Crop farmers are always looking for innovative ways to improve production and environmental performance. Department of Agronomy Associate Professor, Dr. Sotirios Archontoulis, along with other faculty, staff and students at Iowa State University, is working on a project that will make yield predictions more accessible to crop farmers. Dr. Archontoulis’ project is known as “FACTS” and according to their website, “FACTS is an ongoing project developed to forecast and evaluate real-time soil-crop dynamics in specific ISU fields. Predictions and measurements will be frequently updated as new information becomes available during the growing season.” Dr. Archontoulis has been working on the project since 2015 and most recently invited Angelos Birmpakos, a visiting student intern from National Technical University of Athens in Greece to help with the project.
Angelos arrived at Iowa State University on March 19, 2019 for a five-month program. During his visit, Angelos has been working with Dr. Archontoulis to provide technical support on the FACTS project and design a web interface and data flow simulation model that will be used to show yield predictions. Angelos is also working to create a website that would provide project information and updates to site visitors. Dr. Archontoulis said, “I have really enjoy hosting Angelos because of his motivation and drive to learn and participate in the project.” Angelos has contributed a significant amount of technical support to the project, but has also valued all that he has learned from Dr. Archontoulis and his colleagues that have been working on the project. Angelos said, “When first arriving to Iowa State, I had little knowledge about agriculture as my studies are in computer science and engineering, but after spending time with Dr. Sotirios I have gained a wealth of knowledge on the industry as well as enhanced my computer science skills through hands on learning opportunities.”
Upon his return to Greece, Angelos plans to complete his studies and receive his Bachelor of Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National and Technical University of Athens in the next year and defend his thesis. Angelos has really enjoyed his time at Iowa State and has an interest in returning to complete his graduate degree and potentially his PhD.