needless to say it was a time of growth all around.
I was heavily involved with the Student ASABE Club and The Texas A&M Aggie Pullers IQS Tractor Team, serving as an officer multiple times. As part of the CAAQES team I worked as a Coulter-Counter Technician and was able to see first-hand a little ongoing research in action.
What are you doing now?
I am working for Lummus Corporation as an Assistant Product Manager. I work primarily with the creation, modification and engineering design of cotton ginning equipment and facilities. Part of what I do occasionally includes communication with our customers and construction contractors, and management of their resources and time facing an upcoming harvest. I tend to wear many hats throughout a season, which is not atypical for the agricultural industry.
What are some of your hobbies or activities?
I love restoring and/or tinkering on antique equipment and cars. My family has been working on depression era (1930s) cars for a number of years and we have managed to restore and rebuild a handful of them; one weekend at a time. As the continual demands of the farming operation allows, and harvest/ginning season permits, it’s not uncommon for us to have several car and engine projects in process at the same time.
The Adobe Walls Gin was recently finished and is the largest gin in production. You were the Project manager for the design and installation of it. How did you find the experience of being a part of something of this magnitude?
In a word? ”Challenging”
This project occupied the better part of 2017 for myself and others in the industry. There was always a demand to balance design parameters, available resources and time. Even the best laid plans can go astray, a cotton gin is no exception. As the engineer responsible for the machinery layout and structural arrangement, I was involved from the beginning with many of the decisions that would set the course of the project. There were very few aspects of the facilities design or construction that I wasn’t familiar with throughout the process. Similar to the diversity presented though a BAEN course, I wore many hats; and worked with several others whom were just as versatile. Retaining a flexible attitude on a daily basis was key, and after a lot of hard work and long days the success has been worth it.
Article by Jessica Schaeffer
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