Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo - July 22, 2002
Agricultural Engineering Professor Wins National
Award for Work in Irrigation
BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Professor Charles Burt, chairman
of Cal Poly's Irrigation Training and Research Center (ITRC), has received
a national award for his work in irrigation.
Burt was awarded the 2002 Royce J. Tipton Award from the American Society
of Civil Engineers, an annual honor given to a member of the society
"who has made a definite contribution to the advancement of irrigation
and drainage engineering."
Burt was cited for founding the ITRC and for advancements in irrigation
efficiency, irrigation district modernization, and a consumer-information
project called the Irrigation Consumer Bill of Rights.
The award certificate recognizes Burt's accomplishments in "developing
methods of improving irrigation performance that are used worldwide;
for teaching, training and research in irrigation; for establishing
the Irrigation Training and Research Center; and for disseminating practical
A news release from the engineering society credits the ITRC with providing
technical assistance for on-farm irrigation, landscape irrigation and
irrigation district modernization throughout the western United States
and abroad and helping to build Cal Poly's irrigation program into one
of the strongest in the nation.
As the ITRC's original director, Burt led the effort that established
the unit in 1989. Last year, to allow more time for teaching, Burt stepped
down from the center's director post, but as chairman he still manages
several million dollars' worth of the center's contracts.
To help farmers get the irrigation they need, Burt has promoted modernization
of irrigation districts and flexibility in water delivery and has developed
and implemented canal and pipeline automation projects throughout the
Western states. He has promoted processes and techniques that quickly
identify the options available for irrigation projects anywhere in the
Burt worked with irrigation dealers and manufacturers in California
to develop the Irrigation Consumer Bill of Rights, a list of questions
that a farmer should ask a dealer before buying an irrigation system.
The program was adopted by the national Irrigation Association.
Contact: Bob Anderson (805) 756-1511