Alumni Profiles - Meet Eric Benson
Hometown: Wilmington, DE
Year of Graduation: 1996
Major: Agricultural Engineering Technology
Ag Ambassador, Alpha Zeta, Undergraduate Research Program, falling on the ice late at night while learning to play ice hockey
Current Position of Employment or Education:
Associate Professor, University of Delaware, Department of Animal and Food Sciences
Describe your best Ag experience:
Coming from a decidedly non-ag background with an emphasis on engineering, I really had fun doing the Alpha Zeta farm tours. It was so different from anything else that I was involved in. I had never had a chance to catch a pig or work with sheep.
Which Ag course was your favorite and why?
My favorite classes were Dr. Collin's introduction to programming and fluid mechanics classes. The classes were tough, but you learned a lot out of it. His classes forced you to rapidly develop yourself and that's never a bad thing.
Tell us about your current position or program of study and what led you to that field.
My career has meandered a bit like the Mississippi as opportunities became available. In graduate school, I developed robotic guided tractors and combine harvesters using machine vision and GPS. When I came to UD, I used the machine vision experience to work on problems in poultry. That led to work in emergency response, environmental management, lighting, and other applied poultry
How did your College of Ag experiences prepare you for your current job or post-graduate education?
At UD, I learned how to learn, which helped me succeed in graduate school. In particular, taking part in the undergraduate research program taught me how to structure and follow through on a research project.
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?
Take advantage of the opportunities here at the University of Delaware. It's a great place and has a lot to offer.