College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Students to get hands-on experience with high-tech Deere tractor

AMES, Iowa–The Iowa State University Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE) has received a brand new 8245R series tractor from John Deere that will be used for teaching and research in the department. At a special ceremony on October 5, Tony Kajewski, continuing improvement engineering manager at John Deere Waterloo Tractorworks, presented gold keys to the tractor to Jonathan Wickert, dean of engineering, and Joe Colletti, senior associate dean of agriculture and life sciences. (The Tribune story)

Kajewski, who is a 1977 ABE graduate, told the students and faculty gathered on the front lawn of Davidson Hall, that John Deere hires more engineers from Iowa State than from any other university. “The graduates and the research that come out of this department are very important to John Deere and the state of Iowa,” Kajewski says. “This tractor provides students and faculty the opportunity for hands-on experience with the newest technologies.”

The donated tractor features Deere’s next-generation John Deere CommandView™ II cab, an Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT™), and a 9.0L John Deere PowerTech™ Plus engine that meets federal emission standards for off-road diesel engines. Embedded in the tractor are data networks, controllers, and software to enable tractor efficiency and productivity.

“Modern agricultural vehicles like the Deere 8245R tractor require the integration of several technical systems including mechanical systems, hydraulic systems, embedded controllers, and data networks,” says Brian Steward, ABE associate professor. “This gift will allow our students to work with the absolute latest technology, literally right off the line.”

The gift is representative of the ABE department’s long-standing partnership with John Deere, according to Ramesh Kanwar, ABE professor and chair. “Partnerships like this enable us to move into the future and deliver high-quality instruction to our students and high-quality graduates back to industry,” he says.

The ABE department trains the largest group of engineering and technology students in the United States focused on the engineering, testing, manufacture, and safety of advanced machinery systems like those represented by the Deere tractor.

Agricultural and construction machinery is the single largest export commodity from the state, ranking above corn and soybean and meat products, according to Stuart Birrell, ABE associate professor. “The agricultural and construction machinery industry is a vital component of Iowa’s economy, and our graduates make key contributions to it.”