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OSU agricultural engineering alumnus honored for lifetime of international achievement


Oklahoma State University agricultural engineering alumnus Wayne Clyma has been named the recipient of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers' 2009 Kishida International Award.

A 1953 graduate of Keota High School was born and raised as the youngest son of a tenant farmer in eastern Oklahoma, Clyma was honored for his "visionary leadership and outstanding contributions in the development of successful interdisciplinary approaches for improved irrigation water management through teaching, research and consulting."

The award was presented on June 24 in Reno, Nev., at the 2009 ASABE Annual International Meeting.

"Dr. Clyma's many accomplishments are a credit to our department and university," said Ron Elliott, head of OSU's department of biosystems and agricultural engineering.

But it was a lifetime of engineering achievement that might never have been except for a bit of good fortune. While enrolled at OSU, then Oklahoma A&M College, Clyma discovered his career passion and changed his major to agricultural engineering after taking a soil and water conservation course that including surveying.

Clyma earned his Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural engineering from OSU in 1958. He then accepted a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service at the Southwestern Great Plains Field Station in Bushland, Texas. While there, Clyma worked toward earning a Master of Science degree in agricultural engineering from OSU, eventually completing all degree requirements in 1963.

Industry professionals and academics alike consider Clyma to be a pioneer in using collaborative approaches that considered both the technical and social aspects of improving irrigation practices.

"In Pakistan and Egypt, particularly, he provided leadership and innovation while working on projects that significantly increased agricultural productivity and water-use efficiency," Elliott said.

In Pakistan, Clyma worked with other American and Pakistani professionals to create a farm-water management program that improved watercourses, precision land leveling and crop production.

In Egypt, Clyma provided expertise to a team effort in the design of water management programs that overcame long-established traditions in irrigation use, leading to improved water management and increased crop yields.

Clyma has held faculty appointments at the University of Arizona and Colorado State University, where he is a consultant with and professor emeritus of the CSU department of chemical and bioresource engineering.

The Kishida International Award is endowed by the publishing company Shin-Norinsha Co., Ltd., of Japan, and comprises a plaque and a cash award of $1,000.

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